Open Thread: Tyra’s Real Hair

by Latoya Peterson

Stalking Tyra is normally Carmen’s beat, but since she’s got her hands full with the new baby, looks like I’ll have to take this one.

Finally, after much fanfare, Tyra Banks opened her show sans weave. Afrobella was disappointed:

In retrospect, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. I shouldn’t have come into the new season of the Tyra Banks Show with expectations.

But I did. My bad.[...]

The potential was there for this show to educate women of color about the beauty they so often hide behind sewn in pieces and slathered on chemicals. Instead it quickly devolved into a self-aggrandizing display that (in my opinion) reinforced negative assumptions about black hair — further compounded by the other guests on the show. All of whom had their hair styled and styled and styled some more before their “big reveal.” And then it was time for the Perez Hilton
interview and I swear, my hand up and flipped the channel all of its own accord.

I always try to look on the bright side… so I’ll end with this. Tyra’s “Real Hair Day” was the beginning of an important conversation. But myself and the many natural haired women I know, were left cold by the episode. Where were the women with kinky, coily, natural hair textures? Why not feature a woman with a TWA? Why not expose her hair as it truly is — unaltered texture and all? Maybe, despite the hype, Tyra wasn’t yet ready. And that I can almost respect.

Now, I wasn’t surprised at Tyra, but I am surprised that not one guest had a natural.

Your thoughts?