Tag Archives: Tyra Banks

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?

The Brazil Files: Not So FIERCE – America’s Next Top Model Goes to Brazil

By Racialicious Special Correspondent Wendi Muse

Considering that I am presently living in Brazil, everyone and their mother sent me emails to alert me that this year the America’s Next Top Model “exotic” location was going to be São Paulo, Brazil. Of course, I was on it like white on rice.

I have previously covered ANTM’s behavioral faux-pas (read: extreme insensitivity in relation to the respective racial/ethnic/national identities and/or sexual orientations of the contestants, just to name one of many problems), but I felt the need to take another stab at their culturally-oriented failures considering I am living here in Brazil, visit São Paulo every other weekend, and could safely say, before even watching it, that it was going to end up a hot mess.

In light of the fact that some of the comments made during the show were quite obnoxious, I decided to return the favor. I say let’s squelch fire with fire, ladies. And no, I am not talking about the burning sensation during a Brazilian wax, which seemed to be about the only thing this season’s gaggle of beauties knew about the country that over 196,000,000 people call home.

I have decided to write a little ditty about my take on the show. Check out the clips to see for yourself. Footnotes are provided for additional information. I would have set it to the beat of “the Girl from Ipanema,” but I was too tired from watching the stereotypes and stupidity unfold before me to actually do that. Here goes:

In São Paulo, samba’s not the really the thing. (1)

But hey, at least the girls got flip flops with bling. (2)

Oh and Spanish, speak it they do not. (3)

And in São Paulo, it’s hardly ever hot. (4)

So if you really wanted a sun burn or a tan,

You should have gone to beaches of Rio, a clip of which they ran. (5)

And though capoeirista Eddy speaks quite clear,

They decided to run subtitles as not to offend our AMERICAN ENGLISH ONLY ear. (6)

And Carmen Miranda— for the eyes she’s a feast.

Yet too bad home girl is actually PORTUGUESE. Continue reading

ANTM: The Drinking Game*

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

I was originally going to write a full article about all the patronizing, classist, and racist things Tyra & the Gang (T&tG) said on the most recently aired America’s Next Top Model Cycle 8, but our friend Malena Amusa over at Race Wire beat me to it :- )

So I thought I’d made a fun little game for those of you who have TiVo-d all the episodes or pre-ordered the Cycle 8 box set (no judgment—we all have our guilty pleasures). I mean, Tyra did say that ANTM “is not just about a pretty picture . . . it’s about more than that,” so here’s your opportunity to prove her right.

Please be warned, if you decide to use alcohol for this game (highly un-recommended considering the frequency of T&tG’s slip-ups), be sure to keep a cell phone pre-programmed with “9-1-1” close by. My suggestion, however, is to use water. You’ll be sure to get in your daily recommended dose of 2 liters.

Take a shot for each time anyone from T&tG (including, but not limited to Tyra Banks, Jay Manuel, Miss Jay, Nigel Barker, Twiggy, the contestants, and the special guest judges):

  1. makes a reference to a track, weave, and/or wig when speaking to a contestant of color
  2. says someone “looks foreign”
  3. questions Natasha (the Russian contestant)’s ability to understand English
  4. switches into an accent when speaking a person whose first language is not English
  5. refers to Jaslene, the Puerto Rican contestant, as “spicy” or “fiery”
  6. says the word “fierce”
  7. questions Jael (the half black/half white contestant)’s “realness,” “blackness,” national origin, and/or racial identity
  8. uses the term “ghetto” as a surrogate term for trashy, cheap, poorly made, and/or uneducated
  9. attempts to speak for his or her entire ethnic/racial group, sexual orientation, and/or place of origin
  10. asserts her “American-ness,” gratitude to America, and/or tells a sob story about her native country or old neighborhood
  11. praises/thanks Tyra
  12. asks a contestant to say something in her native language
  13. uses subtitles
  14. expects the contestants to behave in a stereotypical way, then questions their effort and commitment to the competition if they do not do so
  15. uses the term “cha cha”
  16. compares modeling to “acting like a ho”
  17. treats his/her moment on television as a public service announcement on otherness
  18. makes a sweeping statement about lesbians or gays
  19. supplies Latin music as an aural backdrop to appearances made by Jaslene
  20. supplies hip hop as background music during appearance made by Jael in order to remind us she is half black even though she “doesn’t look it”

*Please note, this game also doubles as a youtube scavenger hunt!

Black Girls Aren’t Going Wild

by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson

While I was browsing the Stereohyped blog, I came across this posting:

If You Want Black Girls To Go Wild, You Better Have Your Checkbook

Breast-lover Tyra Banks must have felt slighted by the lack of brown mammaries on display in Joe Francis’ Girls Gone Wild videos. It prompted her to ask him in an interview on her show why his videos only seem to feature white co-eds.

“Here’s the problem with black girls,” he says in the interview, airing Monday. “They want to get paid. … [Other girls,] I just ask and they do it.”

While it’s comforting to know black girls won’t demean themselves at the drop of a hat, the feeling is short-lived, because, apparently, some would for the right price. One only has to turn on Rap City to figure that one out.

Whooooo.

My first thought:

Joe Francis spat three stereotypes in one fell swoop: the loose white woman (co-ed), the sexually puritanical black woman, and then the gold-digging, cash-for-ass black woman. Great. Is there an award for most stereotypes in two sentences?

My second thought:

He has a sick kind of credibility though…I guess he would know.

My third thought:

Is being an unpaid extra in Girls Gone Wild better or worse than being compensated?

My fourth thought:

Why is Tyra always involved?

Anyone else want to wager a thought or two?

Tyra Show explores kids and race

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

This Wednesday’s episode of the Tyra Banks Show is going to explore children’s concepts of race. I hope they’ll include Kiri Davis’s film “A Girl Like Me,” since it would tie in beautifully to this topic. Here’s the description:

Does skin color make a difference to a child? Tyra continues her series on race with a powerful and eye-opening look at how innocent children start forming stereotypical opinions of different races at a young age. A group of children were invited to participate in a social experiment where they were asked to look at pictures of people of all races and say what they thought about them. Their honest results will shock you! Body image expert Jessica Weiner, along with the kids and their parents, join Tyra in her studio to discuss how they believe children are exposed to stereotypes and what can be done about it. Then, Tyra speaks with white supremacist parents and their young children who are being trained to follow in their footsteps. Plus, an African American woman who hates Caucasians finds that her young daughter is determined to break her mother’s racist views.

The 10 biggest race and pop culture trends of 2006: Part 3 of 3

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

This is the last in my series breaking down the top trends in race and pop culture of 2006. If you missed it, check out Monday’s trends 10 through 8 and yesterday’s trends 7 through 4 . Here’s the final list:

10. Race-swapping undercover experiments
9. Hipster racism
8. The continuing obsession with interracial relationships
7. The new minstrel show
6. Racism on college campuses
5. Fear of a Latino takeover
4. The return of the white man’s burden
3. Colorface everywhere!
2. Celebrity racial slurs
1. Race baiting

3. Colorface everywhere!

It seemed like blackface, brownface and yellowface was everywhere in 2006, even in the most unexpected places. Some of these blackface incidents we’ve already covered. For example, Kate Moss in blackface for The Independent’s Africa issue, the many “ghetto parties” and blackface incidents included in racism on college campuses and the Tyra Banks Show episode where she had Angela Nissel go on dates with three men both as a black woman and as a white woman .

Liberal blogs Firedoglake and Billmon (who has since stopped blogging) both decided to use blackface images to mock people they didn’t like/respect. Firedoglake blacked up a photo of Joseph Lieberman in a post accusing him of race-baiting. Billmon blacked up a photo of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after he complained about Lynne Cheney being uncooperative during an interview. Both issued the standard “I’m sorry you’re offended but I’m just so brave and un-PC” apologies, leading ebogjonson to create a flowchart for those bloggers asking themselves if they should use blackface on their blog. In case you were wondering, if you answer yes to being white, the answer is “STOP! You CANNOT use blackface EVER under any circumstances.” Also, be sure to check out Kai Chang’s series on racism in the liberal blogosphere .

A movie based on the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu” is in the works. As you probably know, biracial Asian/white protagonist Kwai Chang Caine was played by David Carradine in the series. And he’s been milking the virtual yellowface gig ever since, from his role in Kill Bill to his stupid Yellowbook.com commercials. The question is, which white guy are they going to get to play Kwai Chang Caine in the movie version? Who has enough “Asian flavor?” I’m putting my money on Steven Seagal. ;) Continue reading