Thursday, January 25, 2007
A tip of the scales
"It was such a strange meanness and rejoicing that people had," she says in People's next issue, on stands Friday. The magazine says she believes the photos were snapped at an unflattering angle. (She will wear the same swimsuit on the Feb. 1 episode of The Tyra Banks Show.) Banks, 33, worries about what effect such reports might have on her fans. "I get so much mail from young girls who say, 'I look up to you … I think you're beautiful,' " she tells People. "So when they say that my body is 'ugly' and 'disgusting,' what does that make those girls feel like?"Oh, I dunno... maybe the way Robin Manning did in the augural pilot? Or 3rd season contestant Toccara Jones or cycle 5 castoff Diane Hernandez felt for not fitting the mold of what a top model should look like? Doesn't feel so nice when the shoe's on the other bloated ankle, eh Ty Ty? Excuse the hell outta me if my heart isn't broken over a drama queen who devoted an episode featuring herself in a fat suit, surrounded by overweight chicks for support — sobbing because she'd been mistreated and ridiculed for being "chunky," knowing that at the end of the day, she can ditch her Shallow Hal experiment with the pull of a zipper but these real-life fat women can't. Well guess who's at the mercy of Photoshop now? Cry me a river, bitch.
Speaking from the soapbox of endless doubt when it comes to my own warped sense of self, I think putting Tyra and fat in the same sentence borders on absurd. In my eyes, she looks lovely with the added roundness to her statuesque frame and carries it well. However, the glaring hypocrisy of a retired glamazon now getting in touch with her Rubenesque side while perpetuating the same rail thin standards on her reality show rings about as hollow as Kate Moss's cheekbones. It's interesting that Tyra chose a career in an industry that judges women exclusively on how they look and how small their measurements are. Now that she's decided to no longer maintain that model standard, she's shocked this noticeable weight fluctuation is put under the microscope. Shocked! She doesn't want to be judged, but as creator/host of America's Next Top Model, she's cashed in on scrutinizing the superficial from contestants who'd forfeit more than a few meals to follow in her Jimmy Choos.
However, the saddest part is seeing her feign martyrdom as some picture perfect portrait of confidence with an ash blonde lacefront courtesy of the Raquel Welch collection. Ironically, during the height of her catwalk fame, she felt free to embrace more Afrocentric looks with regularity. Nowadays you have to play Where's Waldo? to find a picture without the bleached wig tape and self-bronzer obscuring her features. Resembling the bride of George Hamilton with a pallor one roast away from candied yam, I'm supposed to heed pearls of wisdom from the fountain of mixed messages?
After all is said and done, the need for reciting Iyanla Vanzant cribnotes that it's okay not to look like a walking hanger will grow stale. Mouthing "I am beautiful in every single way, words can't bring me down..." in the mirror as a daily affirmation will seem passe. So she'll hop on the Zone and shed the 30 lbs. faster than her ill-advised stab at singing. Real women do have curves, Tyra. Own it 'round the clock, not just in time for sweeps week.
- Michael commented at 1/31/2007 09:44:00 PM~
Love this. You saved me an entry. I saw that ditz on Larry King the other nite trying to garner up sympathy for the millionth time. She irks me to no end. Wannabe Oprah. I get the feeling she'll be losing the packed up on pounds in no time then dedicate an episode to her "triumph" ala early Oprah. Swagger jacker.
- shurgood commented at 2/01/2007 07:14:00 PM~
Well said, my dear.....
- commented at 2/03/2007 05:20:00 AM~
You so totally captured the whole troubling dilemma that is "Tyra". The childishly naive outrage of a woman who has and continues to make her living off of perpetuating the very demons that she alleges she is fighting against is laughable to me!!
If I were an overweight woman, I would find it hard not to be offended by this diatribe that, far from sounding genuine, simply reeks of mere egoism. I mean, let's face it, Tyra is and will never be a 'fat' girl. Her silly ass self-indulgent tears are an insult to the real 'fat' and 'chunky' girls out there who haven't had the benefit of becoming millionaires off of their looks.
I would love to defend Tyra in this because I do find the obsession with extreme thin-ness (and the low self esteem it creates in so many women who are trying to live up to that ideal)to be a problem--but Tyra is is simply an egotistical, self-indulgent infant who wants to have her cake and eat it too (literally).
If she really wants to make a statement, why doesn't she drop all the waif-like wanna-be's from "America's Next Top Model" and feature a season with wanna-be's who are ALL "plus-size" (and I say ALL because that token plus-size girl who is guaranteed to be dropped midway in the competition is getting REAL tired!).
But Homegirl is too smart for that. There are ratings to consider, you know. And let's face it, nobody wants to see a bunch of regular-sized women, in all their chunky medicrity, trying to be beautiful. Ain't nobody buying that.
So, we'll watch as she continues to talk out of both sides of her mouth--complaining about those who DARE to judge her--but at the same time, peddling the very image that she claims to be fighting against. And I'll laugh as she continues these teary, "rage-filled" antics, representing all the "disadvantaged girls" out there.And wonder...
when is that child going to get an entourage? Because she truly needs SOMEONE to tell her that Khaki-colored hair is not found on any species of nature on this planet (Cause Mama obvously ain't told her yet!)
- commented at 2/03/2007 09:22:00 PM~
poor tyra...*kisses her 5head.
- BronxPearl commented at 2/17/2007 03:11:00 PM~
Unlike your anonymous poster, I *am* a fat chick and Tyra did piss me off with this whole "the media can be so cruel" B.S.
Tyra has never been close to what society truly considers "fat" a day in her life. So even with her time in a fat suit, she will never really know what it's like to be a Big Girl in this world.
Great post! :)
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