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Hypocrisy, size zero, and Tyra Banks


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Tyra BanksIn the series opener of her US chat show, Tyra Banks takes on the media, complaining about a photo that was published of her under headlines suggesting she’d gained forty pounds. The tirade she unleashes was heavily promoted beforehand, and it is clearly something of a ratings-grabbing stunt. I’ve included a eight-and-a-half minute chunk of the programme below, to set the whole thing in context for the majority of my readers who may have missed the story. The much repeated tirade is in the last minute-and-a-half or so of the video.

It has to be said that this is an odd, odd piece of television. The creator and judge of America’s Next Top Model protesting at accusations she’s put on weight, whilst simultaneously claiming to think that ‘curvy women’ are ‘sexy’. The sentiment is very good, but the hypocrisy stinks: If curvy is sexy, then why is she so ‘humiliated’ by the idea of being curvy herself? She surely can’t have it both ways. She criticises others’ obsession with weight, yet knows her own exact weight from over two months ago. She says she’s no longer a model, yet shows pictures from her swimsuit shoot. She says perfection is unrealistic, yet admits that she has her photos retouched. It’s all just hot air.

[flashvideo filename=”http://sjhoward.co.uk/video/tyra.flv” title=”The Tyra Banks Show (Warner Bros)” /]

Perhaps this video symbolises everything that’s wrong with the fashion industry. Everyone pays lip-service to the ideas that big is beautiful, healthy is good, and ultra-slim is bad, but nobody in the industry actually believes it. Which is odd, because I don’t think anyone in the real world finds Size Zero models attractive.

Fern Britton won an award last week for being the woman most men ‘secretly adore’. How sad it is that men don’t feel able to say they’re attracted to women like Fern, and that The Sun insists on branding her an ‘unlikely babe’. When we finally get over these silly mass-market produced images of beauty, and accept real beauty – beauty that lies in the eye of the beholder rather than the eye of fashionistas who decree the latest ‘sexy look’ – then perhaps we’ll be finally able to tackle the misery these ill-conceived perceptions cause.

This 1,059th post was filed under: Health, Media, Video.

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Comments and responses

Comment from poons

    21.55, 07/02/2007

Comment from Mort Karman

    23.19, 07/02/2007

A woman looks best wearing a beautiful smile (with or without anything else on).
If her thoughts and heart are beautiful, so to is she.
If a woman is mean she is ugly, no matter what her other attractions are.
I guess, in reverse, the same can be said of men.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    00.37, 08/02/2007

Poons – I would love to think that Tyra was being honest in her sentiments, but I can only see that she’s being hypocritical, and trying to cause a stir to up the ratings of the first show in a new series. She claims she’s no longer a model, and comments on her ‘retirement shoot’ – yet also reveals that the photos were taken whilst modelling swimwear, which somehow doesn’t add up. Assuming she has retired, what international reputation does she have to keep up? Presumably not one about looks. She has a profile to keep high, and this certainly helped to that end.

As for America’s Next Top Model, the show has featured ‘plus size’ models in the past, but they’re always singled out and presented as such, in amongst a sea of skinny models, which rather makes the point that they have greater confidence in the traditional skinny model look. Though, when I say ‘plus size’, bear in mind that we’re meaning ‘slim’, just not ‘ultra-slim’. Tyra would be a ‘plus size’ model for being 10-20 pounds above the modelling average, as she says in the video.

Mort – I totally agree.

Comment from Mort Karman

    18.49, 08/02/2007

To change the subject, Blair and bush got pushed aside by a diaper wearing astronaut from the USA!
Lisa Nowak should have been charged with careless driving. She drove 18 hours, not only without going to the bathroom, but also without resting.
Could she be trusted to pilot a rocket ship if she drives like that?
I understand she is back with her husband. For Valentines day, instead of underwear from Victoria’s Secret he will have to get her underwear from Depends.
Actually, it is nice to see someone more messed up then our President.
NASA is now going to do research on sex in weightless space so they don’t have to fire Lisa.
This brings new meaning to her being in love with a large rocket.

Comment from BALJEET

    17.56, 05/04/2007

OMGGGG… i juz cried after wochin tyra.. daymnnn da gurlz goh a piont… n peepz shud respect her…. tyra bankz ur amazin!!

Comment from Mort Karman

    18.00, 05/04/2007

What language was the last comment written in?

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    19.00, 05/04/2007

Hey, be nice… Perversion of the English language is how it develops. Or summink, innit? Yeah.

Comment from Anonymous

    18.34, 10/04/2007

she still look phat hot

Comment from Mort Karman

    19.28, 10/04/2007

If this keeps up I will have to ask my wife to write the comments in Chickasaw Indian. Hooka Hay Hooka Hay(that’s Shalom in Chickasaw.

Comment from sannah

    15.05, 28/05/2007

lean or fat i adour this woman(tyra banks)she so great,as long as you comfortable girl why no …i know you look so sexy..love more and love your show,,one day i will meet you you sexy thang,,,i thing you not fat but phat goergous

Comment from Rhian

    21.22, 30/05/2007

I think Tyra is great. Not a bad thing to say about her. She is human after all and so she will have flaws. Who doesn’t? She’s a stong person and a great role model. Anyone who doesn’t think so can kiss my fat ass too!!!!!

Comment from sam

    12.29, 05/07/2007

what size si tyra though!!well whtever i adore her!

Comment from charlain

    09.20, 13/09/2007

i believe that anyone can look damm gorgeous, with loads of make up on, there is nothing fantastic about her….oh and she has terrible terrible legs they look like they are going to brake. so stop idolising people!!!!!

Comment from elizabeth(Lyz)

    09.41, 21/11/2007

Tyra is a nice oerson and her show is great, the fact that she contradicted herself doesnt mean she is a hypoctrate…man is to error, her being a model and show presenter does not mean she cannot make mistakes…this is life you cant always here what you want, so live with that all you critics

Comment from jess

    20.43, 15/12/2007

oh my word…the worst hypocrit of them all, a stick thin bird, trying to get some more stick thin birds to be thinner so they can be a pathetic size zero….on TV!!!!
and there she is disputing a pic of herself, with a couple of extra pounds!
Get a life tyra!
you arent gonna be stick thin prancin round in your underwear at “pantie parties” all your life…everyone ages and all women are beutiful in a million different ways!

Comment from Cindy

    23.22, 04/01/2008

Tyra is a super bitch. Watch her talk show n u’ll see. Everyone has begun to hate her now but seems like she lives in a fantasy land where she can only spread negativity to her guest and to us through tv and thinks it wont come back to her but soon it will. We will see when both of her shows are canceled due to her very jealous and fake self. Associated Press and even New York Times has an articles over her fake self. Finally people have begun to see what a hypocrite this woman really is. She belittles every guest of hers on the show, tries to portray them as being evil and act like a saint herself. Brings her momma and herself in every conversation. Its all about me me ME. No one and I mean no one seems comfortable sitting next to her on the show. The only reason the show is not canceled yet is because of the deal. When the deal is over I hope it will be canceled.

Comment from Anonymous

    20.26, 25/01/2008

This is in response to the comment that was left by Cindy, I have been a Tyra fan for awhile, and i watch alot of her talk show and top model. To me Tyra is one of the most genuine and down to earth people I have ever seen. She may not always say the “correct” things but thats because she is speaking from her heart, she truly cares about people and about bettering the lives of others. NOTHING about this woman is fake, and I think it is you who is a super bitch, and you should do everyone a favor, and just shut up and keep your ridiculous opinions to your ignorant self!!!

Comment from ren

    22.33, 26/01/2008

tyra is sweet and to all the bitches who dont got a life dont hate on her for that

Comment from jennifer winter

    03.11, 14/05/2008

screw you to all the haters out there you dont even know the real tyra all you see is whats on tv tyra banks is an amazing person and whoever puts someone like tyra down is a big fat looser who has nothing else to do with there time but sit on there own fat asses criticizing other people. get a life you loosers and haters.

Comment from John T

    21.39, 20/06/2008

I haven’t watched Tyra’s shows enough to determine anything about her character, but that video was weak. It seems as though she was trying to play to both sides of an issue by talking about how ‘curves’ are sexy and how there’s nothing wrong with having extra weight, but at the same time, standing in a bathing suit on national television to point out that she wasn’t even close to being as big as some picture made her look. What was her message? Also, she should expect that, as a model, people will judge her pictures; that’s how she made her millions, and as the host of a show who’s sole purpose is to judge the appearance of young women, she should know better than anybody not to take it personally. I wonder if perhaps she was just venting because she’s so used to receiving rave reviews of her photos, she hasn’t learned how to handle negative comments about her image.

Comment from Joseph

    04.22, 01/07/2008

I love Tyra. I have always been a fan of hers. I believe the photo was taken with a bad angle shot. In reality, she is a slender curvy woman. She has always been, even in her modeling days. So what if she put on a couple pounds, her body type is still slenderly curvacious. The controversal photo just enhanced the couple pounds she put on. But then again, it’s just a photo. Photos can either enhance or detract the subject. The photographer who took this photo did everything he could to detract Tyra’s beauty. But in the end, she is still beautiful.

Comment from Willie

    01.46, 27/07/2008

Hello trya I love you and your show. I think you are doing great things I would love to cook dinner for you sometimes. I am A little country boy is divorce and love my children. I know that I can show the same type of love also. Continue to be bless. lets chat sometimes.

Comment from Tin Pan Man

    18.53, 03/08/2008

The purpose of these tabloid articles is to woo curious onlookers with eyecatching stories i.e. top model gets abducted by pizza loving mom etc.Making ads for weight loss products or directing the readers attention to health spas has this debacle been noticeably appointed.Trya is a good t.v. personality and I wish her the most with a toast.

Comment from Jodie

    06.04, 27/09/2008

everyone needs to stop hating on her and LISTEN to what she is saying, the people who are missing her point are the VERY people who make women today feel inadequate for not looking a certain way. I totally agree with Tyra, and I am fit, 5’5 and weigh 115 pounds, and fit perfectly a size 5, but it PISSES me off TOO Tyra! If she was such a hypocrite then why did she point out all of her flaws in photos, she is not lying to anyone, she is just saying that the media and tabloids TRY THEIR BEST to point out the things they THINK people will look at and go EEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW! they probably would not like it if it were them.

Comment from Anonymous

    22.06, 23/10/2008

Like she said its not her. If it was her she didn’t say she would be ashame. She was just setting the record straight! Im sure she has been lied on by better folk.

Comment from Anonymous

    00.43, 24/10/2008

Tyra did say being curvy is sexy, but she isn’t being a hypocrite. She said she didn’t like the photo because it didn’t show the truth about her, and she wanted to point out that tabloids are just bunches of lies, so when people look at those magazines they shouldn’t even be bothered by them and move on with their lives.

Comment from bossa

    17.42, 28/10/2008

TYRA is FAKE!!! she always says to everyone that comes onto her show about how pretty or handsome they are. as soon as someone says something she doesn’t like or agree with then she says “honey you r not all of that”. I’ve seen it, she does it alot in her 1st season. she also says very lame things. she just says things that seem to be right for that moment, BIG FAKE!!! there is nothing wrong with having a few pounds extra she says, as soon as that show aired, by the following season she lost the weight. UHMMMM???? And people, stop saying the word hate, as if u know Tyra personally. thats whats wrong with entertainment now, fake ass people treating celebrities like they R GOD!!!

Comment from Lyriss

    06.17, 06/02/2009

to Bossa: “she also says very lame things”…thats not an excuse for calling her fake so that sounds alittle jealous plus just as much as your them saying you cant hate on her, you can’t call her fake, becuz you don’t know her personally as well, they wasnt treating her like she was a god, they just sayin she is real, shes been through stuff just like the next person, she trys to help women with their body image, cuz she knows how it feels, i mean shes said it on her show about how she felt when she was a teen.

Comment from Liberace

    21.06, 24/05/2009

The article says she hates perfection, yet admits she has her photos retouched.

Um, duh? SHE doesn’t get them retouched. All photographers and all companies that hire models to be shot retouch the photos. It is not the model’s choice. They retouch Kate Moss, for Christ’s sake!

Comment from Ashley A

    16.30, 01/06/2009

Whoever created this post is a moron. I happen to be a big fann of Ms. Banks and the point of her tirade is that the media focuses too much on women’s weight. It is not the actual claim that she gained weight that was the problem, but it is the simple fact that tabloids gave more space to her weight problem than they would ever give to third-world countries, or the pathetically high illiteracy in the United States. Stop wasting your time blogging about people who try to make change, unless you are going to change the world your damn self.

Comment from jack bracke

    20.48, 24/02/2011

Even if tyra did gain some wieght she would still be gorgeous I love her look!

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Comment from Anonymous

    18.23, 21/09/2012

Ur all dough nuts who are getting this caught up on this artical and responding in angered defence to this woman. Aren’t there more important issues use your energy on! Damn.. No wonder the worlds on so many levels going to pot.

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