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Mail Online, a U.K. based online publication published some photos of Tyra Banks while she was out jogging in New York. The write up starts by drawing our attention to the fact that Banks “instructs her protégées on how to take the perfect picture,” as the host of America’s Next Top Model.
It goes on to say,
But Tyra Banks was certainly not ready for her close-up as she went for a jog in New York this morning. The 38-year-old, long regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful women, was almost unrecognizable as she emerged without a scrap of make-up for the exercise session.She looked a world away from the professionally coiffed version of herself as she exercised dressed in a zip-up top and three-quarter length trousers.She also wrapped her hair in a patterned bandana which could be seen underneath her cap.
The write up is obviously supposed to “expose” Tyra for demanding that the girls who compete to be “America’s Next Top Model” always be camera ready, but does not follow through with her own advice. Instead, it has actually, in my opinion, done the opposite.
Seeing Tyra without any of the glamorous hair and make up, struggling along on her morning jog, actually humanizes her in a very endearing way. It shows us, and especially younger women, that what television and magazines present as the modern woman is actually something that is created by hair dressers, stylists and makeup artists. Underneath all the artistry, there are ordinary women like the Tyra that we see in the photo.
It’s also important to note that the way that we see Tyra in the photo is actually nothing new. Tyra, herself has always been very open about showing her viewers how she looks without the fake hair or without the make-up. Any quick Google search will produce some photos that Tyra willingly shared via Twitter or Facebook.
So, Mail Online, you may think that showing Tyra, clearly not looking her Sunday best does something to take away from her image. You may say that she looked out of breath as she powered through her run, in an attempt to make her look somehow pathetic or desperate but we know different.
Tyra Banks gives young women an opportunity to chase their dreams. Tyra Banks has proven, through her own life story, that you can have both beauty and brains. She continues to inspire, motivate and encourage young women to reach for the stars.
What I see, when I look at that photo of Tyra, is a woman who is working hard, not only to be better, but to positively affect others so that they too can do better.
Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com