Nomalanga: The Real Tyra Banks Revealed

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By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

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


12 Comment

  1. This is the real Tyra and I agree she is showing what she looks like without all the makeup, but also clearly understand that is she a professional, and can shows that on the runway and her show. Time and place for everything. Go girl

  2. This is no big deal. If she didn't put on any make-up she will still be a beautiful woman.


  4. So What, she was caught without make-up, now what!

  5. Tyra banks is so freaking annoying !!! I can't stand her ass!!!

    • sounds like you have REAL problem..she a millionaire GET over it, and I'm sure she could CARE LESS if you can't stand her ass!! WHO ARE U? Nothing body to her, you're dead to her hata.

  6. No woman I know who is really getting her exercise in wears make-up. It is too durn hot. Go Tyra – get your exercise in.

  7. What is REAL beauty upon a woman? Make-up? Wigs? Weaves? colored contacts(yes BW we know when you're wearing them you're not FOOLING anyone) anything added as FAKE to enhance the look? YEP! In out fake faux society, FAKe is looked at as being REAL? NOT!

    Ms. Banks is still beautiful without all of it, make-up, wigs, etc.,

    • Wish I could like this stat more than just once because I love it.

  8. Damn is she always suppose to be covered in makeup, wearing heels and dressed up? She is a human being, I'm pretty sure she has a normal life just like everyone else when she not in front of a camera. So not news worthy.

  9. Tyra Banks has paid her dues tot he fashion industry…whatever. She is a beautiful sister & she should be able to go jogging w/o being made up. This is silly.

  10. The Emmy award nominated Tyra Banks Show will soon be heading to the east coast after spending its first two seasons out west. The Los Angeles based program will be taping season three at the Chelsea Television Studios in New York. This move is like a homecoming of sorts for the former supermodel. New York has always been considered as one of the top fashion meccas in the world. It was a frequent stomping ground of the former catwalk star during her modeling days. Banks was quoted as saying, “I’m thrilled to be moving to New York… I feel connected and completely at home.” ”

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