Tyra Banks: Natural Hair? Real Hair? Both?

Tyra Banks, talk show host and creator of America's Next Top Model, certainly knows how to create buzz. She posted the following to her Twitter feed a couple of days ago:

(read beginning at the bottom)
She's also gone and declared September 8th National Real Hair Day.

I'm a little curious what this "real hair" is going to look like. I mean, the hair weaves she normally wears are also technically real hair. Real hair that's harvested from exploited poor women in Asia.

So does Tyra mean she's going to wear her real, natural hair? Chemically unprocessed? Like how it grows out of her head? And not braided in some corn rows?

Is she going to wear her real, natural hair on September 9th as well? And the 10th? Or will the weave come back?

If she does keep her natural hair...

Will she be constantly told, "You look just like Angela Davis!"

Will she start using my #DoNotPetMyAfro hashtag on Twitter ?

Will she be told she'll never get a real job again looking like that?

Will other black people tell her she can "get away" with having natural hair because she's not a lawyer or doctor?

Will I read comments on message boards that black folks frequent, saying, "She needs to throw a relaxer up in there and fix that hot mess on her head"?

Yes, I know that black women aren't the only women to wear fake hair. For heavens sake, I've seen pictures of Britney Spears' horrible weave tracks just like everybody else has. But here's the thing. It's 100% socially acceptable for Britney to wear the hair that grows out of her head if and when she decides to ditch her weave.

Can you imagine Britney announcing she's going to be coming on TV without wearing her weave? It just wouldn't happen. Britney would just show up with her hair shorter and that would be that.

I know black women wearing natural hair is becoming more mainstream than it has been, but it's not where it needs to be. I'm really curious what the Tyra campaign for real hair will be.

And what I really, REALLY want to know is will Tyra have Beyonce on as a special guest, and will Beyonce pledge to ditch the weave and join in "real hair" solidarity?

I guess we'll all be on tenterhooks till September 8th!

Yes, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I just hope Tyra doesn't just use the issue of black women and natural hair as a short-term ratings booster. Please, Tyra, don't do that.


Remnants of U said…
Remember when Brittany cut all her hair off? She didn't care...Of course, maybe crazy doesn't count. But whichever Tyra means when she says real hair...I think it's just for ratings. I hope she proves me wrong, but I doubt it.

I'm Old Skool, Booya! How cute. LOL
Lucrecer said…
I did not even see that tweet...wonder if it is because I don't follow her on Twitter. Anyway, this will be interesting. You have my dream hair, Liz. And, if I was not terrified you would have kicked my ass at BlogHer in the Shutter Suite, I would have been messing with your hair the entire time.
nick said…
Oh, do let us know whether she really reveals her natural hair or if it's all a big con....
Liz Dwyer said…
It's probably ratings driven because, after all, her talk show is a business. But I do really hope she shows more depth and sincerity in the episode.

Yeah, one of the Boo-ya boys didn't go to sleep till almost 1:30 in the morning. He's gonna be hurting when school starts in a few weeks!

I didn't follow her before either but then someone I know retweeted it... and then it somehow became a news story! Isn't that bizarre?

SO sweet of you to say I have your dream hair. It's a work in progress... but getting closer to my dream hair! :) And LOL, I wouldn't have been mad if you'd messed with it a little in the Shutter Sister suite. I only hate it when random strangers, like in the popcorn line at the movies, come and pull all on it!

Oh believe me, I will keep you all posted!
Shiona said…
I was thinking it was a ratings booster. If I recall I think that's around the time she is moving channels to the CW (hich used to be the WB which is a black channel essentially right?) I thought she already had decent ratings though.

We will see.
Liz Dwyer said…
Is she moving channels? No wonder! I think the CW/WB used to show more shows with black characters, but I'm not sure if that's true anymore. I never watch anything on that network so I have no idea. Actually, if not for Turner Classic Movies, SciFi, Bravo, Discovery, NatGeo, Lifetime and Oxygen, I'm not sure I'd even have cable!
Daniel said…
Los Angelista,
Is it OK if I say a big (cynical) “Yawn”?
Really, with someone like Ms. Banks, just how could it NOT be all about “look at me”? Geez, that’s been her whole life. What else does a model do?
It ain’t her brain and “great personality” people been looking at all these years, lol.

PS. I really, really like short or natural hair on a woman of color. Can’t ever figure why it’s so difficult for so many to do that.
I’d tell them that too.
Until she calls me “Imus” that is, lol!
Lotus Flower said…
So does Tyra mean she's going to wear her real, natural hair? Chemically unprocessed? Like how it grows out of her head? And not braided in some corn rows?

I doubt it. I'd be really surprised if she rocks the same hair texture she had when she was a little girl...but more power to her for taking that step.
Lotus Flower said…
I'd be more convinced if Tyra were to sport her natural hair for an entire season and not just one day.
Mes Deux Cents said…
I really don't get the natural for a day thing. Seems exploitative to me. "Hey folks tune in to see me rock my Negro hair!" kind of a thing.

And on Beyonce wearing her hair naturally; I think that's not going to ever happen. I saw a pic of Beyonce today swimming in her weave. How ridiculous is that!
Lisa Johnson said…
I've been wondering about this too. It's such a gimmick. Couldn't she just show up with her natural hair? It shouldn't have to be an event or a statement to wear our hair naturally. We should be able to just "be."

I really thought that Oprah might be the first to do this and stop straightening her hair. What would happen if Tyra, Oprah, and Michelle all decided to wear their hair naturally? Would that put an end to all the madness or just start more?
I read about this and wondered, too, if it was only for ONE DAY. Somehow that would be even worse than not doing it at all because by implication, Tyra thinks she looks better with weaves. It's almost demeaning to black women who proudly wear their beautiful hair as God made it.

Tyra has influence. I would like to see her use it, finally, to elevate her sisters and reinforce the idea that "good hair" has nothing to do with race.

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