In an interview that aired on Nightline last night, Tyra Banks talked openly about everything from the racism she experienced as a young model to her weight and hair. But she refused to talk about two past judges of America’s Next Top Model. Most recently, fired judge Paulina Porizkova criticized Tyra for her tardiness and lack of concern about others.
When ABC’s Cynthia McFadden told Tyra that the ex-judges “were not very nice about you,” that led to an amusing exchange, as Tyra’s off-camera publicist repeatedly told McFadden that Tyra “doesn’t want to go there.” And McFadden said, awesomely, “Well, I am going there. I am going to ask that question.” But Tyra would only repeat the question back while trying to not look annoyed and said, “I interview people, Cynthia,” as if she is now a model journalist, too.
McFadden also called Tyra on her Tyra-aggrandizing bullshit, like when Tyra insisted that her “kiss my fat ass” moment was not about criticism of her, but for her fans, whose self esteem was hurt by the criticism of Tyra (right). McFadden said, “Oh, come on. It had to have hurt your feelings a litle bit. Tyra pork chop? America’s next top waddle? I mean, come on. Anybody would be hurt.” Tyra said, “other things hurt me, not that,” but finally relented, saying, “Yes it hurt me, but I swear to you Cynthia, I did not cry.” She added later, “I have made it one of the missions of my life to redefine and to open up the small box of what beautiful it is.”
Tyra said in the ABC interview that she did that because “young girls would come up to me and they would say, ‘Tyra you have the most beautiful hair, like I could never grow hair like that!’ And I would say ‘Child, this is a weave!’ I was like, ‘This ain’t my hair, young girls need to know,’ so now I’m always pulling layers off. … I’ve showed myself, I’ve showed my cellulite on my talk show, I’ve showed myself with no retouching, and I feel if I show the real raw me, the young girls at home will go, ‘Oh my god, my hair looks like that! My hair’s like Tyra’s and I’m OK, that means I’m OK.’”