FashionSnob

Question of the day: Tyra Banks Reveals Her Real Hair, It Is THAT Serious?

Tyra Banks let go of her weave and revealed to the world her real hair for the first time in an eternity it seems. The results were … well. She has hair and it grew out of her head. This is a big deal why again? Oh yeah. Black women. Hair traumas. The impossible beauty standard. Issues. Issues. Issues.

Tyra declared Tuesday “National Real Hair Day” and did a whole show getting people to reveal their hairy roots. Essence.com even complied a weave hair gallery history of Tyra’s tresses.

We’ve talked about black hair a bit on The Snob, mostly about my hair issues and how I wish I didn’t have them. (Recap: I have long hair. I love it. I have mixed feelings about the attention it gets. I’ve have been obsessed with it at times. I have nightmares about being bald. I have rocked a TWA before. I have had a perm in the past but it is now natural.) I don’t know if show’s like Tyra’s “Everybody Take Off Their Weave Day” show help or not. On one hand, yay for embracing whatever grows out of your head. It’s yours. On the other, do we need yet another examination of this phenomenon with all the articles and books and now a movie, Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” coming out on the subject? Is it that serious, people? I mean, I wish I could find the clips, but people were having breakdowns over their weaves. My unbewevable sisters — is it really THAT crucial? I’d like to think that not everyone is as screwed up as me, but reality keeps proving me wrong.

Are you mental about your hair?

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25 thoughts on “Question of the day: Tyra Banks Reveals Her Real Hair, It Is THAT Serious?

  1. Monie says:

    Why is everything that Black people do some sort of pathology that’s supposed to be unique to us? All sorts of women have hair issues. All sorts of women alter their hair, wear weaves, extensions, etc. But only when it’s us is it some sort of weird strange thing worthy of making films about it or doing televisions shows or news articles about. With regard to Tyra and her real hair show; whatever.

  2. julz says:

    although my is natural long and mine, it’s no big deal to me. It’s other people who look at it as fake. When other ppl talk to me they dont look me in the eye the look me in the head, lol. Some compliment, some ask "is that all your hair?". Thank you and yes is what i say. i guess that’s all i need to say. i like the compliments, but i don’t really now how to take them. This mass has always been on my head and it runs in the family. Since it was no big deal when i was younger i guess it no big deal now that i’m older. To all women whether you’re bald, natural, straight, curly, hair down to your butt or scraping the nape of your neck, wear it with pride. My motto is "I don’t care how long or short it is as long as it’s healthy."

  3. Its no big deal. People keep trying to make it a big deal just to have something to talk about. Tyra’s whole thing is a stunt. Let’s see how many of the ANTM contestants she weaves up this season.

  4. malted_tea says:

    Ah, the "hair thing." While I missed the show it sounds like the Black blogosphere controversy is about Tyra’s definition of "real hair" to include permed hair when many of us – Black folk – assumed she meant natural hair. No chemicals.Non merci, says Tyra, apparently. It’s fascinating that there is so much politics surrounding this issue. While I have hair-related web sites, I don’t typically cover the politics (save for a piece on locs in the workplace). In truth: it’s just hair.BTW, my recap would have been something like: permed, chopped short, big afro, dyed Ronald McDonald red and flat ironed, cut short again, long locks, short TWA, and now short locks. Liked each iteration, too. It’s fun to play with but I’m not mental about mine…besides, it grows back!

  5. Court says:

    From young I never had been one to lose my mind over stepping out the house without perfectly straight hair and I didn’t touch a weave until I got to college (a shortlived experience and I felt absurd the entire time). However I did subscribe to the view that perming was necessary for me to look attractive (natural hair was only for girls with "good hair"- like you Danielle). It wasn’t a nagging, mental complex, just a "reality" I passively acknowledged. These "black women hair issues" conversations (on sites like this and others) are always interesting to me because we seem confused on how to regard them. It’s like we want to dismiss the seriousness of "our issues" yet simultaneously acknowledge them. Very few women are satisfied with everything about themselves, but we have been one of the few groups routinely identified with respect to this. I think many black women are just tired of having our laundry aired in public, or perhaps tired of being told that they’re self-hating.I’ve been natural for about four years now and many people consider my decision not to perm as a critique on their decision to do so. This irritates me, because I’m just doing me, so feel free to do you. I still have a ton of other issues to deal with, hair just isn’t one of them.

  6. Brandi says:

    I couldn’t care less what Tyra’s real hair looks like and beyond the few clips of her show and random channel surfing, I have no interest in her platforms as they seem hollow to me. What I mean is, she doesn’t really seem sincere in her efforts to confront certain issues. I went natural a few years ago and I love it. Any hair issues I had, I left on the salon floor that day. I get comments, compliments, and the black woman once over (you know when a black woman eyes you from head to toe without a smile or even a hello). None of these bother me. What bothers me are the women who approach me to ask about my hair. This is fine but the conversation always evolves into why they can’t go natural. I’m not a priest – no confession is necessary and I’m not trying to convert the masses. The conversation really goes downhill when they say that they don’t have "good hair" like me. I then turn into a counselor and tell that natural hair is a process of letting go and letting it do what ever it will do in its natural state. I end with, you will know when you’re ready. Namaste.Now if I could only find a zen-like state for my other issues…

  7. April217 says:

    It’s not that serious. I find the whole natural vs. relaxed vs. weave debate ridiculous. I have taken my hair all over the map (from curly natural to bone straight) and have had a love/hate issue with them all. Why others insist that any change is deeper than just a personal styling choice is beyond me.

  8. Court says:

    @ April217 the perm v. natural issue is silly because it treats us (again) like a monolith. But you’re doing the same thing too by making these decisions completely about individual choice. It’s not solely about cosigning to Anglo-saxon perceptions (blah blah, yada yada) neither is it just about "personal styling choices". We deal with political, cultural and historical forces and pressures just like women of other races. It’s just how this society of ours is, and it helps no one to disregard these forces in the workings of our lives.

  9. Kelly says:

    There are black people who have used hair texture and skin color to discriminate against other black people for decades, if you had long hair and light skin you were good,nappy hair and dark skin you were bad. I have never known a white person who used this formula to judge black people, we all just black to them. But within our own community the constant conversation about real hair,or weaves and wigs, natural or relaxed is a continuation of that discrimination. I have never wondered what Tyra’s "real’ hair looked liked or anybody else’s for that matter. I have seen beautiful black women with weaves, naturals and bald, if they take care of what ever they have on their heads it’s good. Tyra did this because she knows that it is always a sensitive topic in the black community and she needs ratings for her show.

  10. dilettante says:

    We deal with political, cultural and historical forces and pressures just like women of other races. It’s just how this society of ours is, and it helps no one to disregard these forces CourtWell said. I’m also tired of the topic. I would not have bothered to comment -save for an incident this week during my daily train commute, that has happened to me at least 3X before. I was sending a text etc when I noticed the girl { Indian/Asian} who has sat next to me who made it a point, to part and pull several strands of her hair out/ away from her head towards my direction. We had a silent fight over the arm rest- whose bag was staying put; I wonSuffice to say, my hair is my own, I am slightly vain about it [as I’m not posting pictures- imagine whatever you like]-it seems to be a default mode of some women of my age cohort from "other" races to flaunt their hair if we get into a stare down. I don’t get that from Euro chicks- at least not the hair angle, My sample size is too small but I can say that its usually Indian /Bangladeshi (?) who have felt obligated to engage in hair wars have been decidedly brown skin.>> I suppose comparatively fairer non black/Afro females with light eyes I guess don’t feel the need to (?)All that to say the "historical forces and pressures " universally seem to hit all POC I’m just tired that is always "us" that seem to be the subject matter. I’m really really tired of the silence of/ non attribution to, black men on the topic. I will be really interested to see if Chris Rock will even bother with that facet in any way. love, peace & hair grease!

  11. BuenaventuraAvenue says:

    Brandi said:"What bothers me are the women who approach me to ask about my hair. This is fine but the conversation always evolves into why they can’t go natural….The conversation really goes downhill when they say that they don’t have "good hair" like me."We must be meeting the same women. In general I love to talk about hair and certainly don’t mind when people ask me what I use, techniques, etc. But it’s like nails on a chalkboard when they start telling my why they can’t go natural. I don’t know why they think they owe me an explanation…in fact I’m just going to start saying that…"you don’t owe me an explanation…"And the "I don’t have good hair like you" thing I just leave alone. My pithy "healthy hair is good hair" arguement will fall on deaf ears so I don’t try anymore.

  12. Chidi says:

    It is a big deal in my opinion. I am absolutely elated that there’s so much focus on this phenomena that occurs amongst black woman every day in this country. It’s been overlooked for S0 long and now it’s finally being outed into mainstream media. I feel that the sugarcoating of the fact that black women have so much difficulty embracing the hair that grows out of their scalp and would rather opt for a second rate substitute, contributes into perpetuating the problem.It is a problem, and the first step to solving a problem is admission. Why is the black hair industry a multi billion dollar industry? All of which doesn’t even go into the pockets of black people but yet who cares? As long as Nakia and Ayanna have their Indian Remy weave sewn in every 8 weeks or so they’re straight! Everyone knows this, it’s not like it’s a conspiracy theory but the only reason black women aren’t up in arms about this issue is because they’re content. The Asians are like, "we’ll have all the money and facilitate and control the entire industry but we will provide you with the products you need and the weave that you want." And black women all respond with a resounding, "Okay!" The Black community in this country hardly has any infrastructure, black people are mainly consumers but yet billions of dollars can be spent on relaxers weave etc when they have perfectly good hair growing out of your scalp! It’s astonishing to me that people are this blinded and have no regards for the truth or logic. It’s astonishing to me that this is a culture. It’s astonishing that something so basic as hair, that every human being on earth essentially has is the hardest thing for our women to accept about themselves. This is a huge problem and a very intricate one deep rooted in so many areas but it’s undeniably a problem and the more and more people wake up and break free from what is considered the norm, the more people will follow. So I feel that the problem absolutely has to not only be addressed, but it has to be addressed in volume, front and center.

  13. BlackGoldoftheSun says:

    What Chidi said. I think it’s telling that the people who tend to minimize the issue the most are the ones who grew up with socially / culturally / politically privileged hair textures (i.e. "good" hair). It’s like a wealthy heterosexual feminist telling a low-income lesbian feminist that her class and sexuality marginalization is not a big deal because they all face marginalization as women. Just because it’s not a big deal for you doesn’t make that true for everyone else. I call this the privilege blind spot.The fact that black women are the only women in the entire world for whom the overwhelming majority DON’T wear their hair in its natural texture (for most of their entire lives!) is tragic. I don’t see how you all don’t see that or grasp the gravity of that. And the line "it’s just hair" is so disingenuous and the logic of it could easily be turned back on itself: if it’s just hair, why NOT wear it natural?

  14. Monica says:

    The day black women with natural hair are not passed over for jobs because of their nappy hair, it will cease to be a issue. Also, more than 70% of Black women relaxing their hair suggests that this is not a style issue. There other issues at play.

  15. @ Chidi and BlackGoldoftheSun Other cultures don’t understand the hair issue and what is stems from. And honestly, they probably never will. Broadcasting it in this manner (Tyra’s mess of a show) just empathizes the stereotype of the petty black woman who loves to hate on her sister, argue about nothing, and is never satisfied. Tell me what’s natural? What if I have non relaxed hair, but get it in mirco braids, is that natural? What if i have locs, but i dye the tips red? I wasn’t born with red tips, so that must not be natural, right? So every other culture of women have the luxury of change, but we can’t? Oh i must be a slave to the Anglo-Saxon ways or hate my culture if i choose to wear my hair other than the so called ‘natural’, even if its just for a limited amount of time.

  16. As far as I am concerned, it is about time Tyra took those fake hair pieces out of her hair. She is mixed and many years ago I saw her real hair, which looks good. So, why for the love of everything good is this woman putting weave in her hair, all the time? These are some of the reasons why certain people think Black people can’t grow their own hair.People are always saying to me, is all that your hair? Yes, it is all my hair. Black women can grow long hair no matter the texture. A good diet, using suitable hair products for your hair type and the right tools, brushes, combs, hair accessories can give great results for our hair, whatever the texture. Weave is great as a temporary measure to grow out your hair, but to have it in all the time, and to be dependent on it to look good, no way.What gets me is that some women now depend on the weaves and fake nails and when you take the weaves and fakery off, the hair is in a really bad state and the real nails have holes in the them from all the chemicals.Time to "get real" ladies!

  17. Thank you Monica, Chidi and BlackGoldoftheSun. I’m dark with a TWA and lived in L.A. for 10 long years. Don’t tell me it’s just hair. Like Marcus Garvey said, "Don’t remove the kinks from your head. Remove them from your mind."

  18. NLSmith says:

    I must agree with others who agree that this topic IS a big issue within the ‘black community’, which should be addressed. The pathologies associated with natural black hair textures are ingrained in our culture and in our speech (i.e. ‘good hair’). While enlightened folks temper the statement around " " to highlight the inappropriateness of the phrase, many folks use it every day, without hesitation or second-thought to describe the locs of any hair type OTHER than kinky hair. Un-permed hair is described as "nappy" which is absolutely a pejorative. And then we wonder why girls grow into women who are insecure about their natural hair.And not for nothing (and no offense) but for all the defense and reasoning mentioned in the comment by Beautyhealthzon for black women to embrace their natural attributes (hair, nails, etc.) she began with this phrase pertaining to Tyra’s hair: "She is mixed and many years ago I saw her real hair, which looks good"…there implying (to me at least) that her hair looks good BECAUSE she’s mixed.So as far as I’m concerned, until we see more of our women and little girls reflected in pop culture and in the media as being beautiful WITH their natural hair, and less women and men dating outside of their race SPECIFICALLY so that their off-spring will be mixed with "good hair", and little girls wishing they had any hair textures other than their own (yes it’s that deep that the concept of what is "good hair" and what is considered beautiful is indoctrinated in our children…boys and girls alike…at very young ages), then this will continue to be an issue with black people.So on a personal level, one of the reasons that I decide to wear my hair natural is so that I can show my daughters, at least in my own home, that they can be beautiful and accept themselves as God made them FIRST. Because if we don’t embrace our natural beauty in our own homes then how and why would we expect others to?

  19. Sandra says:

    We all know that black women’s hair (real or fake) is a big issue with most people, so why don’t we just admit it and stop pretending that we’re all so sanguine on the issue. Perhaps it’s all this dancing around the issue that we’ve done for generations, rather than facing and dealing with our truth, that causes this issue to still be alive and kicking today.

  20. malted_tea says:

    Co-signing with conni3 but empathize with those for whom this issue really is as big a deal as a "Big Chop." There’s even language about our hair. I remember watching a Different World episode back in the day where Jasmine Guy was talking about her "kitchen." I was confused for weeks on that one. Human biology is clear though: it is just hair. It’s just happy, healthy, locked up hair to me. But it may be different for you…Individuals, and perhaps even pockets of communities, have attached additional socio-political attributes to hair. Okay.Note that this is not exclusive to us with conversations like these around "texture." It’s apparent in European cultures with hair dye and other cultures with brushing. And as I read the comments, I couldn’t help but think, "It’s all an illusion anyway." Maybe Chris Rock should have called his movie "The Illusionists." It’s what we’re all doing. No matter what we do with our hair and our overall look, we’re crafting our image for others to an extent. And in this era of 4th wave feminism (or are we finally in the 5th?) I thought we were all passed that. I, with my apparently bad hair (4B) which is now in dreadlocks, do care about my self-image but don’t feel the need to have my hair conform to any pop culture standard. And before it gets all wild, the "standard" is different depending on where you look. I just look at me because I only want to "do me." Along the same lines, I can’t see the logic in looking down at people who perm, weave, color, braid or WHATEVER because they are doing them.

  21. @ NLSmith"And not for nothing (and no offense) but for all the defense and reasoning mentioned in the comment by Beautyhealthzon for black women to embrace their natural attributes (hair, nails, etc.) she began with this phrase pertaining to Tyra’s hair: "She is mixed and many years ago I saw her real hair, which looks good"…there implying (to me at least) that her hair looks good BECAUSE she’s mixed".My comment means exactly what I said. Tyra is mixed in some way and does NOT need to wear a weave for any reason. The reason many women feel that they need to wear a weave is because they feel that they do not have any hair or the texture is hard to manage etc. All the mixed people I have met in my whole life do not have this problem.Also, anyone can take a comment to mean whatever they want it to mean. Also, my hair looks good and I am not mixed, so what is your point? My hair looks good whether it is relaxed or natural and most important of all, it is real. There is nothing wrong with people who want to wear a weave on a temporary basis, but some women seem to think they can’t look good unless they have some fake hair or nails in. I meet these types of women everyday buying fake hair to put on their head when their own hair is in a state of utter disrepair. I know one girl who wears fake nails all the time and she showed me her nail which was damaged and had holes in the middle of the nail, yet this girl was off to the nail shop to get some fake nails put on, instead of actually getting some medical attention and going to see her doctor, she was off to the nail salon to get some fake nails done!This is the point I was making. If you can’t see or understand the point I was making, then that is just too bad.Everyone has good hair and has the ability to grow their hair long, regardless of race. The way we take care of our hair, our diet and the food we eat, the tools we use such as combs, brushes and accessories and the products we use in our hair all helps us to achieve great hair, no matter the texture.So, don’t try to analyse my comments and add your own meanings and interpretations to my comments unless you actually know me. For example, I would not get married to a White man so that my kids could have "good hair" for the simple reason that I am happy and comfortable with my race and I ALREADY have good hair. Simply put, everyone has "good hair", just depends on how you manage it. Now, you are not going to appreciate your hair if is under a weave or a wig for the majority of your life are you?If a person’s primary reason for getting married was to improve their children’s hair, no wonder divorce rates are at an all time high.I guess at this stage I have made my point.

  22. Chrissystina says:

    I love my hair and it is good hair because it is free of chemicals and can do whatever the hell I want to it. I just never understood the need or want for a relaxer. If you want to change it up and wear your hair straight for a little bit, why not just flat-iron your hair? And the hell if I am going to give Asians MY money that they don’t even put back into the Black community.We need to figure how to take back our deserved, damn near ENTIRE pice of the pie.

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