Last Train to Banksville

I have a difficult time taking Tyra Banks seriously. I typically keep my unimpressed feelings about the model turned mogul to myself because so many people love her. One of my friends almost got jumped at a party for expressing dissent about Banks when she became the topic of conversation. Really. She barely escaped with her life.

I wish I could ride the train to Banksville because there–where Tyra lives, breathes and has her Smiling with Your Eyes workshops–she’s all black and woman and wanting me to hear her roar. I get it, and I want to take her seriously, but I can’t. And I don’t her roar. At least it’s not a roar that empowers me. I know she’s won an Emmy for “The Tyra Banks Show,” and “America’s Next Top Model” is currently on its 79th cycle. (I stopped watching it after the sixth.) These are respectable accomplishments. But anyone who constantly talks about how “real” and “genuine” they are immediately signals to me that they aren’t “real” and “genuine” and minimally, they’re working really hard to be those things and and failing miserably. (Just like people who always brag about how smart they are. Sure … I believe you. You’re smart.)

Anyway, one of the main reasons I can’t take Banks seriously is because she tends to make mountains out of mole hills. The smallest things, for her, are the topics that make shows.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see someone else–Joy Bryant and her delightful nose thumbing approach–address Banks’ recent declaration of National Real Hair Day back in September and her subsequently sporting her real hair this season for the fifth season of her talk show.

Joy Bryan in her own words (from Essence’s website) …

As the threads of the grown-out tracks were being snipped, I broke out my laptop and began my ritualistic daily web search. I go from news of the day to articles/blogs about the news of the day, ending up on entertainment/gossip/fashion stuff.

But that day, something caught my attention and trumped all of the glowing reviews of President Obama’s health care speech:

It was Tyra’s hair.

National Real Hair Day? I missed that one…In fact, on National Real Hair Day, I was calling Extensions Plus in L.A. to make sure they had enough of the 20” “relaxed roots” texture hair that I love oh so much (and that keeps selling out like crazy!), and making an appointment to get my hair, I mean, my weave, hooked up.

So Tyra, while I didn’t take part in your observance, I just want to say: “WOW!” You are such a brave woman for breaking the chains that bound you since your teenage years! What courage that took, for you to expose yourself to millions of people! Such fearlessness!

Oh, how I wish I had the guts to do that. I guess I’m much too much of an insecure, self-loathing Negro for all that self-acceptance foolishness. I’m glad we got down to solving the mystery of what’s under your lace-front, though. I mean seriously, it was “THE” question that has perplexed the world over. And now we see that there’s a beautiful head of hair underneath it all, hair that was surprisingly relaxed and ready for the world. Whodathunkit?! If I had the same length and fullness of hair that you have, I might take my weave out too.

Ha!!!! I’m just playing! Even if I DID have your “real” hair, I’d still be wearing a few tracks or clip-ons up in there.


Because I’m straight weave fo life, kid!!!

Ima ride ride wit this weave, die die with this weave!!

Let me break it down for you:

See, I loooooove taking new hair out of the bag, combing through it with my fingers, holding it up with my two hands, and burying my face in it. Mmmm, mmmm, mmm! Nothing like a new batch of zig-zag curly to get your self esteem out of the dumps!

The feeling of getting my hair, I mean, my weave done over. I feel human again. I feel sexy. I feel powerful. It makes me feel … it makes me feel … it makes feel like a natural woman!!!

I can be whatever, whoever I want to be with the stroke of a sewing needle …

With long brown tresses and a tan, I’m Pocahontas, ’cause I got Indian in my family. With easy waves, I AM bohemian rhapsody goddess personified. And now that I got blond highlights! What!? I know I look like Beyonce! You can’t tell me nothing! Uh oh, uh oh …

And then I looked up from my computer, and caught a glimpse in the mirror of my head minus the long weavy locks. I looked crazy! Awww hell naw! I looked over at the new batch of hair sitting off to the side waiting to join forces with me. Damnit, I’m trapped, I thought to myself. I can’t let it go. I am powerless over it. Just when I think I’m done, it pulls me back in!

Now I guess I can get help for my self-loathing addiction. I can learn to accept myself in my entirety. I can emancipate myself from that which keeps me locked-up. I can embrace the natural state of things.

Yup, I can do all of that …

But don’t hold your breath!

Hi, my name is Joy, and I’m a weave-a-holic.

That was perf.


~ by MsInklination on September 30, 2009.

3 Responses to “Last Train to Banksville”

  1. That’s probably the best way to describe her. A caricature of herself. And that’s … not good. It’s disturbing.

    And Joy Bryant, yeah, I don’t know that you’d want her starring in the movie of your life, but she sure writes a good blog entry. At least that one. I don’t know what else she’s written.

    What do you think about putting Naturi Noughton in the running for your movie?

  2. I think I’m finally weaning myself off ANTM. I realized I keep watching hoping the show will magically return to its former glory. This short model cycle traipsing around in flat shoes seems to be what I need to kick the habit for good.

    I have trouble taking Tyra seriously as well. She seems like such a caricature of herself most of the time.

    As for Joy Bryant, I might have to add her to the list of actresses who I would let play me in the movie about my life.

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