Tuesday, November 10, 2009


"...gives young women the 'girlfriend' they want to hang out with, and the role model they need." -Description for "The Tyra Banks Show"
If you're gonna be a racist, fuck it, shoot for the stars. Today's entry in the annuls of LightWeight Racism reveals one of the brightest examples 2009 has produced thus far... Ladies & Germs, please welcome LigheWeight Racist Of The Year Nominee: Tyra Banks.
*Roll the clip... *

We decided since we couldn't possibly decide where to begin, so we wanna let the comments speak... so have at it. Best comments get featured + goodies!

Shouts to our girl Ms. Faison for the tip!


  1. i'm bi-racial and i don't think Tyra is being racist.

    if she wants the girls to look like they are another race, then you have to put makeup on them. all the photo shoots looked tasteful.

    i think it's cool that she is talking about being "hapa" on TV, most people don't know what that is.

  2. This kicks ass. Most of the modeling shows or shows in general put layers and layers of powder on the girls' faces in order to make them look the lightest possible and completely different from their natural selves.
    The only reason this was weird is because we are use to seeing people portray themselves as white or as close to white as they can get but not use to seeing people portray themselves as the darker-skinned ethnicities, at least not on purpose.
    The fact that they had all these light skinned models to work with but chose to make them dark for the photoshoot is a step in the right direction for a balance in what we present as "beauty" in our society.

  3. If Tyra was really interested in showcasing all kinds of natural beauty, she would ensure that her contestants naturally reflected that beauty. More than half of the final five are girls of European descent. Darkening people so they can be photographed, is just as problematic as lightening people so they can "pass".

    It isn't a mistake or circumstance that "they had all these light skinned models to work with". Tyra and ANTM are reinforcing stereotypes of traditional beauty - this one photoshoot highlighting different skin tones does nothing to create a balanced portrayal of beauty that includes wider noses, narrower eyes, broader faces, or rounder chins. Paint it whatever color you like - the Euro shines right through and slaps all of the "naturally" beautiful women in the face.

    Not to mention all of the other fucked up stuff slapping women in the face in this short 8 minutes...

  4. Thanks, Sele.

    One of the things that stands out to me is how the young white woman on the show exclaims "I've always wondered what I would LOOK LIKE as a different race!" She doesn't wonder what life would BE LIKE if she were a different race/ethnicity. That's a question white people overall are pretty unwilling to engage with, and one that takes a lot of listening, and acknowledging the ways in which racism has real impacts. These (mostly white) models aren't being asked to engage with the complicated realities of race, lived experience, and racism. In fact, they're blithely telling us that they haven't got a clue where the places they're "representing" even are, but that they'll perform them anyway. It's a universalizing of white experience, based on an assumed white center of the world, in which little blonde Empire takes whatever she likes from the rest of the world, and reaches out to touch the Black girl's hair.

    It's fucked up that Tyra propped these painted models up in front of a sugarcane field and told them to embody their characters by "feeling the beat" of music they don't know, haven't heard, and aren't asking about.

    In addition, check out this blog post about a similar situation in October Vogue: http://threadbared.blogspot.com/2009/10/blackface-and-violence-of-revulsion.html

  5. Wtf. No Filipino/Swedish ones? I'm offended!

  6. Seems like instead of achieving equality in acceptance, we're moving toward equality in discrimination. In other words, we still have a long way to go in achieving true equality. Check out my blog about racism at http://aljelo.blogspot.com/