Tyra Banks became Twitter’s latest casualty of the ever so random and aimless “woke wars” (or “Woke Olympics,” as I like to call them). Video footage from previous seasons of America’s Next Top Model had resurfaced on twitter, and the woke warriors wouldn’t rest until Tyra was successfully “canceled.”
Now, I will definitely acknowledge that some of the challenges were questionable, and I don’t feel Tyra effectively used her platform to dismantle discriminatory standards that existed in the modeling industry. I definitely do feel that there is something to be said about how damaging these standards are for aspiring models, and it’s odd that Tyra seemed to rigidly abide by them, especially given her own experience with body shaming from the media.
I do think there is an important factor that people are conveniently overlooking when it comes to this situation:
This was a reality TV show.
We are all well aware of the fact that reality TV is the epicenter for drama and, ironically, false reality. I’m not saying that this is an excuse, but I think Tyra was well aware of the medium she was entering and how to thrive in it–which she did, 24 seasons later.
It’s fascinating to see people pretend to be outraged over a a video clip from a show that had aired 15 years ago. People want Tyra to be held accountable for statements she made as a judge on the panel, but don’t want to discuss the fact that they were tuning in weekly to watch the drama transpire. And I get it– we were kids when this aired, of course you (hopefully) don’t think and behave the same way you would as a child. Why do we then expect Tyra to be held accountable for who she was 15 years ago, but not ourselves?
“Cancel Culture” in Relation to Black Women
I have a couple of takes on this situation, which are all based off of my own observation. First of all, “cancel culture” has absolutely no goal: it’s not about justice, or spreading awareness. People want to feel powerful, like they’re in a higher place of morality than others; think about it, what really happens after someone is “canceled”?
They either fade into obscurity, resurface when people have decided they can come out of time out, or these social justice warriors move on to a new target to cancel. It’s just a vicious cycle that doesn’t do anything other than further encourage hive mentality.
I hate to go there (but actually not really), but it’s interesting how quick people jump on the opportunity to shit on a black woman. It suddenly becomes okay for black women to be the punchline of everyone’s joke when it’s popular.
Nicki Minaj is the best selling female rapper of all time–but people all of a sudden think she’s a washed up hater because some karaoke rapper from the Bronx couldn’t get a hit without mentioning Ms. Minaj.
People on Twitter magically have amnesia and think that Tyra Banks isn’t a “real” model, stating she’s only done urban shoots despite walking in shows with Naomi Fucking Cambell .
When did it become popular to discredit a black woman’s accomplishments because social media decided they don’t like her– Cardi B has proven to be an ignorant, greedy, colorist mean girl, with numerous problematic videos of her resurfacing–why hasn’t she been canceled? Taylor Swift was outed as a crybaby liar–where are the social justice warriors demanding she apologize?
Now, I’m not saying that cancelling these two women will somehow even out the playing field–as I mentioned before, canceling is nothing but a game of “who’s more woke than the other.” I don’t even necessarily feel like Tyra is innocent– I think a constructive conversation definitely could’ve come out of this, but that’s ultimately not what anyone wanted.
It’s unfortunate that people nowadays lack capability of individual thought. You don’t have to tear anyone down for “woke” points–fight for what you believe, but those beliefs should be your own.