‘Natural Beauty Is Unfair’: Tyra Banks Gets Real About Plastic Surgery

Illustration for article titled ‘Natural Beauty Is Unfair’: Tyra Banks Gets Real About Plastic Surgery
Photo: Michael Tran (FilmMagic)

What’s better than true beauty? Women who are truthful about what it takes to be beautiful. That’s why we’re applauding Tyra Banks for telling the truth about plastic surgery in her upcoming memoir, Perfect Is Boring, written with her mother.


In an interview with People magazine, the veteran top model admits to having her nose augmented early in her career. “I had bones in my nose that were growing and itching,” she said. “I could breathe fine, but I added cosmetic surgery. I admit it! Fake hair, and I did my nose. I feel I have a responsibility to tell the truth.”


Banks also admonishes those who think “natural beauty” is the only true beauty. “Natural beauty is unfair,” she said. “I get really uncomfortable when women who are these natural beauties judge anybody who does anything to themselves.”

Banks is well-known for changing up her looks frequently as the host and creator of America’s Next Top Model, now in its 24th cycle. She considers makeup a vital part of her success: “As a model, I needed makeup. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It leveled my playing field,” she told People.

As a fellow model who also needs a little help before stepping in front of cameras, I’m inclined to agree: Makeup can be magic. And it’s a lot of fun, too.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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I don’t really care what other women do to make them feel beautiful and happy. You have got to feel comfortable and confident when you go out into the world- so you do you.

For my part, I LOVE makeup, seriously, & rock anything from a natural beauty (wearing neutral toned makeup, but you can’t tell) to eccentric glam. All clothing is costume and makeup just completes the look.

At the same time, I can’t do plastic surgery on my face or hair extensions that aren’t similar to my natural hair texture. My face might look better with a nose that is less broad, but that is my unapologetically Black Mama’s unapologetically Black nose. I see her face in my face and altering that feels like rejecting her and other members of my family. Similarly, when I was younger I tried every hairstyle under the sun. I am thought to be more attractive apparently, when I have long, wavy hair in a texture that is nothing like mine. People call me “exotic” and seem to find me racially ambiguous. That pisses me right off.

In order to feel beautiful, I have to feel powerful. In order to feel powerful- I have to prioritize my unique characteristics over conventional beauty norms. Otherwise, my bones itch. 🤣

Again, this is me- you do you.