This past Friday, while America was still trying to cope with the awesome power of a prime time Mischa Barton nipple slip, there were some people who realized that there were more important things in the world, like making sure that two supermodels could put aside years of hostility towards each other in hopes that they, along with an entire nation, could get back to healing their wounds. It was enough to make you want to cry knowing how Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks could take what they have learned over many years of fighting and use it in hopes of preventing other young women from having to face the same things themselves. It was an afternoon of old memories, new apologies, and the seven deadly sins of sisterhood.I was very excited to see exactly what was going to happen on the set of Tyra’s show. By now, their feud is well known, but what was very interesting about the show is that it was almost entirely non-confrontational. Although Tyra was trying to play this off as a chance to get everything out in the open and get real, it turned out to be not quite as revealing or catty as I had hoped. Tyra is still new at this talk show business, and her interview skills are still, how do you say it? Oh yes, a work in progress. As for Naomi, we know she has anger issues, and it looks like she was trying not to stir things up
In case you couldn’t tell Tyra was serious, she told us she was worried about what was going to happen…WITHOUT ANY MAKEUP.
Naomi’s grand entrance. Did they pat her down for any weapons beforehand? Like a cell phone or blackberry?
Tyra started the interview by talking about how she has been haunted by the memories of the bad press. Early on in her career, she idolized Naomi, but even before she got to meet her in person, the press had started a competition among the two of them. Sometimes I am convinced that all models are forced to fight each other in some ancient temple to see who is superior, like in the Karate Kid part II. Of course, most of the fighting would probably be over who would get the best kimono, but I think it would be interesting nonetheless. Anyway, Naomi was very nice to Tyra when she first came on the scene, and Tyra remembered Naomi giving her some vitamins when they were on a photo shoot together and Tyra was feeling sick on a boat. HA! Vitamins! While everybody was coming clean, I wish the two of them would have said how many times a photographer made them do coke before taking their picture.
It’s a day of healing. From all angles.
The interview continued, and it was basically filled with Tyra asking Naomi about all of the bad things she heard people say about her, and Naomi not really remembering if she said those things at all. Tyra would then say something like “Those things really hurt me” and then Naomi would say things like “What matters is what’s going on now.” I thought Tyra looked like she was getting annoyed whenever she would accuse Naomi of getting her kicked off of runway shows and Naomi would respond by saying that she had people around her that were giving her bad advice. And really, that’s the great thing about having an entourage; whenever something goes bad, you can blame them. How long before Britney Spears blames marrying Kevin Federline on “bad advice from people around her” and not “I didn’t know you had to take the pill EVERY day”? I’m putting the over under at 6.5 weeks after she divorces him, which I put at 12.5 weeks.
To tell you the truth, I was thinking about turning off the show, but you know the rules for the Tivo. If the viewing’s not complete, you must not delete. Things started to get interesting after Tyra started talking about why she wanted to get out of the high fashion industry. She had told people that she couldn’t take the demands of maintaining a model weight, and told her agent to go to Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, places where they wouldn’t frown if she had a curve or two. Tyra told Naomi that her eating and weight were not the only reason she left the industry; a big portion was that she couldn’t mentally handle the way she was being treated. Finally, she said that one of the reasons why she created TZONE (her foundation promoting independence and self-esteem for girls) and started ANTM was as a response to the way she was treated.
I know this might not be kosher to say, but THANK YOU NAOMI!. If you weren’t such a bitch, maybe that 1997 Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover never would have happened, and one of my favorite Tyra pictures. never would have either. Isn’t the advent of ANTM worth the minor psychological trauma Tyra endured?
It was about this time where Naomi started to open up a little bit more. She said that what happened in the past is not important, because she has so much more to live for now. She went on to talk about her addiction and recovery, and while this may be the first time I have seen Naomi being interviewed, she had me convinced that she was being sincere when she started talking about how therapy had helped her, and alluded that it helped her remember things from her childhood that had affected her. Naomi didn’t say sexual abuse, but Tyra channeled her inner Katie Couric, sniffed it out, and asked her if that was the case. Naomi didn’t confirm anything other than to say that she was always outspoken and stuck up for herself even as a little girl.
Up until this time, the studio audience had been absent, and when they came back, the tone was much friendlier. After she came out for the second time, Naomi told Tyra that she took responsibility for anything she might have done wrong in the past and thanked Tyra for the chance to come on and talk about it. That sentence was really all that Tyra wanted to hear, and she nearly broke down crying.
Naomi then got a chance to talk a little bit about herself, and continued to open up a little bit more emotionally, especially when talking about her mother. She admitted that one thing she envied Tyra for was that Tyra was able to bring her mom everywhere (Tyra said the only reason she kept her mom around was to help her cope with people like Naomi). Naomi’s mom had to stay home and raise her brother, and it was difficult for her because the only person who Naomi could ever trust was her mother. She then revealed that her mother had breast cancer and was in the United States getting treatment. To add a little intrigue to this whole tale, we learned that Naomi’s mom and Tyra have the same birthday and look a lot alike. Oh, they’re just telling this to us NOW? I am not Naomi’s or Tyra’s therapist (although either are welcome on my couch at any time), but does anybody think that might have just a little bit to do with the issues between these two?
I wish somebody would have taken the time to answer why Tyra’s dress had that strange bib.
We rushed through the final segment with Naomi talking about her line of perfumes. For those of you who want to smell like a million dollar lawsuit, she is introducing her first fragrance in the United States. But we had to get on to more important things, perhaps the most important part of the episode: sisterhood. Sisterhood is Tyra’s main cause. She says that girls spend too much time hating on each other, and not enough time helping and being positive towards each other, and she believes that this environment prevents all women from being as strong as they could be because of the negative feelings they have for each other. Tyra calls them the Seven Deadly Sins of Sisterhood, and to demonstrate, she had seven girls tell their tales of the deadly sins.
Betrayal: You told me that my ass didn’t look big in capri pants.
Manipulation: You told me to divorce my husband and then you married him two months later
Judgment: Does it matter that I like the sponge?
Envy: So my boyfriend makes more money than yours. DEAL.
Gossip: I don’t do THAT on the first date.
PASSION! OK, just kidding about that one.
Competition: Constantine loves me more than you.
Resentment: We showed up at the same party wearing the same dress, and you spilled a drink on me. Then poured beer on my weave!
That’s a lot of ways to say that girls are often huge bitches to each other, and Tyra wanted to make sure that it all stopped. She would not stand for sisters hating on each other any more. This seems odd to me because I believe the thing that got me hooked on ANTM was the betrayal, manipulation, judgment, envy, gossip, competition, and resentment displayed each week. Without any of those, you have a show that is so boring, not even PAX would air it. Quite honestly, the whole thing looked like it was just a glorified way to get people to tell their stories so Tyra could have them on the show later and cry about it all over again.
After telling everybody to go to tyrashow.com for more information, the show ended with a runway duel between Tyra and Naomi, with a twist! Tyra would do an impression of Naomi’s walk, and Naomi would do an impression of Tyra’s walk. Is there any more definitive proof that Tyra and Naomi don’t hate each other any more than a humorous game of pantomime down the runway? Tyra and Naomi can sleep better tonight, and so should you.