Tyra Banks is currently on a press run for new book, Perfect Is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss. The memoir largely covers her career, with the supermodel revealing Victoria’s Secret almost let her slip through their fingers because their on-set stylist had no clue how to work with her natural hair type.
“I had to figure out how to make sure I looked good at work, because I almost lost my opportunity at Victoria’s Secret,” Banks shared with W Magazine. “I was sent home the first day because the hairdresser didn’t know what to do with my African American hair, so it looked crazy.”
The following year, Banks had her own stylist do her hair before heading to set, refusing to let VS’s glam squad to touch her tresses.
“Then a year later, I finally begged my agent to get them to give me another chance, and I had my hairdresser come to my apartment in Union Square and wash, blow-dry, and flat-iron my hair. And then I wrapped it and put a scarf on until the next day, when I was on my way to Victoria’s Secret and stepped out of a cab and whooshed it off my head, walked in, got my makeup done, didn’t let the hair people touch me, went to the bathroom, redid my face, put on extra lip gloss, and walked on that set.”
She goes on, “Cut to a 10-year contract. I’m the first Black woman on the cover of their catalog; I’m the first Black woman to have a contract, to be an Angel, to wear a Fantasy Bra—all of these different things, because I stopped silently suffering.”
“And I do have to take my hat off to Victoria’s Secret, because that was the last time I ever had to do that—I talked to them and said, ‘Look, my hair is different, I need somebody who can do my hair.’ After that, they hired people who could do my hair for 10 years.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.