There is a lot of interesting chatter on the internets about Tyra Banks posing as Michelle Obama in the new issue of Harpers Bazaar. The reactions range from appreciation for the artistic interpretation to downright disgust of the talk show host’s newest gimmick. For the record, I think this is some of Tyra’s best modeling work, second only to the infamous Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover. The Bazaar photo shoot records the historic event (of the beginning) of the Obama Presidency and its magnetic effect on many Americans, especially African-Americans. Using Tyra transforms the images from simply photos to works of art. However, the reasons for the negative reviews are varied, partially complicated, and even embarrassing for some to admit.
First, many people simply don’t like Tyra because of the sometimes, how shall I say, silly topics discussed on her popular talk show. Not to mention the lengths Banks will go for her audience, including wearing a fat suit, x-raying her breasts, disguising herself as a male member of a hip-hop entourage, and making oddball comments causing her celebrity guests some discomfort. That being said, her target audience are late-teen and early twenty-something females who have made her show a hit. If they like it, I love it.
Second, there is an underlying, sometimes uncomfortable attraction to the married Senator by many women, which could translate into to a sort jealousy towards Tyra-as-Michelle because she is all hugged up with “Barack”. And some other women are subconscious incarnates of an imaginary irritated Michelle, giving Tyra the “I know that b*tch ain’t trying to push up on my man” side-eye. The truth is that Barack Obama has “it”, similar to JFK and Bill Clinton (when he had some f*cking sense). Barack is intelligent, charismatic,very attractive, and an alpha-male, hence the female swooning and the above mentioned interesting reactions. Since I’ve gone this far, I might as well admit, for a couple of months there, I was “swooning” a bit too much myself. Luckily, I got over it and was able to return to the realization that, looks aside, he is an incredibly impressive candidate. Which leads me to my next point.
Over the course of the primary, and now the general election, I have become a serious fan of Michelle Obama. Initially watching her on the Oprah show when Barack hinting at a run for the White House, I wasn’t really feeling her because I could tell she was having some reservations about Barack running for President. Michelle said in a later interview that she was thinking as a wife and a mother as opposed to a citizen, which led her to change her mind and completely support Barack’s choice…which lead me to completely support her. There was also some mention of Michelle being not to pleased about doing the “makeup/being pretty” aspect of public life, but I am so happy to see that she is completely embracing being a beautiful, black role model. Didn’t she look ridiculously beautiful in the purple dress after the Texas primary loss?
Additionally, with so many of us being in the Michelle Obama fan club, we are now giving Barack the “YOU better not f*ck it up for us, I don’t give a damn how sexy you are” side-eye. The Tyra pics just bring all these complicated emotions to the surface.
There was also another interesting response. I was watching “The Verdict with Dan Abrams” and Contessa Brewer discussed her adamant opposition, almost aversion to the Tyra pics. It reminded me of Chris Rock when he was discussing the n-word on Oprah. Rock was stating how white people have so much, but that one thing alludes them, (paraphrasing) “I know we have everything in the world, but we want that too. Why can’t we say it? Why? Why? Why?” I thought Contessa’s odd reaction was a result of her realizing that she (or any other white woman) could never play the part of Michelle Obama. Maybe I’m wrong, but her comments were nonsensical and tinged with a bit of envy. Maybe it’s just me…