Tyra Banks reveals in her memoir, Perfect Is Boring, which is released next week, that she has had plastic surgery. ‘I had bones in my nose that were growing and itching,’ she told People. ‘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.’
Her rhinoplasty admission may seem like a revelation, but it shouldn’t. Kylie Jenner confessed on an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, ‘I have temporary lip fillers. It's just an insecurity of mine and it's what I wanted to do.’ Courtney Cox has spoken out about using facial fillers, Cameron Diaz has said she had a nose job and Cher has revealed she had breast augmentation. Rumors have swilled since her career started that Bella Hadid has also had surgery, yet nothing has been confirmed.
Whether these celebrities have or haven’t altered their appearances, they exist in an industry where reality is a blurry concept. The media and their publicists trick us into believing they lead certain lives that they may not, date certain people they did not and look a certain way naturally regardless that it takes untold amounts of money to pay for stylists, hair appointments and on-call make-up artists. I question, is this any different?
On her hit TV show America’s Next Top Model Banks ordered her models to have their hair cut, coloured and changed to her whim, to wear coloured contact lenses, to have their eyebrows a certain way. Her own images from her career as a Victoria’s Secret and Chanel model were retouched and refashioned to fit a pre prescribed ideal.
We live in a world where truth isn’t a currency that sells. Looking at an advertisement or an Instagram image without an air of skepticism is ill-advised. ‘There is a boundary line, either you’re super natural or you live at the plastic surgeon.’ Said Banks, ‘It’s okay to hop back and forth over that line. You want a hair weave? Fine. You want permanent eyebrows? Fine. We as women need to stop judging.’
Understandably some may be upset that, Banks, now 44, projected as a catwalk model the image of the ‘ideal’ woman and yet that wasn’t naturally the case. However, since the age of 15, the model, actress, author and host has been in the public eye. Coming of age in an era when there were few high-profile black faces in fashion she has boldly spent her career highlighting and championing difference, especially within ANTM where the contestants on her show were of all sizes, creeds, race and sexuality. It would be a mistake to judge Banks based on this one fact.