Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Full Picture
In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Tyra Banks sat down with Lee Hawkins to discuss the business of the 45-year-old multi-hyphenate. From her mega-million Victoria’s Secret contract and how she changed the format of reality television with America’s Next Top Model to being the first Black supermodel to cover Sports Illustrated and the first black woman to land the coveted GQ cover, Banks is talking about it all…including a decades-long “beef” of sorts with Naomi Campbell.
Tyra admits she didn’t feel at all welcomed in the fashion world by the 49-year-old superstar, despite them being the only two black faces dominating the runways in those days. “I had painful early days in Paris. As much as I was booking every show, people didn’t know I was going home at night crying my eyes out. Because a woman I was looking up to seemed like she just didn’t want me to be there. I didn’t understand that as a young girl, why is she doing this? This is so evil and awful.”
As an adult, the Bankable Productions CEO says she actually understands why Naomi treated her that way. “The adult me understands that she was reacting to an industry that was all about a token … But when I came on the scene — Naomi, look out! There’s a black girl that’s going to take your spot … Only one spot available.”
The two have since patched things up (remember that 2005 interview on Tyra?), but the normalcy of black women being pitted against each other is something that wouldn’t stop there. Watch the entire interview below.