I’m not sure if her passion was modeling, to be honest, but if it had been, she’d have been a super-successful model.
And recently, Buzz Feed actually did a story with her, and I was so proud of it.
There was some bleeding and swelling and she was crying, and I looked at it like a boo-boo, not realizing how serious it really was.
We didn’t have that—we had to create the Black Girls Coalition and do a press conference to get our voices out, and now you can pick up a phone and say, "I’m so tired of going to jobs and then not having my foundation and makeup color or hairdressers who don’t know how to do my hair and I’m looking crazy."Right.
Hair in particular is something you write about initially being an issue in your career.
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. My mom and I will get on an airplane to see a showcase house, which is when a designer takes a room and decorates it their way, and how I hire some of them. I'm like, "Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite? And I really have some catching up to do—I have to tell you, this book tour is quite overwhelming.
Getting into the culture questions, since you just mentioned social media, what are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow? "Carolyn: "Finesse" [by Bruno Mars, featuring Cardi B].
Then my mom came and we talked to Tiffany together, no cameras, one-on-one, and her saying, "That was mean and over-the-top, but this girl believes in you." And I did try to do some mentoring with her after the show.
I wasn’t as successful as I would have liked to be, which was possibly my fault.
I thought it was very honest journalism; they didn’t try to sugarcoat me or sugarcoat her.
I’m paraphrasing, but she was like, "Tyra had a point, but it was frickin’ crazy." I thought it was very fair, and she seems to be so at ease right now, which is great. [The story from the book that's made the most news is definitely when you talk about getting a nose job. Carolyn: Well, the story is that when she was about three years old, she was playing in our concrete driveway, and she fell flat on her face.
So I’d write it in the moment and I get a little flowery and very descriptive, and I’m so proud of it.
And then I say, "Tyra, look what I wrote last night! Hmm, you could say that in one sentence," and she’d just cross it all out! There’s a part in the book about how I call my mom and I’m like, "Mom, I’m having my period, don’t tell daddy! " I sent her that part, and said, "Now, Ma, write your response and say what you did." So she’s like—this is her writing—Tyra got on that phone and she called me and I heard those words and I remember back in the day when my mom didn’t tell me about my period but I didn’t want her to be ashamed, and I thought about her father, and how she shouldn’t be ashamed with her father, and I contemplated, Should I tell him? I’m not sure., and film our girls practically 24 hours a day, and every episode is made up of four days, so do the math of 24 times four: I have to edit that down to 40-something minutes for people to watch it. Tyra: I remember people not being able to look in my eye after it happened, and going to my mom, as I talk about in the book.
Now, of course, Banks has built something of an empire after more than 20 seasons of her competition show is not a novel; instead, it's a back-and-forth conversation between "Tyra and her Mama," as the cover puts it, that reads like a text or e-mail chain—and happens to be something of a guidebook for the many fans and friends who've come up to them and said how envious they are of their relationship.