We’re used to hearing stories of cattiness when it comes to super models and the toxic culture that comes with trying to be the baddest chick to hit the runway.
But when Black women are involved, we do expect them to fly above the fray and be each other’s keepers, right?
According to Tyra Banks, that wasn’t the case when it came to one of the most influential supermodels to everhit the runway, Naomi Campbell. In fact, Banks reveals that Campbell was a real mean girl and did everything in her power to ruin her career early on in the 1990’s.
While the two are all good now and have let bygones be bygones, Banks, 45, has forgiven but hasn’t forgotten the days of ole’ filled with feuds, nastiness and the tension she felt trying to make a name for herself in an industry where Campbell was already thriving.
The America’s Top Model host recalls: “I had a very painful early days in Paris. As much as I was booking every single fashion 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,” Banks told the Wall Street Journal. “And was doing everything in her power to make me go away.”
That woman was Naomi “petty Betty” Campbell.
She continued, “I didn’t understand that as a young girl, like why is she doing this? This is so evil. This is so awful. The adult me understands that she was reacting to an industry that was all about a token. When I came on the scene, ‘Naomi look out, there’s another Black girl that’s going to take your spot,’” she said people cautioned.
Banks said she didn’t even feel like it was a “rivalry” especially since she wasn’t trying to compete with her.
“It wasn’t a rivalry,” Banks said. “And I’m very sensitive to that word because a rivalry is with two equals to me, where one was very dominant. She was a supermodel and I was just some new girl that got on a plane from Paris and was studying fashion in magazines at a fashion library.”
Back in 2005, Banks brought Campbell on her The Tyra Banks Show to bury the hatchet and get to the bottom of the contentious relationship.
“I had made peace with Naomi Campbell,” Banks said previously on the show. “Sisterhood is so important to me.”