Can you still be "real" while wearing makeup? Tyra Banks has the perfect answer.

Tyra Banks captioned this photo with “#BabyHair”. Source: Instagram.

At The Glow, we’re big fans of defining your own beauty, and it seems Tyra Banks agrees with us.

Tyra, who is the creator and host of America’s Next Top Model and one of the original Victoria’s Secret Angels, challenged her Instagram followers this week on what is more “real”: a bare, blatantly makeup-free face, or a fully made-up, glamazon-with-lashes-on look. Her answer: both, bitches!

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The makeup-free selfie has become a celebrity cliché, and Tyra did not disappoint yesterday. She uploaded a bare-faced, filter-free photo to Instagram, explaining her motivations in the caption thus: “You deserve to see the REAL me. The REALLY real me.”

Tyra Banks' makeup-free selfie. Source: Instagram.

Like many others, Tyra was tempted to retouch the photo. She wrote, “I wanted to smooth out my dark circles so badly!!! But I was like, ‘Naw, Ty. Show 'em the REAL you.’ I am. Raw.”

The praise came immediately. One of Tyra’s followers wrote, “You've just given millions of girls and women the confidence that our pretence and artificial society steals from them. You are an inspiration and you expose a beauty that runs deeper than filters and make up! Thank you.”

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And yet, the next day, Tyra turned all of this on its head with a new Instagram selfie, this time wearing a dramatic, smoky eye makeup look, with glossy lips and a subtle cheek contour.

The next day, Tyra uploaded this glamorous selfie. Source: Instagram.

Wait – we thought Tyra was showing us her “real” self, and now she’s uploaded a filtered, makeup-heavy photo? Will the real Tyra Banks please stand up?


Perhaps sensing this confusion, Tyra explained this new photo also portrayed her as looking “real”.

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“The painted face you're looking at right now...THIS is REALLY me, too…It's real because I'm keepin' it REAL by admitting I need to put stuff on my face to look like a supermodel…And I'm not ashamed to admit it. None of us should be,” she advocated. (Post continues after gallery.)

It’s refreshing to hear different definitions of “real” beauty, particularly from a woman like Tyra who has spent her career dealing in the world of image and appearance. In these times, when us ordinary folk can project images of ourselves constantly with the tap of a finger, an understanding of our identity becomes crucial.

To have an image expert like Tyra Banks (she did coin the term “smize”, after all) define beauty as both “natural” and “made-up” gives power back to our actions and character. To say it’s real to wear makeup, while it’s also real to go without, reminds us that true power comes from choice.

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It may have just been two photos from a supermodel, but it was nonetheless a statement on the strength gained from freedom. So, today, wear your red lipstick or don’t; you’ll still be you, and we’ll always be more interested in the words that come out of your mouth, rather than what you do or don’t slather on it.

What do you think - can you still be "real" while wearing tons of makeup? 

Watch Nikkie of YouTube channel, NikkieTutorials, demonstrate why she loves makeup.

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