The Truth and Tyra Banks

Truth.  Truth is such a virtuous word, isn’t it?  After all, everyone wants to hear the truth.  Or, do they?

Sometimes I do.  If there was a piece of Charmin stuck to my shoe, I’d want someone to tell me the truth.  Or, if there was parsley in my teeth.  Or, if I accidentally dropped a few Benjamins out of my wallet. 

Other times, I’d rather that people kept the truth (or their perception of the truth) to themselves…unless I ask…or unless it’s totally positive…or unless it’s given as constructive criticism with a tactful and respectful delivery. 

A lot of times people tell me to stop talking and listen…to be more contemplative…and less direct with my choice of words.  I know they’re right… it’s the truth…and I’m working on being a better listener.

Listen Up MuleThat’s called ear to ear communication.  Oops!  Maybe I should be more serious in my efforts to improve.

With the wrong delivery, or inappropriate timing, or the lack of discretion when speaking the almighty truth, the words free-flowing out of your mouth can be ugly.  Sometimes the truth can hurt.  Sometimes it can scar.  Sometimes it does not need to be said out loud.

By now, you’re probably wondering how former supermodel Tyra Banks fits into this topic.  I’m sure that Tyra never gets tired of people speaking the truth about her beauty and success.  But, she probably didn’t like reading all of the media reports last year about her weight gain…even though it was the truth.

Take it from Tyra

This reminds me of something that Tyra  said about THE TRUTH on the spring 2011 cycle of her reality TV show, America’s Next Top Model. I’ve never forgotten her words.

Two of the contestants were arguing.  Girl #1 said that Girl #2 was shallow and undeserving of winning a spot to model in a PSA campaign.  It was true…the girl seemed shallow.  But, was announcing it to the world on national TV in full attack mode the right thing to do?  I’m not so sure, and Tyra agreed.  Said with confidence and poise, Tyra made an excellent point about how telling the truth can be outright rude.  She said,

A lot of young girls think that the opposite of fake is rudeness. And just as ugly as fake is, so is saying whatever is on your mind just because it’s the truth.

– Tyra Banks, 2011

I agree with Tyra.

Do you think the truth should always be told?

9 responses to this post.

  1. Tyra nailed it. There is always a more diplomatic way to make a point.


  2. Sometimes a bit of kindness overrides the need for accurate truth(yes, there is inaccurate truth). On the other hand we must never compromise integrity. I think it is OK to cheat and lie and do anything possible to defeat evil, however.


  3. Tyra is right. I try to hold to if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…though somethimes I slip. I do know I need to be a better listener and to more often think before I speak.


  4. Posted by Cindy on September 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Before telling someone “the truth” maybe we should ask ourselves “why am I telling this person the truth.” What is driving me to tell someone what might be a painfull truth. Afterall, we can all look at the same situation and see in it very different truths.
    “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” Not sure who said that but I think ….it’s true.


  5. I’m totally with you, Tracy!

    There are times when the truth should be spoken. However, there are other times that I’d rather people kept the truth (OR THEIR PERCEPTION OF THE TRUTH) to themselves…unless asked.

    People are sometimes too quick to give their opinions without first ‘thinking’ – stating their truth in a constructive way or contemplating where or not the truth is even necessary.

    I really only ask the opinions (truth) of people who I trust and respect.

    “A lot of times people tell me to stop talking and listen…to be more contemplative…and less direct with my choice of words. I know they’re right… it’s the truth…and I’m working on being a better listener.”

    Ironic you mentioned that because that’s exactly what I had to work on too. Becoming a better listener.

    LOVE Tyra’s response!

    Great post, girl! I’ve been so wanting to share a post about this topic myself.

    Have a supa’ day….X


  6. “I say it like it is…” I grew up with someone constantly saying that while they often just ripped people to shreds with their so called honesty. I often had to take it but I didn’t really know what to do with it or how to stand up to it. I ended up distancing myself from it. Gratefully I had come to realize that one can speak the truth but it is HOW you do it that makes all the difference. However, still to this day I find myself rather leaving relationships or distancing myself from them than speaking the truth because I don’t have the courage to hurt them and I don’t know how to make them realize what I mean but neither do I like what they’re doing. I would think, “Well, you have to right to do as you please – I can’t control that – but so do I have the right to choose not to put up with it.” It is just that that reasoning doesn’t make for plenty wonderful relationships. Sometimes I feel stuck in the place of knowing so well how it feels when someone hurts you like that, that I don’t have the courage to do it to someone else, but then the baby and the bathwater gets lost in the end…

    In many ways I feel like I’m still learning to stand up for myself in life; learning that in many things that people have done to me is NOT ok and I don’t have to put up with it… maybe in a way growing in confidence as I embrace more of my self worth.

    I agree though: if someone doesn’t ask you – invite you to speak into their life – then I don’t think you should just barge in with your steam roller. People need to know that it is NOT ok. Same with me: I don’t say something unless I ask for permission or is given permission because of the relationship that I share with a person. But despite of it all I try to be as diplomatic as I can – sometimes I’m so diplomatic that they don’t get just how upsetting something is… Then, of course, you get those who speak when they’re invited but then try to force it on you and get upset if you don’t respond the way they want you to. Those I get rid of pretty quickly.

    I am very opinionated, but much of my mind I don’t speak – especially when it comes to serious stuff. Maybe that is why so few people REALLY know me. I do believe in this though: influence THROUGH RELATIONSHIP. If you couldn’t waste your time building a relationship with me then you can keep your opinion – truth or not – to yourself. People don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care – John Maxwell.


  7. Posted by pattisj on September 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I’m with Tyra; there’s a time and place for everything, but some things should be kept to oneself.


  8. Posted by Bonnie on September 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

    A lot of gray areas exist in telling the truth, that’s for sure. Excellent post!!


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