Smizes at the ready, Tyra Banks is back with the latest cycle of America's Next Top Model. The model, TV presenter, and singer (yes, she made a song) is presenting her flagship show for its 24th cycle, premiering with an episode called 'The Boss Is Back'.
People are seriously excited.
Who else is ready to watch the queen return to #ANTM? (📸:.@tyrabanks)#tyrabanks #model #modelmoment #modelbehavior #modelife #modelsearch #realitytv #tvshow #actresslife #lifesize pic.twitter.com/UAeKuZzGSC— LifeLove&PopCulture (@ll_popculture) January 9, 2018
And why wouldn't they be? ANTM is a fun and exciting reality show, where models compete in a variety of exotic shoots to be crowned winner, and get all the endorsements and modelling opportunities that come with it. It has also given us some iconic moments, like Tyra yelling at former contestant Tiffany, a hilariously over-the-top encounter that went viral and spawned many memes and parodies.
But not everything Tyra Banks gets involved in is all fun and games. Tyra launched her own cosmetics brand Tyra Beauty, back in 2014. Taking her cue from companies like Avon and the controversial Herbalife, she decided to use a direct sales model.
Salespeople, known as 'Beautytainers' in Tyra-speak, would buy product and then try to shift it. It became pretty controversial from the get go.
Tyra was accused of running a pyramid scheme or a multi-level marketing scam, when it was revealed that 'Beautytainers' stood to make more money by attempting to recruit other people.
People accused Tyra of using her name to promote an unjust scheme. She told New York magazine "I'm ready to come back and help share and inspire women to start their own businesses. That's my passion, every day. I hunkered down and put my nose to the grindstone at Harvard Business School, learning more about the tools I needed to launch my business."
Except, Tyra didn't attend Harvard Business School. She took a non-degree course that doesn't have education requirements, news site Jezebel revealed. They like to refer to people on the course as 'clients' - not students.
As for Tyra's 'Beautytainers', the embarrassment of losing money may have prevented more from speaking out. One journalist documented her experience of Tyra Beauty, and took home only $27.75, and was required to sell - or buy herself - $150 worth of product each month to stay on the programme.
After significant criticism and people's concerns came to light, Tyra decided to end the direct sales arm of her cosmetics company in May 2017, leaving thousands of Beautytainers wondering what was next. They were not happy.
So I signed up to be a beautytainer and I guess it was a scam cuz now it's all over after I wasted my money @tyrabanks— Bria (@BriaTheAuthor) May 26, 2017
Welp! The Tyra Beauty Facebook page is still active, and all of these comments are still there. There are a lot more angry comments from disgruntled former Beautytainers.
As of now, Tyra has not reimbursed those who were left out of pocket from Tyra Beauty, and hasn't offered an apology for the whole mess. Maybe she should take her own advice.
What do you think? Excited for ANTM? Do you think Tyra should apologise and refund her Beautytainers? Let us know in the comments below.
WATCH: Tyra's music video for 'Shake Ya Body'