tyra banks red carpet
photo: Splash News/@ParisaMichelle

After taking a brief hiatus from hosting "America's Next Top Model," Tyra Banks is back in her rightful spot at the judging panel! And to celebrate this momentous occasion, she posed as a "fierce" tiger for Paper Magazine's Winter 2017 issue. 

While many fans praised the shoot, they're definitely missing a major flaw with these photos, one Banks should have picked up on.

Women of color, especially Black women, have always been portrayed as animalistic, often placed in "jungle-themed" photo shoots. 

In an Instagram video, Banks morphs from a supermodel to a jungle cat, and there's not much explanation given for that in the actual interview. As a Black woman, I'm surprised Banks didn't see how this could be problematic. 

Could she be taking ownership of stereotypes by posing as a "Tyger?" Possibly. But the shoot portrays Banks as an overplayed trope rather than the supermodel/mogul/Stanford professor that she is today. 

If THAT wasn't bad enough, SHE'S ALSO WEARING CHAINS. 

Goodness gracious. This is really freaking bad. 

What's even odder is that Banks uses the interview as an opportunity to highlight the progressive changes in the "ANTM" casting, despite the creative direction of the shoot. 

This is the first year that the show won't have an age limit. “Who says 40 is too old to get your model game on? Not me, boo," Banks told Paper

But Banks, who is clearly trying to break stereotypes in fashion with this rule, is simultaneously encouraging them with this photo shoot. It's true that the creative direction and styling was done by well-known stylist B. Akerlund (who's worked with Madonna and Beyoncé), so it's unclear if Banks had a say in the overall aesthetics of the shoot, but she should've called out the potentially offensive elements beforehand.

In the Paper shoot, Banks is also crawling on the ground and wearing cat ears, but this is definitely not the first time Black women have been stuck with jungle/jungle cat themes.

The Victoria's Secret 2010 show had some models of color walk down the runway in animal print and vague tribal tattoos. Amber Rose was trapped in a damn cage in a Complex shoot. It even happens in music too, with Beyoncé dressing like a cat in her "Kitty Kat" music video. 

Teyana Taylor also transformed into a cat at the conclusion of Kanye West's "Fade" video. 

Just like with Banks, Taylor's "fierceness" (in addition to protecting her child like a "lioness") was the explanation for why she became a cat at the video's end, the choreographer, Jae Blaze, told Pitchfork. OK then.

Although not dressed as a cat, Nicki Minaj twerked in a jungle for her "Anaconda" music video.

Minaj is known for reclaiming her sexuality (which she certainly did during her own recent Paper shoot), but she used a tired theme for this particular video to do so.

Hopefully Banks and Paper can now see the MAJOR issues from this shoot. 

Look, I know that Paper's shoots are supposed to #BreakTheInternet, but they don't have to be racist in order to do so. It's insulting, especially in 2017, to see one of the world's top supermodels and a Black icon conveyed in such a way. Banks' influence extends over several arenas, so how she's portrayed speaks volumes. Do better, Paper Magazine. 

Visit Paper to see the pictures by Vijat Mohindra and read the full interview.