Yesterday I got to realize one of my dreams: I sat in the studio audience for a taping of Tyra. Jezebels Moe, Jennifer and I thought we were attending TyTy's big deal Barack Obama interview, but when we got there, we learned that the Obama show had been shot earlier in the morning. [Ugh. -Ed.] So what was the topic of our show? Vaginas! Moe was sort of devastated that we'd missed out on Tyra's interaction with our possible future president (you just know she talked about Spanx and weaves with him), but I actually couldn't be happier. Genitals are my beat. When the production assistants told us the show's title — "What's Up Down There: The Vagina Dialogues" — I immediately turned to Jennifer and was like, "I really hope we find out Tyra's pubic hair situation today." You'll be happy to hear that we totally did!
OK, so first off, the audience-corralling at Tyra is so budget. We were made to wait in a basement with cinder-block walls that, coupled with the metal detectors at the door, made it feel like we were at Central Booking or something. The middle-aged black lady sitting next to me made the experience so much better, though. A true Tyra fan, she was just as excited to be there as I was, and just as put off by the amenities in our holding cell. "Why don't they have flat screen TVs?" she asked me. "They just got that bunk Panasonic box," she said, referring to the 13" tube television playing an old episode of Tyra off a VHS tape.
When we first walked in the door, they confiscated our cell phones and cameras, which pissed us off to no end, seeing as we were planning on live blogging the whole thing. We were also given a weirdly faded ditto copy of a diagram of a vagina. Check it out:
Aside from the vulva barely being visible, it's practically impossible to tell where these lines are pointing! Anyway, we were asked to fill in the blanks, naming the different parts of it. Mrs. Awesome, as I'll call my new friend, was like, "There are so many parts! Oh my God! Well, I know this one. That's the labia. That's the 'flappy.' That's how you remember that: The labia is the flappy."
She didn't know the rest of the answers, so she started copying mine, as though it were a test and we'd be graded on it. I'd put in joke answers like "Urethra Franklin" and "Labia Menorah." She totally wrote them on hers too, thinking it was correct.
So, after waiting for what seemed like a billion years, we got to go to the studio and I got chills — partly because I was excited and partly because it was fucking freezing in there. After we were seated (all the way in the back), and pumped up by the crowd-warmer, Tyra herself came out. I knew it would be a "very special episode" serious-type show because she didn't runway-walk out to the stage or elevate from the floor through the clouds of a smoke machine (which pissed me off so much, since that's right where we were sitting). Instead, she simply came out and took a seat on stage to do a quiet intro.
Things got awkward immediately because of technical difficulties, so Tyra just sat there not saying anything, while her groomer brushed her weave (he would do this about every two minutes throughout the duration of the taping). I was so gutted; I really truly believed that she would interact with us, but instead, she just pretended that we weren't there. Oh, and the "questions" from audience members? They were all staged, written on cue cards for people pre-picked to read.
The actual show however, was the height of retardation. Moe, Jennifer and I really thought that we'd be experiencing an intelligent, open discourse about vaginas, but it was more like the ABC's of Sex Education for Trainables. Tyra was all, "Women are actually afraid to discuss their genitals, look at them, or even say the word 'vagina.'" Jennifer, Moe and I were like, "Wha?! We sort of do all of that like all day long." (And actually, I tend to say "pussy" or "vadge" more than "vagina.")
"In fact," Tyra went on, "Many women don't even know that we don't pee out of the same hole that we have babies."
The taping took like 4 hours, mainly because they stopped every few minutes for Tyra to get her makeua and hair re-done. She never once acknowledged audience members, who were so obviously in adoration of her. (BTW, her ass looked amazing in person.) It wasn't until the very end of the show when the theme song (sung by Fergie) began playing that TyTy came out of her shell. She started dancing like fool, doing the Roger Rabbit and the running man, and being the campy Tyra that we all know and love.
But ultimately, she was just really disappointing. Isn't she always trying to remind us that she's "one of us." She's always trying to be relatable, when really, she's barely likeable. I guess I could've predicted she'd be an asshole, though.
Oh! And in case you were wondering: Tyra has pubic hair! But she left it up to our imaginations about just how much she has. I'm thinking her pussy hair is kinda like her thighs: Thick.