Inside, she tells Danielle James about all things Eva including her thoughts on Tyra Banks throwback “problematic” moments on America’s Top Model. Social media recently rehashed several scenes showing Banks subjecting aspiring models to “toxic” and “embarrassing” moments.
Eva fiercely defends Banks: “You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. Tyra created this show to give a platform, a voice, and a visual to beautiful people—women and then men alike that would not normally get any kind of attention because of the standards of beauty. She worked to try to dismantle this machine that said, ‘This is beautiful and this is not,’ giving people like me, and one of my closest friends, Toccara a chance.”
“That was a Kandi hangup, not an Eva issue,” she explains. “And we talked about it, we shook it out and we dealt with it on the show. It was very frustrating that they edited it and decided not to air it. I took large grievance with the fact that they would trivialize colorism issues, which is something we deal with in so many communities from Latin, Afro-Latino to Cuban; all the way across the board.”
She also defended her right to use the Black “colloquialism” and terms like “nappy head”, something she also said during her time on the show. According to Eva, it’s not that deep especially since she has light and dark skin people in her family and she’s curious as to why Porsha Williams wasn’t subjected to criticism for using the term “ashy.”
“Nappy head is something I say that I have and my daughter also has until we comb it out. I’m a Black woman and it is a colloquialism that we have used. You will not dictate, because your skin is a little darker than mine, what colloquialisms I can or cannot use.” She reminds me she’s from South Central Los Angeles, attended Clark Atlanta University, a historically Black college, and that her brother is “dark as cherry wood.” “My other brother is as light as the sun. We run the gamut. I have two Black parents.”
She calls out her former co-star Porsha Williams, for hypocritical behavior like using terms like “ashy.” “[The criticism] specifically came from Porsha who had a big issue,” Eva tells HelloBeautiful. “‘Why is you saying nappy head?’ And, ‘Bye ashy’ is okay?!”
“You will not dictate my speech as a Black woman. You will not shun me or quiet me. I’m not mixed. I’m not biracial. I’m Black. I’m going to say what I want to say to my community and in my language. Period.”
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