Would You Let A Man Upgrade You?

March 27, 2012  |  

Thanks to Beyonce, we typically only think about women upgrading men these days and depending on how much you’re willing to invest in a little DIY man project, this is either well worth the effort or a big no-no.

When we talk about men upgrading women, we think of calculated moves, like golddiggers trying to trap celebrities and pro athletes. Although on the other end of the spectrum there’s the Cinderella stories of the average woman sweeping some billionaire off his feet and suddenly not having to lift a finger for the rest of her life—think Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan. But as enticing as the idea of a financial come up accompanying true love appears in the movies, Tyson Beckford’s recent comments on his regular-girl-turned-supermodel girlfriend are a quick snap back to reality.

The Evening Standard caught up with Tyson to see what the 41-year-old who’s fallen off of the supermodel radar for a while now has been up to and he said some interesting words about his girlfriend, Australian model Shanina Shaik, who has walked for some of the biggest brands in the industry from Victoria’s Secret, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and L’Wren Scott. Ironically, as Tyson talked about trying to warn his girlfriend that the fashion industry can be “ugly, mean and shallow,” he said this about her:

“When I found her she was a regular girl. I helped place her with the right people, get her teeth cleaned, her body toned up. Everything changed and now everyone wants a piece of her.

“I hear people say, ‘You can do better than Tyson.’ I’m like, ‘Really? Really?! I created her!’?”

While I get what Tyson is trying to say about people hating on their relationship, he might want to chill on the whole “I created her” attitude. You got her teeth cleaned and hired a personal trainer, what is this MTV’s “Made?” And who tells that? If my man had to do those things for me, I certainly wouldn’t want him bragging about it to a national publication and then trying to act like I can’t go anywhere else because I would just go back to being a “regular girl” without him.

Nowadays most women, black women especially, are focused on getting their own without a man but Tyson’s comments demonstrate what’s tricky about a man completely changing a woman’s lifestyle—she starts to seem like a trophy wife/girlfriend rather than a woman who they fell in love with as they were and then helped them achieve their own goals. I can’t say he wouldn’t have dated Shanina as she was when they first met but his comments definitely make her sound like a piece of eye candy—or that her being with him is the real driving force behind their successful career.

I feel like his “I created her” statement is one of those comments that come out in a heated argument and make you say, “oh, so that’s how you really feel?” At the end of the day I don’t ever want to feel like a man has something over my head by upgrading my lifestyle and showing me the “finer” things in life, as Tyson is apparently accustomed to waking up in “Dubai one day, Paris the next.” I definitely think it’s possible for two people to come from different classes or financial backgrounds and mutually improve each other’s lives but when a man is trying to act like he has to take me from Ragedy Brande to Halle Berry, I’ll pass.

What do you think about Tyson’s comments on his girlfriend? Could you ever let a man upgrade you like he did?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

More on Madame Noire!

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • That’s tactless, arrogant, & egotistical..

  • Um no. Instead of becoming rich, beautiful, and glamorous, and not to mention weight loss, good food, bills paid, I would definitely want to stay a ” broke a $ $ struggling overweight thinking a college degree will get me anywhere lady”. What fool would knowingly pass up the chance to get upgraded? At least you could marry a rich guy until you lose your looks, then of course he would leave you but at least you could feed yourself for the rest of your life after you divorce.

  • Gmarie

    It does not have to be physically or even financially, but you should be able to take SOMETHING positive from your mate, as you should be able to give something. A lot of times it’s just something as simple as knowledge, or etiquette. Viewing it from that point? Yes, I’d love for my man to “upgrade” me

  • NikkitaMichelle

    Most men who have money who don’t marry money upgrade their women.   There’s not a BBW or  RHOA (other than a couple of the women who had their own success prior to meeting their men) who were upgraded by someone.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but if you love the person you helped them out of love; not so you could go back and tell the world you made them.  If you’re still with the chick why are you putting her on blast?  Let her make the comments about all that you’ve done for her don’t go around boasting.  It only makes you look like an a$$.

  • Anon

    Also I think a lot of you are misunderstanding what he means by he “created her”. He doesn’t mean literally, he means the Supermodel version of her, her image. He created professional persona and career.

  • Anon

    Absolutely yes I would allow a man to upgrade me as Tyson clearly did for his girlfriend. Without him, his money, and his connections there probably wouldn’t have been a Supermodel her. She would have been just another cute girl.

  • Sabbyt2003

    Upgrade me.

  • MillieG1

    Tyson Beckford is egostatical regarding his comments stating his,  “created his girlfriend”. Reality check Tyson,  Shanina Shaik parents are genetic creator, not you ego maniac. I also think its distasteful to publicly broadcast the details involed in enhancing Shanina Shaik teeth and body.

  • You can “create” a recording artist but it’s nearly impossible to create a real model.  Models have to be a certain weight, height, body frame, and have a distinctive look.  I don’t think Shanina was ever regular.  He’s just full of himself and yes, she can do better!!

  • guestsss

    I agree with Madame Noire, I wandered in the heat of argument would he remind her that  ”
    he created her” remember she’s a piece of art, this is the ish I don’t like about people helping you out, why would he make such comment you had your shine and everyone know who you are or is it jealousy, yes you might had help open some door for her but is her beauty and her body that got her those contracts. Just like when people help you getting a job interview but did they get you the job, I don’t think so, you have to sell yourself in that interview to get the job, it’s not you’re not grateful they got you at the door but sometime they make it seems like they got you the job. 

  • Glittermagic86

    is it just me… or do they kind of look alike? i mean obviously different skin color… but the eyes, nose, smile, cheekbones?

  • RedButterfly81

    No Tyson, God created her, you just fixed her up like she’s friggin’ Frankenstein, except that she was already alive. But to answer this question, no. If a man can’t accept me for who I am physically, then I rather be alone because I love myself way too much to let a man change my outer appearance.

  • Pivyque

    Created her? No. He “discovered” her. They are cute together. I hope they don’t let others come in between their relationship.

  • Marci

    I’m not that shocked he’s the first male supermodel! So of course, image is everything to him. BUT, he didn’t have to put her on blast like that. That’s disrespectful.

  • mochaaa

    Very disrespectful. Kanye West didn’t even say that about amber rose and it was the truth. this guy has absolutely no class. 

  • Netdandri

    I want to know why people have been telling her she can do better than Tyson. Usually people say that when the other partner is unattractive or broke. Tyson is neither. So are they telling her that because he’s not treating her well or he’s controlling? Because that’s how it sounds.

  • FromUR2UB

    Well, yeah.  I guess that’s what someone REALLY thinks when they upgrade you.  When I hear women say that they’re looking for a man to take care of them and blah, blah, blah, I think: wow, I don’t think you understand all of what that entails.  I’ve never known any man who would do that for a woman without feeling that he has some ownership over her.  For his ego, that’s probably the kind of woman he needs.  That may be OK in the beginning, but it’s going  to get old after a while, and he’ll resent it when you try to spread your wings.  Whatever is given can be taken away.

  • It’s just an updated version of “Pygmalion”.  I don’t approve of the motivations behind the whole upgrading phenomenon, and I would never a man do that to me.  If all he saw me as was a project or a plaything in the first place, then his intentions obviously aren’t noble to begin with.  But at the end of the day, it all boils down to what others are willing to put up with in a relationship.  She appears to be comfortable with that, and we haven’t heard her say anything otherwise.  The same goes for other women in similar relationships.  It doesn’t make it right, but if they see nothing wrong with it, then that’s their life. 

  • JD

    God created her.  You just helped bring out her assets!!!

  • Mariah

    At first glance before I actually clicked the link to read the article, I thought that WAS Beyonce…lol.  About letting a man upgrade me, I guess it’s alright but only if he doesn’t mind me upgrading him.  We should be able to upgrade eachother.  Make eachother better people.  Or at least make eachother WANT to be better people.  Tyson is doing WAY to much talking about he ‘created’ her.  God created her just like He created you and me.  I think he helped her out a bit but to say he ‘created’ her is a bit of a stretch.

    • Itsnever2late4us

      LOL I thought it was Beyonce too!!  That’s why I clicked on it.

  • BelleoftheBall

    Is this story about Tyson Beckford or Tyrese… Please hire me as an editor. YOU NEED IT!

    • I found the error–thanks.

    • Netdandri

      What did Tyrese say? Because this isn’t the first time I heard he said something disrespectful of women or about a woman.