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Tyra Banks believes every i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t woman should have some F U Money. And lord, do I agree.

In a recent interview with Glamour, Tyra gave some insight into how she became the super-model-turned-business-juggernaut she is today.The Harvard grad took her career to the next level by launching Tyra Beautya perfect brand extension for the runway Queen.

Tyra explains, ‘I knew that I wanted to have a self-funded company—I’m obsessed with ownership. I want to have the say, not just a say. So I needed to have the tools.’

Banks was inspired to educationally go the distance, after watching her mom struggle through her marriage.

‘My mom stayed with my dad for too long because of financial reasons. If she’d just had a little side hustle, a little of her own money, she would have left. So I encourage women to have what I call “F.U.” money.… A lot of my passion for this business comes from that.’

I must say, Tyra’s ABC’s of mogul making aren’t that different from the kitchen conversations my mama had with me about independence.

Even though I grow up in a two-parent household, financial independence was preached about as much as Jesus was.

My mom would urge( between dish washes), Don’t depend on a man for anything. It’s definitely part of the reason my brain (and credit report) is packed with so many degrees.

Tyra bringing up ‘FU’ money is important for Black women to encourage us to have the financial flexibility to move in and out of negative situations.

So what exactly IS “FU money”?

Dr. Boyce Watkins, who coined the term, refers to this sum of cash as ‘economic escape velocity.’ In his interview with a radio station earlier this year, he made this  searing statement:

‘It is fundamentally flawed for you to depend on the descendants of your historical oppressors to get the things that you need, in order to survive.’

Let that one hit your gut.

This goes beyond ‘I don’t need a man’ feminism, it’s about securing a financial legacy for yourself and your family.

It’s about having options–multiple hustles ensure that you are not dependent on one revenue stream, or one bad boss, or one irate coworker. (or a sugar daddy, as Amber Rose said this week, smh).

What side hustle have you been putting to the side that you could be profiting from? Do you have some sort of skill or talent that you could monetize?

Sound off below.


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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.