Back in February, when I was bored and sick, I randomly stopped my channel surfing on the Tyra Banks Show. Although I had seen a few episodes of Tyra’s America’s Next Top Model before, the most exposure to Tyra I had gotten was her performance in that Disney Channel Original Movie Life Size back in the day with Lindsay Lohan. As I continued to watch Tyra, I learned it was the Black History Month episode, and, being African-American, Tyra decided to celebrate the commemorative month on her show. Standing proud before various blown-up photographs of her, Tyra said, “Today, I’m honoring black history by celebrating an event that not only changed my life, and the direction of my career, but more importantly, it impacted the face of beauty for women of color everywhere.” She spoke with such conviction and passion; I had a feeling she was going to discuss a real revolutionary moment for blacks, or black women. But then Tyra continued, “This month marks the ten year anniversary of my appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine’s swimsuit edition!” [Cut to close up picture of a sexy bikini-clad Tyra in a suggestive pose in the water] Hmm…so, in order to celebrate Black History Month, Tyra decided to re-shoot her decade-old sexy swimsuit cover and that helps for the advancement of colored people… how? Though I do have to admit her cover was revolutionary, as she was the first African-American woman to be featured on the cover of this issue, Tyra conducted this episode in a way that did not focus on Blacks or Black History…it focused on something I discovered she loved much more…TYRA.
Since that day, I cannot bear through an episode of America’s Next Top Model, or anything featuring Tyra, without feeling consumed by her complete self-centered narcissism. Top Model is supposed to be about the models, and yet all Tyra talks about is “me, me, me.” On this past Wednesday’s episode, Tyra was teaching her protégées how to be fluid and sexy when they modeled. She gathered them in a dance studio, forcing them all to wear matching nude-colored uni-tards with clunky white kneepads (for their sexy crawls), while she twirled around in a cute black leotard with almost invisible black kneepads. She stuck out like a sore thumb—a beautiful one, that is. Tyra’s vanity can be seen throughout the rest of any episode. Every season the girls are equally excited about receiving “TYRA MAIL!” (which, of course, features pictures of Tyra), and at the end of each episode when the unlucky girl leaves the house, the camera pans back to an enlarged picture of Tyra hanging up on the wall.
Though I just Ty-ranted on the self-loving ego that is Tyra Banks, I do have to admit that she is good at what she does—the modeling, but not anything else. To be such a successful supermodel, you really do have to have a complete overabundance of confidence, which is exactly what Tyra has, and which is why her career has brought her so much success. As long as she’s frozen in a picture, I suppose Tyra is OK with me.