Posts about Tyra Banks
I just realized. Around the time the episode aired, Joel McHale had just wrapped up a lawsuit filed by Tyra Banks.
She accused him of targeting her when he hosted "The Soup" news/talk show, and he went even harder against her every time she complained, to the point he had daily updates on what she was doing.
Made me giggle when he instantly goes "uhhhg" the second its mentioned Troy shares a birthday with her.
Over the years, I've read several fiction books written by celebrity authors. They're mostly boring cash grabs. However, I've found the exception. Tyra Banks. NEVER in my life have I read a book like Modelland. To be clear, it's not a good book. It's incoherent, cheesy, and ridden with plot holes and grammatical errors. It's like an acid trip that just won't end. And, if you know anything about the author, her talk show, or America's Next Top Model, that's kind of Tyra's brand. There's absolutely no ghostwriter here. It's clearly written in her voice powered by her looney-tunes mind, and on some level, that is refreshing. I would never classify this as a good book, but I must admit that I want to talk to everyone I know about it. Unfortunately, all my friends have too much self-respect to spend hours reading the LSD-infused nightmare that is Modelland, so I'm coming to you, fellow book lovers, to talk about it. Sit down, have a light snack, and enjoy a not-so-brief summary.
Our teenaged protagonist, Tookie, is a thinly veiled version of Tyra. Her family is terrible; her mother's name is honest to God Cremalatta Defacake. She harbors a number of talents, including her ability to understand and speak every language in the universe, which have such colorful names as Oktooberfestian and Didgeridoo. She has a best friend who lives in a tree (and occasionally a trashcan); this friend (tw: self-harm) slits her wrists, sniffs armpits with Tookie as part of their secret handshake, and is never mentioned again. Despite being tall, skinny, and brilliant, Tookie only thinks of herself as ugly because she has a large forehead and mismatched eyes. Gasp! Shock and surprise! She is selected from thousands of girls in her town to attend Modelland, a mystical place where beautiful women compete to become Intoxibellas. Seven Intoxibellas are chosen every year by the BellaDonna and receive superpowers.
Tookie and the other chosen ones make their way to Modelland. They participate in a few start-up challenges like the Catwalk Corridor, where they are all attacked by cats who are possessed by the spirits of failed models. There's also the Thigh-High Boot Camp, where the models' faces are literally melted off so they learn not to share makeup. They're also choked by knockoff purses and jewelry. The survivors get their thigh-high boots and nightgowns with capes, and then their real classes begin. At one point, the models meet with a nutritionist who can read their stomachs' minds, after which they are led into showers that release dessert instead of water. The girls rip off the shower heads while growling to get more food. Those who fail their classes literally die or are turned into Mannecants (undead mannequins).
There's a lot of casual vomit and blood throughout the book. In one scene, everyone throws up in the bathroom, and a model-thin girl gives birth to a baby in a toilet full of vomit. Some are taken to convalesce at Modelland's hospital, where nurses have purses for heads and doctors wear roller skates. Tyra also seems to have an oral fixation- there's a lot of whipped-cream eating, choking on things, and romantic thumb-sucking.
The universe is...bizarre and largely unexplained. The hospital staff let it drop that there's a massive, bustling underground city beneath Modelland... and it's literally never mentioned again. We visit a country called SansColor where everyone is albino. There's one called Canne Del Abra where everybody just makes candles all the time, and another is located entirely inside a grocery store. A province is called Pitter Patter because it has a lot of storms. We learn that her love interest- his name is Bravo- goes to a neighboring modeling school for boys called Bestosterone. Towards the end, readers are ushered into a brief encounter with a nondescript underworld beyond the gates of Modelland.
There were times while reading this that I truly questioned my own sanity. Even the credits were not entirely normal; Tyra thanks several bodies of water, including the Hudson River and the Pacific Ocean, as well as the entire country of Greece. This book was honestly just so crazy and outright bad that it almost became... good? Perhaps not good, but definitely entertaining (if one can let go of Jupiter-sized plot holes and any semblance of rhyme or reason). I can't fault Tyra for her imagination, but I would like to personally send a bouquet of flowers to the hardworking editor who pared her original 1,000+ page draft down to a mere 570 pages.
I'm sure she had fun writing this. I had fun ranting to my husband and to you all about it. What have your experiences been with books by celebrities? What books do you love to hate? I'd love to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Back in 2020, there was (and still is) a hate train about America's next top model. A lot of people took issue with how the contestants were treated awfully by the judges and the production staff. Shortly after some former contestants aired out their experiences online and are continuing to do so to this day. Then it seems like Tyra was being viewed like she was the devil. Now I understand why people are mad at Tyra and she and the production staff should be held accountable. But how come we can't have that same energy for Gordon Ramsay? If you seen Hell's Kitchen, you can see how horribly those contestants were treated. From doing grueling and sometimes dangerous punishments to being talked down to by Ramsay and his other chefs, he should've been called out for his actions. But I haven't heard anything about his toxicity. I wonder why is that besides racism and sexism. Please let me know why down in the comments.