In My Write Mind

America's Next Top...Black Woman?


Part II--Risin' to the Top

Dear Tyra:

Hey there. It's Will. We met about ten years ago when you did that in-store appearance at the Super K-Mart over by the Garden. Thanks for signing my poster that day. You made a 23-year old verrrrrry happy. Sigh. *reminiscing* Oh. Sorry. What was I saying? Ah yes. The point of this letter.

I've come to praise you, Tyra, not bury you.

I know, I know. Why would I send this to you now? You're still laying down your foundation. You're still making your mark. People that I've spoken to about this say that you're not worthy of an open letter during Women's History Month. They say you haven't done anything yet.

I disagree. I say you DO deserve the praise. I look at your career and, at 31, you're doing the damn thing. I look at you and smile because you're not only a supermodel, but also a role model for young black girls. But not only them. Seems to me that ALL girls look up to you. And that's usually an indication that you're doing something right.

Ok, Tyra. Breathe. I can see you hyperventilating over there. I can see the beads of sweat forming on your ample forehead. Take it easy. I'm not trying to jinx you. Just giving props where its due. And it's due you. And please don't try and say that I'm the one causing the stir. Pssst...Ms. Banks. OPRAH FRIGGIN WINFREY has already anointed you her successor. OPRAH WINFREY! And everything that lady touches turns to gold (Beloved and Halle Berry notwithstanding.)

Look at yourself. Go on. Take a look. You've done what most models would dream of doing. You're not just a model. You're a SUPERmodel. You draw checks from Victoria's Secret. You snagged the cover of Sports Illlustrated's annual swimsuit issue. You have clout at every major modeling agency throughout the world. You have your own production company and television show. You were a semi-regular on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Raphael Saadiq wrote a song about your character in the film Higher Learning.

I bow to you.

Tyra, seriously...after Survivor and American Idol, your America's Next Top Model franchise is right there. And there are seemingly THOUSANDS of reality shows on television today. And you have a FRANCHISE! YOU are where young girls go to fulfill their dreams. YOU are where UPN rests its hopes throughout the entire year. In fact, YOU put them on the map. And you're taking Taye Diggs along for the ride. (He should write you checks. Or at least thank you notes. For real.)

What other supermodel can say the same? Who else has accomplished what you have at such a young age? Cindy Crawford? No. She's been milking that mole for years and all it's gotten her is B-movie roles. Cheryl Tiegs? May I dare say that you've surpassed her in terms of life outside of modeling. She probably calls YOU for work. LOL Iman? OK. She's got the makeup line going and has proven to be a smart entrepreneur. Your buddy Naomi Campbell? HA! She's spent more time on the couch with Diane Sawyer than she has on the catwalk lately. And unless her entrepreneurial venture is in boxing, she's not doing too much. In fact, one more left hook and she may end up making model license plates. (Oh, speaking of her, I applaud you for being the bigger person and walking away from the alleged beef that was brewing. THAT'S why you're where you are today.)

Have you noticed that I still haven't mentioned that you're a black woman doing all of this? my point in a nutshell. People see you each week on their television screens (oh, yes...people are watching) and they don't just see a black woman. They see a franchise; they see a businesswoman; they see an expert; they see someone that may be a supermodel, but doesn't have those "holier than thou" supermodel tendencies.

They just see Tyra.

And for that, and the Oprah endorsement (just don't let me see you starring in Beloved 2: Enslavement Boogaloo and you'll be fine), I give you major respect. And deem you worthy of a letter celebrating women making history.

Sure, you're goofy and at times, your hair looks ridiculous. But you're Tyra. And you signed my poster. And for that, you get a pass. You get respect. You, my dear, may well just be...America's Next Top Black Woman.

Keep on risin' to the Top. God bless.



P.S. But ummm, Tyra...I do have to say that I'm still upset about Brita. Why'd you dump her last night?!?!? She wasn't THAT bad!!! *sniffle*

scribbled by Will at 3/10/2005 12:39:00 PM
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Mind Droppings

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)

The Write One

Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971.
Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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Previously...on IMWM
It Was Written

September 2004
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January 2005
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