Yesterday Kristian likened Tyra Banks to Rihanna due to her business acumen and dedication to staying On Brand with every move she makes. And Tyra makes a lot of moves (or, as is also the case, “micro-movements” which is a modeling technique Tyra taught me on ANTM that I use to this day). And the comparisons don’t end there. Tyra (or BanX as she’s rechristened herself. I’ll get into that later, one Big Idea at a time) and Rihanna also both seem to possess and an uncanny ability to stay three stomps ahead of competition when it comes to The Next Big Thing. In Rihanna’s case, she’s got the cosmetics and fashion industries watching her for clues about what the latest trends will be. And Tyra, well she’s got Big Ice Cream positively shook! Tyra would add one more similarity to that list. She thinks she and Rihanna look like they were separated at birth!
Tyra commented on a photo Rihanna posted on Instagram wearing H2T (that’s head to toe. Tyra, she gives and she gives and she gives) Fenty. You see, for a minute, Ty Ty thought RiRi had posted a picture of her!
I’m not going to lie, I do see some similarities. RiRi and Ty Ty are both world renowned forehead real estate moguls, for one. Also, if Ty Ty thought this was her, she was perhaps remembering her old nose before the bones started to get itchy. Their overall complexion and eye color are also similar. However, I’m not able to follow Ty Ty down this runway any further than that. Any comparison between Ty Ty and RiRi begins and ends with their vibe.
If Tyra’s an affable circus clown, Rihanna’s a taciturn mime school dropout. Rihanna doesn’t “smize” she “scowlizes”. Rihanana could eat Tyra for breakfast, not that she would. More likely she wakes up in the morning, course voiced and sleepy eyed, saunters into her kitchen, grabs a box of Tyra-O’s from the counter, opens it, sniffs, and mutters “the fuck is this?” before tossing in the trash and pouring herself a mug of scalding hot black coffee and lighting up a spliff.
But Rihanna’s indifference isn’t going to stop Tyra from nipping at her heels. Since Rihanna goes by a mononym, so shall Tyra. Earlier this year when she debuted the shots of her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, Tyra announced that she would be answering to BanX from here on out. The X represents “X-ing out cookie-cutter beauty”, according to People.
“Mononyms are exciting in the industry,” she explained. “But usually models use their first names, like Iman. I want to flip the script and go by my last name. I’m taking something familiar and making it new. I’m wiser now and thicker.”
“BanX is me, but she’s also every woman,” she added. “BanX represents rebirth and that beauty boundaries only exist to be broken.”
So when you see “BanX was here” respectfully but sloppily spray painted over every Fenty billboard in LA, you’ll know how it got there.