I love Tyra Banks — either because she is genuinely a narcissistic buffoon who can’t seem to keep herself from saying stupid shit literally all the time, or because she is a master of self-parody. I can’t tell which reality we live in, but it truly doesn’t matter. Either way, she is successful and wealthy and UTTERLY RIDICULOUS, and I would watch reruns of America’s Next Top Model and Life-Size every day — if only my schedule permitted! — simply to bask in the Tyra-rrificness of it all.
With her hilarious contribution this week to The Wall Street Journal, we may have actually achieved peak Tyra. My initial response to this article was a delighted squeal of, “WHAT IS THIS EVEN???” — a question with many possible answers:
A. It’s a prediction of future beauty trends, written by Harvard alum Tyra Banks.
B. It’s a dystopian manifesto, as penned by the author of the young adult classic Modelland.
C. It is the sound of a one-legged aspiring model stomping it out TO THE DEATH.
D. It is the sound of the seventh seal breaking wide open.
But no, the answer is E. It is everything.
What does the future of beauty hold for us? So sayeth Tyra:
1. “There will be no hair extensions.”
Kind of an anticlimactic opener … but, go on.
2. “Global warming will threaten our crops so natural food will be scarce.”
OK, well. This took an unexpectedly grim turn. Was this piece ghostwritten by Neil deGrasse Tyson?
3. “The features of one’s baby will be as selectable as menu items at a fast-food drive-through window. Blue and green eyes will become so common that dark brown will become the rare and newly desired eye color.”
But, wait — then why doesn’t everyone just select “dark brown eyes” down at the Pik-Ur-Baby Drive-Thru?
This piece was definitely not ghostwritten by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
4. “Typical features and coloring will lean toward a Rihanna or Beyoncé or me kind of look.”
If you say “Rihanna or Beyoncé or me” into the mirror three times, Tyra Banks will appear behind you and say, “How many people were scared? Me, too. I was really, really scared.”
5. “Prejudice will be socioeconomically based.”
This “prediction” simply confirms that Tyra’s present tense is very different than the one the rest of inhabit.
6. “Everyone will have at least one personal robot … [that] will … be able to sense if its owner is having a low-self-esteem day and will then strategically give boosts of confidence to its owner. ‘Wow, Eloisa! Your eyes look especially lovely today.'”
This one is solid, and reveals Tyra’s extensive knowledge of classic science fiction. Asimov’s oft-overlooked Fourth Rule of Robotics is, “A robot must never allow a human being to feel unattractive or bloated.”
(Side note: LOL at “Eloisa” as the name of the future.)
7. “Women, in control of when they can have children (up to age 120!), and having more degrees and education than men, will be in charge.”
Women already have “more degrees and education” than men — and, in fact, I think it was Tyra’s participation ribbon from Harvard that pushed us into the majority. But! In the future, we can toss those degrees aside and just crank out baby after baby, long after Willard Scott has wished us a happy birthday on the Today show. And then, we will finally be in charge … of the two dozen kids we accidentally gave birth to* over the last century.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. A chilling glimpse at the grotesque future of beauty (and other junk), courtesy of Ms. Tyra Banks — the George Orwell of the future.
Load up on hair extensions while you still can.
*In my own dystopian future, women will need a handwritten note from a man and thirty pieces of silver to obtain any type of birth control.