Okay, pop quiz, you guys.
The announcement that Tyra Banks is writing three YA books: Greatest News Ever, or GREATEST NEWS EVER?!?!?!
No, seriously, hear me out:
You may be thinking to yourself, "Self, Erin's finally cracked. Too many Sweet Valley High books plus slight hipster tendencies has turned her into a Douchebag Robot, whose greatest weapon is the power of Irony. Also, Self, I look really good today. Did I do something different with my hair?"
While I partly agree with your inner monologue- you DO look really good today - I am affronted that you would presume my delight over Tyra's impending literary career is at all based on a need to ironically like unpopular things. Let me break down for you why this is THE GREATEST THING EVER:
1. Smizing is an important life skill. NO I AM NOT KIDDING. Many "scientists" and even a few actual scientists agree that a full smile is incredibly important as a social marker. It relaxes people, portrays honesty and openness and is apt to cause the viewer of the Full Smile to smile in turn, which increases overall joy, which also increases good kharma in the world, if you believe in such things, which I happen to do. AND I just heard on the radio this morning (granted it was at 4:30 am because I had to come in to work at 5:30 in the morning -and yes, I am still bitter about that, - and so I may have been mis-hearing as I was still in a fugue state) that a full smile includes using almost all the muscles in your face, and that the popularity of Botox has caused a decline in the actual muscle skills to fully smile. And then how are people supposed to promote honesty and joy?? Obviously by SMIZING, i.e. smiling with their eyes. Tyra is just trying to help cultural relations!
2. I find that books written by models - either super- or glamour- are inevitably endearing and engrossing. Not good, mind you. I'm not claiming they're usually good (P.S. that's not because the authors are models, cause all the models I ever knew were frickin' geniuses, more because the authors are famous and so were given a book contract for no real reason other than their fame. See also: Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck. And almost every "memoir" author ever.). But they are, for whatever reason, kind of engrossing. I'm just going to admit it- I may have spent a good three or four hours on my one night in Glasgow last June reading Katie Price's novel Crystal, which my friend Courtney received as a "bonus gift" with her 50p issue of Hello! magazine. Yes. That is something I did. And, for as shitty as it was - and it was shitty, no matter what the strangely positive reviews on Amazon.co.uk might tell you (Four stars!!!! WHAT?) - I did find it oddly compelling, in a way. I mean, what can you say about a book that glosses over a rape in two sentences yet spends 4 fucking chapters talking about hair extensions? Apparently you can say that it's a page-turner, cause, like, I COULD NOT PUT THAT SHIT DOWN. So I'm hoping for something similar in Ty-Ty's novels.
3. Tyra Banks is crazy. Like, actually unhinged in many ways. We all know this. It's what makes ANTM so fun to watch for the first five episodes, before it gets boring as all Reality Shows inevitably do. (Why? Because crazy/unhinged/terrible people are fun to watch for approximately 3 hours. Then they are just exhausting while simultaneously being boring. If you're wondering, this is a fairly direct correlation to how entertaining/exhausting the crazy people in your actual real life are.) Because Tyra is clinically insane, her books are BOUND TO BE AWESOME. I expect some major shit to go down, y'all!!! You know who's probably not crazy? Nicholas Sparks. I'm just sayin'!
4. It increases the mainstream availability of YA literature, in general. Okay, we all know how I feel about Twilight, but even I will admit that its one draw is that it "made it okay" to read YA fiction, just as Harry Potter made it okay for this generation to like fantasy novels. If Tyra's books cause even a handful of reluctant readers to pick up even one of the awesome YA books out there, then they will have not been in vain. (Of course, publicity is a double-edged sword, because with that comes oversaturation of the market. Somehow, though, I think that "models with super-powers that go to a school like Hogwarts" is a market whose potential oversaturation is far off.)
5. It could actually be good. Hey, say what you will about Tyra, but she's funny, she manages a sort-of empire, and she's smart enough to effectively switch focus in her career, just when the getting's good.
So yes, in case you've been wondering . . . Tyra's books are MOS' DEF being reviewed on this site. (No promises about a drinking game.)