In case you hadn't heard, Tyra Banks has a new attraction opening May 1st in Santa Monica that will surely rival all the glitz & glamour of nearby Hollywood... A place where everyone (yes, even you!) can live the ultimate modeling fantasy, and it's called 'MODELLAND'. (Ooooh, Ahhhh!)
The name matches the title of her 2011 book (Modelland) which follows protagonist Tookie De La Crème (?!?!?) through a boarding school (Modelland) that has clique of top super models (the Intoxibellas)(of course). De La Crème befriends the 'misfits' of the hot people school & they try to figure out why they got accepted (and if they'll ever truly be accepted). Neat idea but by most accounts, terrible book. Will this theme-park-of-sorts be the same?!
In an interview with Variety, Banks shared the purpose of MODELLAND:
Modelland is not just a place to us; It’s a movement. Yes, it’s an attraction and a destination, but above all, it’s the genesis for people with all types of different beauty to feel seen and validated. Modelland will empower them to embrace, celebrate and adorn their own unique beauty in ways they never thought possible.
Unfortunately validating yourself doesn't come cheap, but if you're willing to empty your wallet you can fill up your self esteem with the following packages:
GENERAL ACCESS, $59.00
I like that they included 'access to shop' in there, which of course will cost you more money. Also, I feel like you can just look up posing tips & tricks online for free. (Personal freebie from me, press your tongue into the back of your teeth. It makes your neck look skinny & you get a ton of social media interaction when a bunch of dudes comment, "Why do you keep sticking your tongue to the back of your teeth like that??").
FANTASCENE PHOTOSHOOT, $549.00
Signature blood orange beverage?? Tasty treats?? Sign me up. Half of these things were clearly added as filler, but that's a big part of modeling so I understand (ha ha).
FANTASCENE DREAM, $1,495.00
Mystery elixir, artisanal truffles, a veiled curtain that lets the normies with GENERAL tickets know your parents have money, a branded robe...
And reading the wording on the site like this paragraph from Tyra below, it sounds like an effort to make every body feel beautiful & important which is lovely, but to me feels a biiiiit like preying on insecurities to sell tickets...
Imagine at a time in your life feeling insecure or full of self doubt. Imagine questioning your self-worth because you don’t look like what the world has told you is good enough.
Is that someone you know?
Is that you?
I believe all shapes AND all sizes AND all ages AND all shades deserve to feel beautiful, powerful and experience the fantasy versions of themselves.
ModelLand is not just an attraction. It’s a place full of story that battles what “attractive” means. When you step into ModelLand, you enter a fantastical world where we will celebrate your uniqueness while we help you master your angles and up your photo game.
If you're interested in a real mind bender on what this place is supposed to be, this video should do the trick. It's payback time.
Again, I want to say the idea sounds inspiring, especially knowing how exclusive the beauty industry still is in many ways… but I think behind yet another veiled curtain is the ultimate goal, which is to make money taking advantage of people who are desperate to emulate the perfection they see everyday from Insta influencers. I get it - You see a hot piece of ace like this, you're gonna wanna follow suit but you don't have the tools:
That being said, as a pretty insecure person myself (I have now ghosted on both my gym trainer lady & my new invisible braces, even though I paid for both in full), if the money appeared in my lap I would 10,000% do the FANTASCENE DREAM package & use those photos FOREVER. I'd probably be the Queen of Barstool Reddit for a solid 2 hours. Is there any higher validation?? So whatever my bitter, skeptical thoughts are on this enterprise, I also think it's going to do pretty damn well. And friendly reminder that my venmo is open if anyone wants to help a gal out. sigh…