At 34, Tyra Banks can boast an excellent track record, nation-wide fame in her native US and a desire to achieve a lot more than that in the coming years. Not only has the ex-cover girl and ex-Victoria's Secret model managed
to successfully turn her name into a brand, but she has also gained an incredible amount of public exposure via two hugely popular TV shows - "America's Next Top Model" and "The Tyra Banks Show". In fact, as the cover of the upcoming issue of the New York Times Magazine makes it clear, the TV show host is clearly on a mission to gain as much popularity as the current queen of US daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey.
"I think I was put on this earth to instill self-esteem in young girls", Tyra says of her mission in life. It's this sort of narcissism combined with constant media exposure, an impressive amount of perseverance and her uncanny ability to smile in 275 different ways that have turned Tyra into her present glamorous self. Smiles, she confesses, are her secret weapons, and she's been using them ever since the debut of her modeling career which began when she was only 15. For Banks, smiles are a skill - a means to achieve her own goals by being in turn compelling, seductive and manipulative.
"Smiles come naturally to me, but I started thinking of them as an art form at my command", she explains in the Times Magazine interview. "I studied all the time. I looked at magazines, I'd practice in front of the mirror and I'd ask photographers about the best angles. I can now pull out a smile at will". Of course, as we all probably know, the most famous smile in Tyra's repertoire is the "smile with eyes". "You can try it, too", she says. However, given that it's quite a complicated technique to begin with, we should probably let Tyra show us how it's done.