Tyra Banks Wants To Expand The Idea Of Beauty

Over the weekend, Tyra Banks took part in The New York Times’ “Times Talks.” Besides demonstrating to the audience how to do a few of her 275 smiles, Tyra said she wakes up every day to “expand the idea of beauty,” which encompasses trying to change people’s views of what is beautiful. “In the high-fashion world, darker black skin is considered beautiful,” Tyra said. “But on the commercial side, you have girls like myself, Beyoncé, and Halle Berry, with light black skin. I make a point to have beautiful chocolate girls on ‘Top Model’ who are also girls next door.” But this isn’t entirely true. For the most part, black models tend to have lighter skin, whether they appear in advertisements (Beyonce, Selita Ebanks) or walk the runway (Arlenis Sosa, Chanel Iman). There aren’t many darker black women appearing in magazines these days. For years, Alek Wek represented on the pages of Vogue, on runways, and in ads for Clinique and other brands, but even her presence has dwindled. Tyra is trying her best to shift things, at least on “America’s Next Top Model.” Of the four remaining women in this season’s running, two (Teyona and Aminat) are black. While Tyra can’t change the world, she’s doing what she can through ANTM — even if the show’s winners tend not to make much of a mark on the modeling world after their season ends. [NYMag.com, Cutblog/Twitter]