Tyra Banks is starting a theme park and I need to lie down.
I have seen more America’s Next Top Model than is probably healthy. That would be the modeling competition reality show that Tyra Banks hosted. It was a constant feature of my adolescence. I have a favorite winner (Dani), a favorite moment (Jade’s poem) and a favorite season (season 4). And yes, I do know that they are called “cycles” and not “seasons,” but I refuse to call them that, because it is silly.
So much of what makes ANTM so weird and special has to do with Tyra Banks, who appears to rule the show with an iron fist and a very changeable mind. Of any reality show I have ever seen, she is the most transparent about milking these young women for their trauma, and then poking at their insecurities for the entirety of the season (or, at least, she’s the reality TV show host who seems most willing to include scenes of herself appearing to do those things). Once my roommate pointed out to me that whenever Banks gives anyone the Naomi Campbell haircut—the long, straight, center-parted tresses of her supermodel nemesis—it’s because she has it out for them. Ordering that haircut on someone is a sign that Banks will go on to torture that girl all season long. Her single-mindedness is incredible and terrifying.
This is all to say: I am very curious about Modelland, the new “attraction” from Banks slated to open late this year in Santa Monica. In an interview with Variety, Banks is frustratingly vague.
When asked, for example, what hat Modelland is, she said: “From the beginning, when creating this attraction, I wanted Modelland to go beyond just a place to go to, but to be a place to feel emotion.” Okay Tyra!
Here are some more non-details. “Modelland will be a multi-level ticketed attraction, so there will be different ways in which you can experience it,” Banks said, also mentioning that there would be a dining experience. Good, so we can buy tickets and also eat.
Will there be any other Modelland content outside the experience? “Without getting into specifics, there will be content elements that are programmable throughout the attraction,” she said. I just want to thank Tyra for not getting into specifics here. She had been so specific before then, I felt like she was giving away the surprise.
Even though I have no idea what I’m in for, I am already dying to go to Modelland, which also shares a name with the Young Adult sci-fi novel that Banks wrote; it was supposed to be the first in a trilogy, but that didn’t happen. Hopefully the theme park has more staying power than Banks’s literary venture. She told Variety that this park will be part of a franchise, whatever that may mean.