Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 19

I’ve spent the whole day trying to come up with a different way to attack this particular chapter. Heck, this particular book even.

I started out just wanting to make fun of it, because let’s be honest, there’s a lot to make fun of. That was still easy to do in the first few chapters — I didn’t know the extent of the craziness that Tyra was going to inflict on me.

I’m only halfway through the damned thing and I am out of ammunition. And even more importantly, I am out of patience. We’re almost 250 pages in and nothing substantial has happened. You know what happened on page 250 of “The Fellowship of the Ring”? Frodo had already been stabbed by the Witch-King of Angmar. And that book isn’t exactly the gold standard when it comes to fast moving plots.

What have we got on page 230++ of “Modelland”? Aside from the barest hint of plot, we have diddly-squat. It’s like I’m a fly spending the 24 hours of my short, short life circling a pile of shit. I could be out there living my life! I could be bungee-jumping! I could be getting laid! But NO. I choose to do this.

I need a sassy gay friend.

And what do I get in this chapter that could possibly be worth missing a life less ordinary? I get a dormitory full of girls on their period. Great.

“Every new Bella started menstruating at the exact same time this morning.’

‘Wait. What?'”

Yes, all the girls are undergoing a little menstrual synchrony. Tookie is a little giddy that she finally has her menarche, but really, what does all of this have to do with the story? She has her period, so what? Does she go out and kill somebody because of it? No. Chekov would have a fit.

Tookie’s classes have also begun, but before she gets to the CaraCaraCara building she gets lost around the Modellan premises and ends up at stumbling onto a gay porn shoot.

“Hulking male models from Bestosterone worked giant construction machines. Some of them welded metal beams together with silver flashlight-like devices that shot red-hot liquid glue. Others struck overtly sexualized poses for a photographer while they worked.”

I mean, c’mon Tyra. At least make it difficult for me to make the Bestosterone guys sound like rejects from a gay porn set.

“Tookie turned and saw a muscular Bestostero with chiseled features walking towards her, blueprints tucked under his arms. His pecs swelled under his shirt. His skin was smooth and richly colored, and his eyebrows looked naturally arched, which was almost as bad if he’d been a religious waxer.”

Like shooting fish in a barrel. And you know what the guy’s names is? Bravo. He’s named after a freaking gay oriented cable channel. It would be remiss not to point it out. I’d probably be violation some international statute or something.

At the CaraCaraCara classroom, we’re introduced to Guru Pacifico Cruz, who literally has a face made out of rubber. It’s to better teach the girls how to act in front of the camera and, I quote, “…make the opposite expression of what you see or feel.” Tyra also gets to put in a dig against actors that I don’t really understand.

“…fail, and you may be relegated to spending your life as, heaven forbid, an actress.’ The Guru said the last word in a low, disgusted whisper. ‘Actresses are incapable of ‘opposite performing.'”

Is somebody still smarting from the fact that she never got any good roles after “Higher Learning“? Just curious.

Anyway, the girls get shown different photos and situations and they’re expected to have the opposite reaction as to what the pictures are trying to convey. It’s all very boring right until the part where Guru Pacifico tells the girls that the BellaDonna has a reward for them.

“The BellaDonna continued. ‘This cycle you had this morning will be the last period you will ever have…for the rest of your lives!’

‘We want no excuses for you missing class or shoots or shows, so Modelland is ridding you of the pain and suffering of your menstrual cycles and cramps forever…'”

Tookie’s a little bummed about the development, seeing as the period she had just that morning was her first ever. It’s a path that Tyra could have taken and explored  and could have probably been interesting, but there are more important things to talk about. Like the Bellas’ pictures. Because fuck you.

Predictably, Zarpessa is all different kinds of shady when it comes to Tookie’s pictures, and insinuates that perhaps Tookie’s just been brought to Modelland so that she could be experimented on and possibly eaten.

And you know what. That would be an improvement.

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