Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"American Dream" - Tyra Banks

I was more than a little irked when I read that Tyra Banks would be dressed up as Michelle Obama in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar but I must say that after viewing the pictures (scanned by MissMagAddict,) I'm not hating these.

Tyra is no Michelle and the shoot lacks imagination (I've seen the "politician's wife spread more than once this year) but there are some positive things about it.

For one, Harper's got Tyra to peel off that blonde lace-front wig. I mean, sure they just slapped another one on but at least her follicles got to breathe for a minute. Second, color me shocked (!) that two dark skinned black children were used in the editorial. I didn't know fashion magazines knew what to do with black children save dress them in 'ethnic' clothing and maybe photograph them in close proximity to livestock and vacationing models.

The only photo that really leaves me scratching my head is the one of the First Couple in bed. Tyra's beautiful strapless gown is strewn across the sheets but instead of being in an intimate embrace, the couple (dressed in Harvard sweatshirts) are reading the paper and appear to be discussing the health benefits of  peppermint tea. I mean, I know this is supposed to be a little tongue in cheek but THAT is not my Barack and Michelle. I guess HB chickened out at the prospect of showing a little black love. 

Photographer: Alexi Lubomirski 


lapetitediva said...

Perhaps if the model had been anyone--Naomi, even--other than Tyrant and Her Technicolor Ego, I might've liked the spread. But whenever I look at Tyra, all I see is a self-absorbed twit, thanks to ANTM and her Oprah-wannabe talk show.

Anonymous said...

One hot purple dress, and suddenly people want her to wear that color every other day! I can see all the gears turning. These shots are like the example Tyra shows of herself just before judging happens on America's Next Top model, just to prove that she knows how to master the amateur challenge. She'll never be accused of not working her angles or hiding her long neck.

Shaymer said...

I love that little girls hair. She is adorable. I'm pleasantly suprised by this spread.

Anonymous said...

I like to imagine MY Barack and Michelle like Cliff and Claire; how they would always go upstairs giggling together or would flirt in the bed and giggle under the covers making eyes at each other like teenagers until the screen faded to credits.
We never saw anything inappropriate, but we always knew that Cliff and Claire still had the hots for each other and were keeping the black family together starting in their bedroom.
That's how I like my Barack & Michelle.
That's also why I think he'll be a good President. Cliff was one hell of an ob/gyn!

Oh, nice shoot Tyra.

Anonymous said...

This is moronic. It'll pain me when I vote for Obama knowing that a substantial portion of his votes are derived from vapid little fashionistas that want to bask in the trite aesthetics of a Kennedy revival.

He's a political figure, not a Ken doll.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous: I think it's a little unfair and pretentious to assume that people will be voting for Obama based on fashion or nostalgia. Fashionistas have every ability to research the credentials of a presidential candidate and vote for the one they feel will service the country best just like you. I think Tyra did a good job with the spread and it certainly isn't something to make such a fuss about.

Anonymous said...

"That's how I like my Barack & Michelle.
That's also why I think he'll be a good President."

I'll admit that I am a little being presumptuous--a genuine concern for fashion does not preclude a genuine concern for politics. However, statements like the one above that project some romantic fantasy in the bedroom onto someone running for office suggest that not only are the lines are alarmingly blurred between plaything and politco, but also the politics of a candidate can be supplanted entirely by fantasy.

I mean, I am really glad that the Obama campaign has transmuted itself into a broader cultural movement--notions such as change, unity, and faith in ones government are sorely needed these days. But let us be mindful when the 'likeability' of a candidate and not his convictions and policies dominated a campaign, and the American public found the 'down-to-earthiness' of George W. Bush to be preferable to the stolidness of Al Gore--an uncouth Texan ended up becoming our president.

I want only a consummate leader when I vote for Obama, not one to consummate with.

Brigitte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brigitte said...

@I'll admit that I am a little being presumptuous

A "little"? You've read a few words in response to a series of photographs in a fashion magazine on a blog about black women in fashion and took a GIANT leap. You don't know anything about the person who wrote that passing commentary or all the reasons why she supports The Obamas. It is entirely possible that she agrees with his platform, admired and respects the family and is also enamored with the idea that a loving black couple is now on the everyone's radar. Is it really so objectionable to you that part of the reason that someone supports this couple is because they, unlike most political couple, actually seem to love and respect one another?

I wonder if you spammed bicycle enthusiast boards and condemned posters who made comments about Barack Obama's choice in helmet after pics of him on his bike hit the Internet.

This is not a political blog, I think you should find one if you get off on making blanket statements and insulting people for petty reasons.

fa_ikaika said...

Minor accuracy quibble: I don't think the sweatshirts are right. Mimi and Rock are graduates of the Law School, not the college or the university as a whole. And why would they BOTH be wearing Harvard sweat shirts at the same time? That's a bit too "Harvard Harvard rah rah rah" even for someone who has had broad exposure to all sorts of Crimson-infected lunacy.

It's a fun shoot though and the pictures themselves are a nice encapsulation of that giddy feeling some of us get when we contemplate the Obamas in the White House.

Jaye said...

I like that they didn't sexualize the bedroom scene. I think that there has been such an undercurrent of negative sexualizing of the two of them, so I'm glad they kept the bedroom photo sweet. I mean, it's not like they need help, they're obviously two attractive people who are into each other. That photo makes them look like best friends, I really like it.