BY Belinda White | 15 August 2011
Supermodel Tyra Banks, who rose to fame in the early nineties after becoming the first African American woman to cover GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue , is more famous these days for her television role as the creator and host of America's Next Top Model - now in its 17th series.
With a CV like that, who could be better placed to pen a novel set against the backdrop of bitch fighting and backstabbing that is the model industry?
But anyone expecting Tyra, 37, to write a warts and all exposé of the pressures on young models, or the raw truth behind the fashion business, better think again. Modelland'is not so much an auto-biography as the stuff of a mad man's dreams.
Still with me? Okay, so Tookie has to go to some kind of intense model boot camp (which makes Next Top Model assignments look like a snooze) where, according to the extracted chapter now previewing on US bookstore Barnes & Noble's website, girls literally fight to the death to make it to the top.
Her competition? The exotically named Myrracle, Desperada, Zarpessa Zarionneaux, and Theophilus Lovelaces.
You can soak up a taste of the insanity below, and if that doesn't put you off, you can pre-order Modelland so you can get your hands on a copy just in time for the new series of America's Next Top Model to hit screens. Enjoy...
There was one rule and one rule only: a girl must be walking in order to be chosen.
Other than that, there was no prearranged runway on which the girls could walk, so everyone created invisible ones wherever they were standing. Violence was not encouraged nor was it condemned, and some girls' parents insisted on adding martial arts training to their walking lessons in preparation for the big day. T-DOD Square was an every- man- for- himself or, more precisely, an every- girl- for- herself event.
Scores of girls marched down their own stretches of the square, paused, posed for the cameras (real and imaginary), and then turned around. Trains of walking girls intersected with others. One area behind Tookie was so crammed with street vendors, it bottlenecked into a slow, shuffling line. Some walkers had only enough space to take a few steps before they had to stop and turn. Tookie's heart went out to a young girl in a ruffled pink dress who seemed way below the unofficial thirteen- year-old age requirement. She marched in place as if she were on a drill team.
Riiiip. A girl stepped on the train of a walker a few feet from Tookie and tore the fabric right off the dress. Both girls fell forward into a heap. The walkers behind them stepped over their bodies and continued.
Crash. The De La Crème white and cream blow-up tent went down as two brawling girls entered it. Oof. A girl who looked as if she had never walked in heels before stumbled, breaking the tips of both stilettos. Two girls got into a fight at the end of their makeshift catwalk, rolling to the ground. "Kenya, use the Gyaku Zuki move!" her mother screamed. "Reverse- punch the hairy hag! But watch your hair, sweetie!"
Tookie wheeled around. The hairy hag was Abigail Goode, sideburns in full glory, faint mustache above her upper lip, unshaven leg hair coating her calves, underarm hair swaying in the wind, and a DOWN WITH RAZORS! picket sign still in her hands. The girl she was fighting with tried out a karate move on her, but Abigail expertly evaded her blow...
Here's an Excerpt From Tyra Banks's New Book Modelland - The Cut