Tyra Banks has made it clear that she craves the kind of media empire created by Oprah Winfrey. The former model has definitely shown Big O-style progress with her Emmy-winning talk show Tyra and its mix of girl-power and body-issue talking points. Now Banks is branching out with an online magazine, or ”MagaLine,” the clunky term she’s coined for her new site Tyra: Beauty Inside & Out. The plan is to operate much like a monthly magazine, with different subjects each issue. But while Winfrey’s visage and voice are only sprinkled throughout her magazine O, Banks’ site currently resembles her portfolio, featuring shot after shot of herself. September’s inaugural postings mostly involve Banks’ highly publicized decision to debut her real hair on Tyra’s season premiere. If you visit the site, chances are you’ve also watched the episode in question, and, unfortunately, there’s not much else to see, aside from some webcam photos Banks took of herself with various ‘dos (ponytail! messy!). One of Banks’ biggest assets is her chatty accessibility and devotion to demystifying her looks; she’s the model you want to have lunch with, because she’ll actually eat and then join you in worrying about cellulite. While there are certainly moments of Tyra’s gregarious personality seeping through Beauty (in one video, Banks says of her newly toned body, ”I love this fat ass…it’s just a fit fat ass now”), the site comes off as oddly slick and cold — even though she declares in the ”manifesto” that she wants it to be ”a place of genuine connection.” It’s possible Tyra: Beauty Inside & Out will find its heart, but at the moment, it feels as genuine as one of Tyra’s wigs. B-
Posted October 2 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT
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