Book Review: Modelland by Tyra Banks (Chapter 24)
Sorry I haven’t put up a Modelland chapter review in awhile. One of my friends borrowed the book to read. She thought it was a badly written book to which I say, “That is the beauty of it.”
Chapter 24: W.O.W
We’re only doing one chapter this post since it’s a long one.
The chapters starts exactly three months and four days later at the start of the next quadmester in Modelland.
Our most unusual tale picks up [ . . . ] at the unusual, untouchable, and never uneventful fantastical land at the top of the mountain.
Never uneventful may be pushing things a little.
As Tookie and her friends walk towards the E, they come across Bravo, who Tookie still can’t believe wants to talk to her. And after three months, she’s still upset with him for kindly pointing out that she had an enormous whipped cream booger on her nose and tries her best to show her extreme disapproval of him.
“Good luck with your manly-man stuff,” she added flippantly. “And don’t forget to pout your perfect lips and contract your rippling muscles for the camera.”
Tookie’s obviously not very good at being mean to other people, and it’s probably because she has nothing to be mad at him for to begin with. Bravo doesn’t buy her insults and instead “laughs uncomfortably” and then shakes some loose bark and dust onto Tookie. This makes her overreact even more.
Now he’s covering me in splinters. Is it this boy’s mission in life to torment me?
And then something really weird happens. For some reason, as Bravo is brushing Tookie off, his thumb slips into her mouth and she begins to suck on it.
Tookie wanted to bite down hard on his hand to teach him a lesson to not touch her like that, but instead she closed her lips on his thumb, locking it inside her mouth, her body betraying her. Her knees wobbled, her heart started to flutter, and she felt a warmth gush through her core.
Ewwww . . .
Even the most naive of people can tell what this little gesture is really supposed to signify. I’m not saying that Tyra isn’t allowed to put some sexual euphemism in her young adult book, but this just isn’t sexy. It’ s weird. Really weird. And super awkward, mostly because it’s done in front of all of her friends. Tookie’s friends mock her by sucking on their thumbs and Bravo’s friends come out of nowhere and begin humping the air. It’s just so out of character for the girl who is painfully shy. I also don’t think any teenagers would really do this. Everyone knows that if you’re going to suck a finger, it has to be the pointer finger.
Anyway, after that sexually enlightening episode, Tookie and the girls head to W.O.W, which is War of the Words.
And unfortunately, W.O.W is just another class. Good grief! I would think that after skipping three months ahead in time, we wouldn’t have to read another class!
W.O.W takes place in the War of Words Magnetosphere . . .
. . . which is a shiny sphere that hovers thirty feet above the ground. There are metal podiums and a green plus sign on one side of the wall and a red minus sign on the other. The entire room is magnetic and, immediately, everything that is metal on the girls attaches itself to the wall, including Tookie’s filling and her Theophilus pin. I hope you get that contrived similarity between debating and magnets.
The guru of the glass is MattJo Von Megalo and he’s an ugly old troll, who walks around like a seal and always says “Yep, Yep.”
“You will learn how to use words to convince, to charm, to soothe, and to strike and DESTROY the arguments of anyone standing in your way.”
It’s meant to sound like wizard’s duel, but it’s really just debate class. So this should be about as interesting as debate class. Actually, it’s stupider than debate class.
Their first topic to debate (suggested by Chaste) is free swing versus firm sling, or bra versus no bra. This is surely a debate for the ages.
One girl is chosen for a side and they each have to put a plus or a minus sign on their forehead, just to make sure everyone knows what they’re debating. When the debate starts, their Senturas handcuff the girls to each other, a storm brews within the room and the positive and negative girl are physically forced together so that their heads are nearly touching. And in this position, they must debate “to bra or not to bra.” And you know something, I can see Tyra doing this on her show without even a second thought towards these girls’ dignities.
Chaste’s argument (no bra):
“The melon fruit is one to be supremely relished. A sweet treat one should enjoy in its pure rawness, without a fork to spear its tender flesh or a napkin to sop up the luscious juice that drips from our chins. Honeydews, cantaloupes, casabas, crenshaws, muskmelons and watermelons. Best appreciated without the interference of objects created by man’s hands, mm, mm!”
W.O.W. That’s kind of all I have to say about that argument. Other than the fact that it really makes no sense. Sounds more like an argument for breastfeeding in public, and knowing Chaste’s one-dimensional character, I don’t think that’s what she was going for.
Shiraz’s argument (pro-bra):
“The boobies high and tight on me. My knobbies pert and firm, agree? But forever young they will not be. No bra, they’ll sag with grav-i-tee!”
Is this really appropriate in a school, even a modelling school with a male instructor present? The guru may be a troll, but still. Also Pro-Bra is now the name of Cobra’s backwoods hillbilly cousin.
So MattJoe is just about to announce the winner of this intellectually stimulating debate when Ci~L comes in, bound and gagged, wearing a baggy gray jumpsuit that has the words UGLY ROOM on it. And I’m soooo disappointed becasue I really wanted to know who would win the argument.
Ci~L has been demoted to a first-year Bella and must now take W.O.W with the other girls. Ci~L and Dylan join Zarpessa and Tookie, respectively for a partners challenge debate. The topic is at least a more debatable topic in fashion than the last: unusual physicality versus defined beauty, with Zarpessa and Ci~L interestingly arguing for atypical features.
Zarpessa argues that even though girls like Tookie and her friends aren’t even anywhere near average-looking, they are beautiful way down deep inside.
Ci~L, in typical amazing slam poetry fashion, actually insults Zarpessa by saying the girls that she terms UL’s (Unfortunate-Lookings, geez what a terrible name) will end up dancing on her grave.
Then it is Tookie’s turn — and I know I make fun of Tookie a lot for being kind of dumb and not the best character in the world, but her argument for a narrow definition of beauty is actually pretty poignant. She thanks Ci~L for choosing her to come to Modelland and that she’s actually happy here for once in her life. But she also has to face the reality that ideal beauty is the only accepted and celebrated kind. Everyone has a place and Tookie is willing to accept that hers is as a Forgetta-Girl, and not like her sister, Myrracle. She thanks Ci~L for standing up for her, but she should allow Tookie to accept her fate, even if that means coming to Modelland as a sacrifice.
It does show a bit of depth to Tookie’s character that she is willing to accept the fact that she might never be the traditional beauty or that she’ll never be looked at as traditionally beautiful. Do I wish that she had more gumption to try and change that instead of lying down like a slug in the road? You bet! But at the very least, she’s self-aware without being too pathetic and that shows some complexity. It’s not entirely an admission of giving up, but it’s an understanding of what she’s up against.
Well, Ci~L goes insane and yells at Tookie that she’s been lobotomized and brainwashed to think that she can’t be seen as beautiful. And then Dylan goes insane cause I guess it’s catchy.
“Y’all can debate ‘unique features’ this and ‘atypical looks’ that all damn day long, but what in the hell is unique about me? A waist as wide as this damn sphere is round, legs as thick as tree trunks, a butt as big as the Bou-Big-Tique Nation!”
Dylan gets upset that she’s super fat and runs off, but at least Tookie wins the War of Words.
After class, Tookie and the girls chase after Dylan, but end up in a very strange place.
[They] entered a hallway that smelled strangely of wet fur . . . A loud hissing sound reverberated off the walls . . . “Do you think it was . . . Dylan?” Tookie whispered.
Man, is she dumb.
The girls have stumbled onto Catwalk Corridor and just as the chapter ends, a set of claws rips into Tookie’s flesh. There’s now a glimmer of hope that these girls will be torn to shreds.
Tookie turned back to Bravo. The hairs on the backs of Tookie’s thighs stood up.
Hm, someone doesn’t shave their legs. Who do you think you are, Tookie? Abigail?
“Pretty boy kooky over Tookie, and want her nookie,” Shiraz said sexily to Tookie as they jogged away.
Ugh, now I have that Limp Bizkit song stuck in my head.
“Hammocks . . . for honkers. Bazookas? Cha-chas? Chesticles?”
Guess who said that line?
“Class is allowed to, um, depart!” MattJoe announced. “I’ll see you soon, but now I have to go make a, uh, a special deposit, yep, yep.”
Special deposit? I can only imagine what kind of deposit he’s talking abou—
“Ew,” Chaste snickered. “I can only imagine what kind of deposit he’s talking about.”
I walked right into that one.
Next chapters are One Bee-Yotchhh and The Porcelain Pact. I hope that the special deposit is one of those throw-away plot points that Tyra doesn’t bring up in an upcoming chapter because if it is what I think it is, that opens up some really disturbing implications about MattJoe.
Feel free to leave that question unanswered, Tyra.