Why Tyra Banks In 'Life Size' Was So Important For Black Girls


Tyra Banks is an OG supermodel and icon with a long list of accomplishments.

She started and hosted "America's Next Top Model," she's a Victoria's Secret alum, owns Tyra Beauty and more.

It's easy to forget she once played the fierce and fabulous black doll, Eve, alongside Lindsay Lohan in the television Disney film, "Life Size."

That was, until she made the big announcement that "Life Size 2" will come to silver screens during the holiday season in 2018 on Freeform (formerly, ABC Family).

In the original picture, a grieving Casey (Lohan) has just lost her mother and casts a spell to resurrect her. Something with the spell goes awry and instead, she brings her Eve doll to life. Though Casey is pissed at first, Eve in all her Barbie bubbly charm finally wins her over.

Just when Casey and Eve really start to bond, Eve has to return to her hometown of Sunnyvale, California (aka, her doll state, literally), but not before teaching young Casey how to have more confidence in herself.

I mean, who could forget the cheesy yet endearing, "Be A Star" song that Eve (and admit it, you) sang incredibly off-key?

Lindsay Lohan was adorable and Tyra Banks was as beautiful and fun as always.

Tyra Banks being a black supermodel was what really iconized the film.

This is especially true if you consider the lack of representation black girls had (and still have) when it came to their actual toy dolls.

From the Cabbage Patch Kids to the Barbie line to Polly Pocket products, most toys were full of white dolls, with maybe one or two token black options in the mix.

Growing up, I owned a "Christie" Barbie, known as one of the actual Barbie doll's friends, who originally debuted in 1968. Later, I had a "Brandy" doll, modeled after the R&B singer. Actually, I owned two because, well, when was I ever going to get another doll with my skin complexion who wore micro-braids like me?

Today, the toy industry has made some notable strides with dolls of varying complexions and body types. Still, any trip down a Walmart toy aisle will show you there is still quite a way to go.

When "Life Size" premiered on March 5, 2000, I was eager to catch it. It felt great to see a black doll, especially since I didn't see many in real life. And not only was she literally "life size," she was one of the most accomplished supermodels in the fashion industry, which also lacks representation for black women and girls.

There she was: A quirky Tyra Banks with her melanin popping, being a positive representation for black girls and women everywhere —off-key song, cheesy outfits and all.

I remember my friends and I singing the "Be A Star" song in class the very next day, feeling just as fine and affirmed as our beloved Eve doll.

The film may not have won any fancy awards, but it'll always be a cult classic.

So 18 years later, in December 2018, I'll plop down in front of my television with my wine and my homegirls, ready to watch Eve slay the screen with her #BlackGirlMagic once again.