Tyra Banks was up at 4 a.m. the day after Easter to appear on the Today show with her mother. They were promoting their new book, Perfect is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty and Being a Boss.
But Banks’ mom, Carolyn London isn’t an expert in being in front of the camera.
“That’s just not her passion," says Banks, a world-famous supermodel. "So it’s cute — she made like a cute little mistake today. We were on the Today show ,and they were like, ‘We have to do a tease! You know, we just want to show that you guys are here. Are you able to do a wave? We want you to do a wave to the camera!’ And so my mom waved for two seconds and then kind of looks away and kind of starts talking to me, and she doesn’t know she’s still on camera live for the whole country!”
London quickly stole the show by busting out a rap with Banks as her backup.
Many people have envied the relationship between Banks and her mom. In Perfect Is Boring, they lay out their tips and tricks.
“Just like not being afraid to talk about taboo topics," Banks says. "And remembering that you used to be a teenager or a 20-year-old or 30-year-old or whatever it is, and remembering that and not trying to get too ‘I am the parent, and I don’t remember that!’
"But at the same time, my mom wasn’t like my best friend, like we’re going to the club … . It’s not that. Still, to this day, I have to listen to what she says and have that respected mom-daughter [relationship], but we have that safety to talk about anything, and that kind of allowed me to stay on my straight and narrow path.”
Banks attributes much of her success and her ability to steer away from drugs, heavy alcohol and “the wrong path” to her mother.
“I think it really stems from her being real and raw and unfiltered with me," Banks says. "A lot of that path, from being this little, insecure girl to where I am today, is because of my mother. So we give those tips and those tricks and those stories so that people can learn and apply it to their own lives. And it’s done in a very comedic way, and you get a lot of information at the same time."
Banks and her mother also discuss a lot of taboo topics.
“The book allows us to go a step further — there’s some things we shared, and I’m like, 'Oh, did we go too far?' I’m like, 'No," Banks says. "Me being uncomfortable meant that I pushed and I’m practicing what I’m preaching. And I’m sharing stories and talking about things to educate people and to get them comfortable about the uncomfortable. And if I have to get a little uncomfortable to do that, I’ll sacrifice my own comfort for that."
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In addition to releasing the book, Banks is parenting her 2-year-old son, finishing her comeback season of America’s Next Top Model, shooting America’s Got Talent and getting ready for Life Size 2, which she's starring in and producing. The film, a sequel to the 2000 fantasy/comedy she starred in alongside Lindsay Lohan, will be a holiday movie.
Banks says she wants Lohan to be in the sequel and is having something written for her.
“It’s not going to be necessarily for little girls, but it’s going to be for the little girls and boys that grew up with Life Size," Banks says. "So it’s a more mature version, you know? Eve has grown up; Eve is experiencing adult things now. So it’s a different take on Eve.”
Banks and her mother are appearing at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas on April 11 to promote their new book. Tickets are $37-$67, and every ticket-holder will receive an autographed copy of Perfect is Boring.