In news that's going to convince everyone to go back to school immediately, Tyra Banks will be teaching a course at Stanford University in 2017. According to the Wall Street Journal, Banks is "slated to make her teaching debut" as part of Stanford's MBA program, and will be "co-teaching a class on creating and protecting a personal brand." As the creator of America's Next Top Model, Banks has proven how strong her brand is, having made the transition from model to presenter to business woman so seamlessly. Basically, she will be an amazing teacher since she's already taught us all so much.
By making the move to TV, Banks proved pretty quickly just how important it is to embrace new opportunities, and to evolve in the direction your career wants to take you. Having developed her TV show for audiences worldwide, she understands her audience, and knows how to keep them interested. She's also mentored countless models, and knows what it takes to be successful in her field. Along with the fact that she completed a Harvard Business School Management Program specifically so she could start her own brand TYRA Beauty, which she describes as "a 100 percent self-funded startup," Banks is the perfect teacher because she's crazy experienced.
Her brand, TYRA Beauty, is the culmination of all of her talents, and the perfect platform from which to discuss brand building with her class at Stanford. Clearly, Banks hasn't finished building her business empire just yet, since she states on her website, "My dream is to create a legacy brand that gives everyone access to become an entrepreneur." The former Victoria's Secret model has stayed firmly at the center of her brand and all of its business, but, as with her show America's Next Top Model, she's keen to share her expertise with others. The drive to empower other people seems to be at the core of everything Banks does, and her burgeoning teaching career is further evidence of this.
Arguably, the presenter's brand incorporates so many strands — not just her TV shows, modeling career, and beauty start-up. As a self-proclaimed feminist, the entrepreneur repeatedly teaches contestants and viewers to stand up for themselves and embrace who they are. Speaking to Yahoo! Beauty in October 2014, Banks describes being a feminist as, "not apologizing for being strong or wanting to make money or to be on top." She continually promotes body confidence too, stipulating that "A lot of the things I did in my modeling career as a woman of color was part of that feminism — of expanding the definition of beauty and making women feel beautiful, no matter what color their skin is.”
The embracing nature of Banks's feminism is inspiring, and shows what a fierce forward-thinker she is, as well as a staunch role model for people worldwide and a natural teacher.
In 2014, the model joined the Fat Talk campaign, to encourage women to use empowering language when talking about their bodies. Her positivity in the face of negative press and paparazzi photos is always inspiring, and a lesson that she never finishes teaching. She told The Huffington Post in March 2014,
About 93 percent of women ‘fat talk’ about themselves... Women are doing it in front of their daughters — they’re saying my body is disgusting, it makes me feel sick and so on. And I’m thinking, your daughter is probably your size and she’s hearing that? That stuff is crazy.
By frequently discussing body image in such an honest way, Banks is helping demystify much of the shame and societal pressure placed on women's bodies.
She has already taught us so much about business, body confidence, professionalism, modeling, collaboration, and building a career that's unique to you and your personality. In what could surely be the tagline of her course, Banks says on her site, "My goal is to help you be the CEO of your life!" I want to take her course right now, and I'm sure you do too.
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