Celebrities have been known to leave the glamorous, cozy sphere of Hollywood to dip their toes into the definitely more frumpy pools of academia. James Franco taught directing at NYU. Kal Penn led a film course at UPenn (presumably just because of the pleasing name-coincidence). Now, former America's Next Top Model queen Tyra Banks will be getting up in front of class to officially add "professor" to her resume and dispense her wisdom to the young.
The Queen of the Smize will be teaching a class of grad students at Stanford this fall. The curriculum, sadly, does not include how to tooch your booty or hoe, but make it fashion, and instead is focused on creating, marketing and maintaining a personal brand. The course is titled "Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand," and Tyra will be teaching it in conjunction with Stanford lecturer Alison Kugler, a former TV executive. Banks' disciples will learn all about using the new tools of media saturation, like Facebook Live and YouTube, to promote the media-friendly image of themselves they will craft in the course.
But you were wondering, what is Tyra's educational philosophy? She goes in for good old fashioned "gotcha" teaching techniques, promising the Wall Street Journal that "If I see somebody not paying attention, I'm gonna call on them." She also wants students to stay off their smartphones--unless it's to "tweet something I've said." (If you had any doubt, this is the classroom philosophy of a woman who understands how to keep things on her brand.)
Students taking "Project You" are expected to come to class prepared with a 90-second video that describes "Who you are, what your personal brand is, and what you want it to be." Presumably they will then be lined up and critiqued by Banks, Kluger, and, if history is any judge, "noted fashion photographer" Nigel Barker and Miss J.