Inexhaustible self-promoter Tyra Banks seems intent on introducing a new lexicon of gibberish to “America’s Next Top Model” viewers this season. On the surface this may seem like nothing more than a lame attempt by the host and her minions to generate Tyra-related trending topics and slang. But everything that happens in the Tyrasphere is a premeditated component of her ill-conceived bid to take over the world.
At the beginning of judging for last night’s episode of “ANTM,” runway coach J. Alexander turns to Tyra and asks, “What is this ‘smize’?” A good question, Miss J, even if you were likely prompted to ask it. Throughout the episode, viewers are constantly assaulted with the expression–making its “ANTM” debut–by the models and other judges. It begins when Tyra appears in a black catsuit and silver cape emblazoned with “smize” across the back and declares that she’s Super Smize. After a brief smizing lesson, she leads the girls to the set of “Far Out Space Nuts” and has them compete in a smize-off. Later, at the photo shoot, Jay Manuel reiterates the buzzword many times in his comments and instructions to the models. Tyra and her entourage of crazytalkin’ automatons want to make sure that if you take one thing away from the show last night, it’s smize. The relentless echoing of the word felt like being subjected to some weird neuro-linguistic programming brainwashing technique Tyra picked up at a seminar.
To answer Miss J, “smize” is Tyraspeak for “smile with your eyes,” an old concept for the show, now rebranded with memorably annoying terminology. This isn’t Tyra’s only attempt at inventing a new catchphrase this season. Last night she also brought in “H2T” (“head to toe modeling”). In last week’s premiere, the models are given “Ty-overs” instead of the usual makeovers.
But wait, there’s more! Tyra, through her Ty Loke licensing company, filed 14 trademark applications for “Smize” which cover a vast range of goods and services. Specific items listed include the rather predictable (cosmetics, apparel, accessories), the unexpected (furniture, summer camps, video games) and the downright bizarre (inflatable mattresses, statues made of bone or ivory, toy wrestling gear sets).