Smize queen Tyra Banks — creator and host of America’s Next Top Model — took her good old time introducing her son, 18-month-old York Banks Asla, to the world.
His first pic was just in profile, with face barely showing as a newborn, and fans have been wanting more of the little guy, naturally.
About a month ago, Banks finally posted a recent shot of her son on Instagram — but not for the fans, exactly. She did it more to beat paparazzi to the punch.
She recounted the story to Seth Meyers on Late Night on Thursday, when Meyers first joked that she had beaten him by holding out on baby pics longer than he did. “Congratulations!” he said. “You made it longer than I did. I had the plan not to [share baby photos].”
Banks is far more cautious. She explained the story behind her long-awaited toddler pic of York on social media. “It wasn’t so much that I was itching for the world to see him. I went to a restaurant for Father’s Day with my son and my dad. It was by the ocean and my son was, ‘Awa! Awa! Awa!’ Water,” she said. “And so I was like, ‘OK, you’re going to get in the water for the first time.’ I slathered him with sunscreen; he was looking purple, ’cause he’s black, so when we put on sunscreen, we look purple. And he just was looking crazy — got slammed by waves, sand everywhere.”
Then, as they were leaving, Banks noticed paparazzi snapping photos. And Mama Banks was not happy:. “I’m trying to hide him with a blanket. I pull over [at] the gas station after they get the shot, I text his dad [fashion photographer Erik Asla] and I’m like, ‘I’ve got to put this picture out before the paparazzi. I don’t want them to make money off our child and have the first picture.’ So, I posted the damn picture,” she recalled. “The next day, there ain’t no paparazzi pictures, ’cause mama knew how to hide [from] that camera. She’s a supermodel for a reason! And so now his picture is out there and I didn’t need it to be!”
Meyers was pretty chuffed too. “You have a beautiful baby. He is something else,” he gushed to Banks. “I know you’ve sort of popularized the idea of smizing — smiling with your eyes. It seems like that’s what your son is doing here. Did he learn how to smize from you?”
Banks admitted that York knows how to work it for the camera, but it’s nothing she’s taught him (or wants him to learn). “I am not a stage mom. I don’t want you think that I’m saying, ‘You ain’t gonna get no peas and carrots if you don’t smize!’ He has that natural thing; I had it when I was young too. But I do not want him to model. Lord! But he has that thing. Look at him! He’s like, ‘Hello! I’m smizing.'”
York does indeed have “that thing” that his mama has. No doubt about that. Those. Eyes. OMG.