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[MODEL] Tyson Beckford: Model of Jamaican/Panamanian/Chinese/American Heritage

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  • madchinaman
    Tyson Beckford This article shines a spotlight on the 6 2 supermodel Tyson Beckford--one of the world s most famous male models and an individual whose unique
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 2006
      Tyson Beckford
      This article shines a spotlight on the 6'2" supermodel Tyson
      Beckford--one of the world's most famous male models and an
      individual whose unique African-Asian appearance has taken the
      modeling world by storm.
      http://racerelations.about.com/od/celebritiesandrace/a/tysonbeckford.
      htm


      -

      Racial/Ethnic Heritage:
      Tyson's exotic looks can be attributed to his interesting mix - his
      father is Jamaican/Panamanian and his mother is Chinese/American.
      *
      Tyson grew up in Jamaica and Rochester, New York. In fact, his
      exotic look, resulting from his Jamaican-Panamanian-Chinese
      heritage, often drew ridicule from his schoolmates.

      -


      DOB: Born Tyson Craig Beckford on December 19, 1971, in New York.

      Career Highs:
      In 1991, Tyson was barely out of his teens when his striking looks
      caught the eye of the editor of hip-hop magazine "The Source." This
      led to a contract with a New York modeling agency, and to a life of
      cameras and runways.

      Tyson has posed for top photographers Herb Ritts and Bruce Weber who
      introduced him to Ralph Lauren who praised his "all-American look
      with a dramatic edge", saying: "He conveys power, style and
      intelligence in a very exciting way." Lauren signed Tyson
      exclusively to represent the Ralph Lauren campaign. Beckford's
      unique face has since graced the covers of dozens of magazines such
      as Essence and Paper, and has been featured in fashion spreads for
      well-known publication such as Vogue, GQ, Details, Men's Health,
      Vibe, and The New York Times.

      1995 was a big year for Beckford, who was named VH1's "Model of the
      Year" and one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the
      World.

      Career Lows:

      As a forerunner in his field, Tyson's path hasn't always been
      smooth. He once turned down a spot on the coveted Milan Fashion Week
      catwalk because he was the only black man invited to the event. He
      said, "There are so many African-American and African men who are
      trying to get jobs, and they weren't giving the jobs to them."

      Breaking into Hollywood hasn't been easy either. Tyson says his good
      looks are sometimes more of a hindrance than a help. "A bad day for
      me now is going on an audition and not getting the gig," he
      says. "I've got to prove myself because (casting directors) think I
      am a pretty boy who can't speak."

      TV Appearances:

      Tyson has appeared in a number of music videos including Toni
      Braxton's video for "Unbreak My Heart," Britney Spears' "Toxic," and
      videos for artists Mia X, Notorious B.I.G., and Shaquille O'Neal. He
      has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Magic Hour,
      Keenan Ivory Wayans, Mad TV, Entertainment Tonight, VH1, as in
      commercials for Polo Jeans.

      Films:

      Tyson made an appearance in the little-seen "Boricua's Bond" and as
      himself in the Ben Stiller male model spoof "Zoolander." Higher-
      profile roles include a part in "Biker Boyz" (2003) alongside "The
      Matrix" star Laurence Fishburne. Other film credits include: "Dream
      Street" (2005), "Gas" (2004), "Searching for Bobby D" (2004).

      Racial/Ethnic Heritage:

      Tyson's exotic looks can be attributed to his interesting mix - his
      father is Jamaican/Panamanian and his mother is Chinese/American.

      FAQ: Where did he grow up?

      Tyson grew up in Jamaica and Rochester, New York. In fact, his
      exotic look, resulting from his Jamaican-Panamanian-Chinese
      heritage, often drew ridicule from his schoolmates.

      FAQ: In response to his success:

      Tyson says, "I thank God every day. That's all I can do. That, and
      try to help all those other guys who are trying to do what I did."
      Tyson looks forward to paving the way for up-and-coming models of
      color.

      FAQ: What else is he up to?

      Tyson Beckford is working on an exercise video, and keeps busy
      riding and collecting motorcycles, snowboarding, reading, and hoping
      to someday beat Dennis Rodman's collection of tattoos (he currently
      has 8).
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