People Staff
November 17, 1997 12:00 PM

He says he’s thinking of making a video, which he’d call “You Too Can Be a Suave Dude.” Tyson Beckford, America’s first African-American male supermodel and the ubiquitous face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo, is joking. The 26-year-old does that a lot, but he really is making a workout tape—mostly because he’s already informally instructing the guys who study his sculptured 6’1″, 195-lb. form during daily two-hour sessions at a gym near his San Fernando Valley condo. “A lot of them watch me to figure out what I’m doing and how I’m doing it,” says Tyson. “I guess my image is intimidating.” In fact, Lauren says, he chose the part-Chinese, part-Jamaican native of Rochester, N.Y., because he “embodies a powerful all-American image that today’s youth can relate to.” And women have always sensed the truth behind Tyson’s many (he doesn’t know how many) tattoos and diamond earrings (after splitting with the girlfriend for whom he bought them, he got his ears pierced): This is a guy who is happiest eating Cap’n Crunch while sitting on top of his washing machine because he has yet to buy furniture. “He has a boyish quality that’s very cute and endearing,” says actress pal Salli (Between Brothers) Richardson. “He’ll do cannonballs into the pool.” But rest assured, guys, he won’t invade your territory. “I’m like, ‘Aw, c’mon, I’m not going to take your girlfriend away” he says. “I may be a model, but I’m not that low a scum.”

You May Like