Safe to say, Ashley Banks is blowing up like you thought she would.
Have you seen ms. Ali lately?
I mean, all adolescent boys like myself who grew up under the charismatic vice grip of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air couldn’t help but have the biggest crush if not more “impure thoughts” of the youngest of Banks’.
You remember that episode where she wanted to be a singer and she got on stage and sang “RESPECT” in that one outfit? or how about the episode that spawned the phrase “filthy McNasty” where she started dating and looking grown in that mini-skirt?
But I was never on the Ashley Banks bandwagon. Either I was too young to really lust after her like that, or maybe I just looked at her like she was a kid and I was into fully developed and mature women. Around the time the rumor started spreading about Chili from TLC being her bigger sister and her being a relative of Muhammad Ali, I was thinking…damn, I’d much rather have Layla or Rhozonda over Ashley.
Or maybe it was because, as I mentioned in my Brittany Murphy Crush Alot post, that she went out with Former SeaQuest actor Johnathan Brandis, and her then Jungle Fever kind of made me think she was a corny Hollywood chic.
And I’m sure by now you’ve seen all kinds of threads across the internets about how she’s blossomed, littered with alot of these very pictures, but I’ve discovered in my more recent years that I’m much more of a fan of Tatyana M. Ali than Ashley Banks.
Something tells me that she has an innate warmth, maybe it’s that smile or the dimples, but I get girl-next-door from her. Well, surely not any door in my hood, but you get the point. Sometimes she looks Eartha Kittish, other times she looks like a browner version of young Janet. But it’s all to the good because as you can see, the dangerous curves paired with the innocent appeal make for a nice tag-team. Add to that, the appearance that she doesn’t seem to come off as bourgie or seditty, more so genuinely cool, and it’s a done deal. But of course…I don’t know her.
It’s this presence tho, that makes her a part of the clan that I refer to as the Queens of Cute:
Those starlets and pretty women who don’t necessarily exude the sexual lure of say…an Angelina Jolie. Nor do they necessarily possess that hands down striking Beauty like say..a Halle Berry.
But what these Ladies do have is an undeniable gleam, a feature that makes you want to think of them as girlfriends rather than one-night trysts. A face that you want to take home and introduce to your mother. This is the category where your Ashanti’s, Hilary Duff’s and Lauren london’s fit. On the outside, that is.
You do understand the difference now right?
So I’m officially crowning Tatyana as royalty and cheering her on in the moves she makes… From the drama over the ”Buppies” fiasco to whatever may come next…Even that Martin Lawrence – produced sitcom on TVOne entitled Love That Girl (props for the use of Raphael Saadiq’s song for the opening sequence) where she stars. Let’s see how long that lasts…
Hell, I feel so good, I’m throwing in her Debut music video from ’97 featuring Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz (Yikes! bet you never thought you’d hear those names together. Or mentioned for that matter. And as you can see in the video, that Jungle Fever thing was still very much alive for Taty).
I think I like the second, cornier joint with Will Smith better!
(You know you liked it too!)
So here’s to you,
although you may not be Truly be related to THEE Ali,
you may very well be the Greatest Of All Time when it comes to the Cute Queens.
you were, and are now doubly so,
My New Crush!