Tyra: “Top Model was one of the first times we saw plus-size models treated equally; now it’s a trend. Do you feel responsible?
TYRA BANKS: “I am actually really, really happy. When I pitched the idea of ‘top model’ to the network, I said, ‘I have to have plus-size models,’ and that was a different time; so they were like, “eh…whatever.” Now to see V magazine, and Glamour and Chanel, and Marc Jacobs embracing it, it’s great! The thing is we have to make sure it isn’t just a ‘trend.’ Women’s bodies come in so many different sizes; I’m hoping it is not a trend and we can continue different looks.”
Tyra’s unmitigated gall for taking the credit for plus size models working in fashion is true to her form! Too bad the plus size model movement was set in play years before Tyra had the unoriginal thought to pitch the idea. Another ratings ploy, sound familiar? Her so-called “shorty edition” wasn’t even the first show for petite models. The last time I checked, Ann Lauren produced the first nationally televised show specifically showcasing petite models. The ANTM producers were aware of this through their discussions with Lauren.
Moreover if the above quote were true, then why is it that this season’s contestants range in height from 5’8” up to 6’2” (which is actually considered too tall)? Are we to believe that no one under 5’8” applied, or were good enough to make it onto this cycle?
Or, is Tyra actually confirming (silently and contradictorily) that “petite models” just aren’t good enough or acceptable, especially for this edition of ANTM, which is a high-fashion landmark show? No way would Tyra send a petite model to Italian Vogue magazine, or IMG Models. God forbid she break the archetype!
Tyra claims she wants “different looks,” and advocates for “all-size” models if that’s the case, then why did a 5’7” Nicole Fox win the “shorty edition” of ANTM? “5’7” which is not a true petite. Why was “Fox” even on the show to begin with? It was a so-called “petite edition,” so one would think that women at 5’5” tall and under would be the only contestants.
There are so many amazing petite models out there, only asking for an equal footing. If Tyra is so hell-bent on taking the credit for the plus-size industry being finally noticed and treated “equally,” then why doesn’t she get to-bending on the “petite-size” of things?
Hmm…could it be an inferiority complex? One has to wonder… Written by: Tana Corporon
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