Tyra Banks Says The ‘Inclusive’ Ball Was Dropped On ‘America’s Next Top Model’: We Messed Up
Former supermodel and model competition show veteran Tyra Banks is in reflective mode and says that although the goal of the long-running “America’s Next Top Model” show was to be inclusive, they missed the mark. In a new interview with The Tamron Hall Show, the current host of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” says they did not get everything right.
Tyra Banks had recently been criticized for some of her comments during various seasons, particularly regarding her comments about contestant and eventual season 6 winner Danielle Evans she told to close her tooth gap if she wanted to have a shot at a CoverGirl contract. Tyra Banks has since apologized for her statements at the time.
During her interview, she said that she was still a working model herself and lived by the rules in the world of fashion.
“We were still operating in a world — I was still a model at the time, not a retired model yet, and still operating in this world that had so many rules. It was this awful push and pull that we all had.”
She added that there were:
“different categories of things we messed up…”
And that the show:
“did a whole bunch of things that we did mess up.”
“I was trying to push boundaries but was also torn to try to make sure that these girls could work, so it was a balance. It was like, ‘Oh, break beauty barriers,’ but yeah, I can break them all I want on the show, but they’ll graduate from the show, and they won’t work.”
She also said that during many of the seasons of the popular show, she was pressured to strongly suggest appearance modifications to some of the contestants. Tyra now says she should have advocated for them to not make any changes at all:
“I had model agents here saying, ‘These three girls could really, really work, but this must change,’ so there was a whole behind the scenes thing happening. Instead of me saying you must change this on TV, I think what I should have said is you’re beautiful.”
Despite this, Tyra still defends “ANTM” as a whole and explained in her interview that it was still a groundbreaking show.
“America’s Next Top Model was created — I created it — to introduce diversity and inclusion into a world that was pretty much not representing that or representing it in the most minute ways. So that was the crux of why I created America’s Next Top Model. It’s why my partner Ken Mok and I, who’s Chinese American, got up every single day, and we made so many inroads.”
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