Over the years Tyra Banks has stepped out of her role as a super model and begun to disperse her talents into different endeavors. She has reordered songs, made a music video and has created one of the most watched talk shows on the network to date.
However, the model has had some scandals and outburst in the past as a result of the tabloids calling her the ‘F’ word: fat. But since then Tyra has fully engulfed herself into a person who celebrates the full-figured woman and believes that all body types are to be acknowledge as long as the woman is healthy. But in a recent media clip, people’s views of Tyra and her beliefs may have changed.
As a promotional video for America’s Next Top Model cycle 15, Tyra and her fellow judges are seen interviewing the potential candidates. All is going well until we get to the 6 ft. tall Ann, from Dallas Texas.
Tyra, who is usually the first person to notice a person’s ‘selling features’ quickly points out Ann’s unusually emaciated waist. Tyra quotes, “you have the skinniest waist in the world,” followed by Miss J. Alexander walking up the model and placing both hands around her frame. The model was so thin that all of his fingers, including his thumbs connected to each other. To make things even more uncomfortable Photo Shoot Director Jay Manuel said, “She’s going to make Miss J eat Tic Tacs and Watercrest for the rest of the season.” Tic Tacs and Watercrest.
I have respect for Tyra Banks. She is successful and a role model to people who look up to her, including young girls. But I have to agree with the majority of the media when they say that Tyra and the judge’s comments are inappropriate behavior for someone who celebrates the “full-figured” frame. Young girls may look at this and see that it is ok for someone to look skeletal and that the already size 0 standard in the modeling industry can be taken into the negatives.
Some people have actually jumped to Tyra’s defense saying that the host probably asked the girl ‘is she healthy?’ However, that was not shown on the promo video, instead Tyra claims “There’s something about her I like.” What that is I don’t know. But I do know that Tyra has a history of taking a girl who may not look attractive all together and making her a model, as long as she has good bone structure, a good complexion or piercing eyes.
What makes things even more complex is that the video was removed from the web, and the clip about Ann’s waist will no longer be shown on the upcoming season. Instead Tyra has ‘redeemed’ herself by saying she has talked to her producers about adding petite woman on the show. This gives more opportunities to the girls who would like to be models but may not have the height.
I can only hope that anyone who saw the promo video and feels self conscious about themselves only take into consideration that Ann may or may not be healthy but that the ideal body type of a size 0 is unrealistic. Models, to me, are not role models. All they do is take their natural, high metabolism bodies, dress them up and take pictures. Some may have a few charities on the side but just because you like how they look does not mean you have to look like them. It’s ok to have curves. And if I had to choose for my last meal to be a salad or a double cheeseburger with fries, I say hold the tomatoes.