Why I Love America's Next Top Model

The modeling world has always been criticized for being sexist, ableist, sizeist and exclusive in all ways, but in 2003, supermodel Tyra Banks wanted to put a spin on what it means to be a model. For years, models were known for being predominantly white, skinny and tall. The stereotypical model was labeled a “b*tch” and “anorexic.” Tyra Banks decided that being a model is empowering and anyone can do it, so she created America’s Next Top Model. Here are a few reasons why I believe the show shouldn’t be looked over, but admired.

The Diversity

Many of the contestants on the show had varying skin tones and ranged from so many backgrounds. Tyra saw that everyone was beautiful in their own way. She included plus size models on her show and even cast people with disabilities and disfigurements, such as Tahlia Brookins (scar survivor) on cycle 12 and Nyle Dimarco (deaf) on cycle 22. Tyra’s inclusivity shed light on the diverse world of modeling.

The Iconic Moments

The drama on this show was amazing. Tyra knew when to put a girl in her place, such as the infamous “Be quiet Tiffany!” moment when contestant Tiffany Richardson on cycle four was not taking the competition seriously. Another moment was when Cassandra Jean on cycle five lost her cool and cried after getting her hair cut super short. So many iconic moments happened on this show, but in the end, karma always came back to bite the drama queen.

Modeling is Tough

This show also proved that modeling is much more than standing there and looking pretty. It showed that you need to put so much effort into it. The slightest facial expression or body position could throw off a whole photo, and walking on the runway proved to be extremely difficult for many of the contestants.

For a show with 24 seasons, America’s Next Top Model proved to be a revolutionary show with an impact on many young adults everywhere. Modeling was seen as an arbitrary industry focused on the skinniest white girl, but ANTM proved critics wrong.