Tyra (apology) Mail!
“America’s Next Top Model” host Tyra Banks said a promo spot for the show where judges appear to be fawning over a wannabe cover girl with “the smallest waist in the world” had “misconstrued” the show's overall message.
“There’s something about her that I like,” Banks gushes, while Manuel jokes that the model’s super-slender waist “is gonna make [Alexander] eat Tic Tacs and Watercress for the rest of the season.”
“Like all of my projects, I am extremely involved in ‘America’s Next Top Model’ from casting the final contestants to conceptualizing the episode challenges, but with all the work and details that go into producing a TV show, I can’t be 100 places at once (although I try), but it’s just impossible for me to see everything that’s created before it’s released to all of you,” she wrote.
The supermodel said the spot had been pulled from CW’s “Top Model’s” website, and thanked those who’d written in to protest.
“To the people who see me as a representation of upholding the fact that beauty comes in all sizes, I personally apologize,” Banks wrote. “The jokes of my fellow judges connected with my edited sound bite sounded like I was supporting unhealthy eating habits. This has never and will NEVER be the case – I am and will always be committed to promoting healthy body image.”
As an example, Banks cited her issues with weight. As a pre-teen she was unable to gain wait, making her on the receiving end of “countless stares” and “feeling helpless.”
“I've also been (VERY) publicly attacked for being bigger. Being on the receiving end of both sides of that pain has really shaped my perspective,” Banks wrote.
She said Ann, the model on the promo, struggled with her own issues related to her height. As part of the show, she’s counseled her and other would-be top models.
“I want the media and viewers to continue to challenge perceptions of beauty, but to understand that BEAUTY comes in all shapes, sizes and proportions,” Banks wrote.
"Top Model" premieres Sept. 8.