Trya Banks speaking hands out (l) America's Next Top Model logo white over black background (r)

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‘PLUS SIZE????!!’: 2003 ‘America’s Next Top Model’ clip sparks debate about body image

'Were you a child in the early 2000s listening to tyra banks call women who were 5’10 and 115lbs plus sized?'


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Aug 9, 2022

Tyra Banks is an iconic internet figure, and America’s Next Top Model has provided years of meme material. But we’re reassessing early aughts pop culture, and a clip from the long-running show is being dissected (again).

A viral Aug. 7 tweet from KVeinFlautist kicked off the debate. It features a scene from season 1 of the modeling competition series, which debuted in 2003. Judges assess a shoot from contestant Robin Manning, who is labeled “plus size”; model Janice Dickinson calls her “huge.” The caption: “The 2000s were something else. This woman’s body was sickening.”

“Soon there will be a documentary called ‘Surviving Tyra Banks,'” read another tweet.

The clip is edited, which some people took exception with. Elsewhere, a clip of Banks calling out Dickinson’s obsession with being skinny was posted for context. “Tyra has done a lot of things but she defended [Robin’s] body a lot during that season,” said one tweet. Other clips from the series were also held up as examples of the racism that was allowed from judges.

This ANTM reassessment has been happening on TikTok, where a similar clip circulated last fall. The ANTM tag has more than 600 million views, but many of the videos under the tag remark on how “toxic” or harmful the show was.

Others called out Banks for her own hypocrisy when it came to body positivity.

@youlovethekat #greenscreen and I used to love me some Tyra 😩 #antm #fat #models #tyrabanks #hypocrite ♬ Theme from “America’s Next Top Model” – TV Sounds Unlimited
@youlovethekat Reply to @queenjayymarley #greenscreen #tyrabanks #karma #bodyimage #antm ♬ original sound – Kitty

The TikTok from the viral tweet was posted July 12 by the account hotgirlseurope, and it has more than 1 million views.

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*First Published: Aug 9, 2022, 2:32 pm CDT