“America’s Next Top Model” Defies Model Stereotypes

Models of All Ages and Shapes Have Been Given a Chance to Succeed

By: Brooke Price

Pictured above, the fifteen contestants on cycle 24 on ANTM. Credit:

After being away during cycle 23, Tyra Banks is back.

Banks returned to her role as hostess on “America’s Next Top Model”, relieving Rita Ora of her duties.

Along with Banks, the judging panel consists of plus-size model Ashley Graham, Paper magazine chief creative officer Drew Elliot, and celebrity stylist Law Roach.

The judges help shape the models to become more well-rounded, and gain a deeper understanding of the modeling world, and what it means to be a model.

Banks announced on “ANTM” that she would be eliminating weight, height, and age restrictions. Models of all different shapes and sizes can now compete in the competition.

Fifteen models are currently competing for “America’s Next Top Model.” The winner receives $100,000 cash courtesy of Pantene, a fashion spread in Paper magazine, a contract with Next Model Management, and a feature avatar on the new America’s Next Top Model mobile game.

Erin Green, 42, is one of the oldest to ever compete on the show. She doesn’t let her age define her or stop her from achieving her dreams as a model.

Banks designs unique makeovers for the fifteen contestants. Of these contestants, Jeana Turner, who has alopecia, removes her wig and has her head shaved for her emotional makeover.

Turner always hid her alopecia with a wig, due to feeling insecure about herself. During the makeover, she learns to embrace her true beauty without the wig.

Rio Summers suffered a tumor on the back of her head and had to be operated on. She now has a scar that runs from her head down to her neck.

After Summers’ surgery, she had a deeper appreciation for life and was grateful for the chance to be able to model. She embraces her scar and sometimes nicknames it her “battle scar.”  

Ivana Thomas struggled with her body image because she is somewhat overweight and did not fit the ideal model body type. She had gained weight after her father’s death, and did not think that she could succeed in the modeling field.

Without the restrictions in place, Thomas was able to make her dream a reality. She has learned to embrace her body and not be embarrassed of her full figure.

Coura Fall dropped out of college to pursue a modeling career. When she went to other modeling agencies, she was often told that her appearance was too masculine. She has since felt insecure about her appearance.

When Fall went on “America’s Next Top Model”, the judges were fascinated with her beauty. When the models went to get makeovers, the judges felt that Coura’s own look suited her the best, and nicknamed it “the Coura”.  

Banks wants models to embrace their unconventional beauty. Banks revoked these restrictions to enable models to admire their true beauty and self-worth.

“We celebrate beauty in all of us, all shapes, all sizes and all colors. …The fight continues to show you that you are beautiful, that’s why I’m back.” Banks added.

Models have to be comfortable enough in their own skin, since they participate in various types of photo shoots including maternity shoots, music videos, lingerie shoots, and walk runways.

Banks wants models to embrace their true selves and not be ashamed of how they look.

Now viewers are able to see models that look like them on TV, competing to be “America’s Next Top Model”.


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