Anyone who has ever watched a season, oh I’m sorry, “cycle” of America’s Next Top Model knows that host and mastermind Tyra Banks loves to talk about her curves and her “badonkadonk.” Now she is helping to lead the charge against the modeling industry using models that look too-thin and who are underage. But, don’t worry, she’s doing it in classic ridiculous Banks style.
Earlier this month, the 19 editors of all the international editions of fashion bible Vogue said that they would no longer allow models under 16 or who looked like they had an eating disorder on their pages. It is a big change, and one that Banks has embraced. After all, Banks was doing it before it was cool, even ejecting a contestant on ANTM who looked too thin way back in 2010.
Now, Banks is taking up Vogue‘s message and has penned an open letter to the industry crying for change. She also went on Good Morning America to help launch her crusade. All of us who know and love Banks see she’s doing it the only way she knows how, with stories about herself, her own career, and how she is a source of inspiration for all the models everywhere in the whole, beautiful world. At least she didn’t plug her ridiculous book.
Here’s a paragraph from her letter, “In my early 20s I was a size four. But then I started to get curvy. My agency gave my mom a list of designers that didn’t want to book me in their fashion shows anymore. In order to continue working, I would’ve had to fight Mother Nature and get used to depriving myself of nutrition. As my mom wiped the tears from my face, she said, ‘Tyra, you know what we’re going to do about this? We’re going to go eat pizza.’ We sat in a tiny pizzeria in Milan and strategized about how to turn my curves into a curveball.”
Banks is trying to inspire young models with one of her silly new words. No, it’s not “bootie tooch,” it’s “flawsome,” which is that girls look “awesome” when they embrace their “flaws.” (Oh, Tyra. Never change.) It’s a good one, but it’s no “smize.”
The most revolutionary thing about Banks’ letter, however, may be her call to form a modeling union. She didn’t full-on endorse the Model Alliance, a newly formed trade union for fashion models that is trying to gain traction and fight abuse, but maybe she should have. Maybe what they really need is Banks, with her zany stories and funny slang to help bring the cause to middle America and the young girls who watch the CW. Either way, we can’t wait to see how Banks is going to start the revolution on the next cycle of ANTM. I see a Che Guevara fashion shoot in our future.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan