ANTM in Retrospect: These Insensitive and Cringe-Worthy America’s Next Top Model Moments Are Receiving Backlash Today

“America’s Next Top Model,” a reality show created to ‘launch’ young people into the modeling industry, ran for 24 seasons in the early 2000s. The show’s host and co-creator, Tyra Banks, guided the models-to-be as they competed for a modeling contract. However, after about 17 years, people have discovered several offensive and insensitive on-screen and photo shoot moments from the show. This article is about the top five.

A Non-marketable Gap

In the modeling world, some body features are regarded as ‘non-marketable.’ However, this ANTM on-air moment was about a contestant’s natural feature- and that’s what makes it an offensive moment.

Courtesy: Essence

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The Cycle 6 winner, Danielle Evans, was put down on air because she refused to close the gap in her teeth. Tyra Banks told the young winner that her gap teeth were not a marketable feature- the comment took people aback.

A Disrespectful Photoshoot

Aired in 2008, the Cycle 10 contestants were asked to pose in clothes that made them look like homeless women. The photoshoot has been described as ‘out of touch’ and disrespectful to actual homeless people.

Courtesy: Reddit

The contestants were dressed disheveled and dirty-looking, while the actual homeless women posed in the background wearing high-end clothing. This photo shoot idea wouldn’t fly today.

Glamorizing Violence

A contestant on Cycle 8 of the show, Jael, had to take part in a death-themed photoshoot just days after learning that her friend died of an overdose. Jeal had to struggle to get through with challenge.

Courtesy: The CW/Hulu

The contestants had to portray different ways of being murdered, from forcible organ removal to strangulation. These themes traumatized Jael. Furthermore, the photoshoot has been called offensive as it seems to ‘glamorize’ violence against women. 

A Confusing and Uncomfortable Comment

In cycle 5, Tyra Banks made a statement that recent viewers have criticized as judgy. Tyra was contradictory and insensitive for a show that tells contestants that they are more than just pretty faces.

Courtesy: IMDb

Tyra implied that gay contestant Kim Stolz should ‘tone down’ her sexuality. When Kim told Tyra and other judges that she was gay and was proud of it, Tyra implied that the contestant shouldn’t make it so obvious. 

A Highly Offensive Example of Blackface

For a photoshoot in cycle 4, white contestants were made to wear makeup that was darker than their skin tones and pose as Black women. This incident has also come under fire for being racially insensitive.

Courtesy: Twitter

One of the contestants said she looked like a Black woman with a nose job when she was getting her makeup done. Tyra Banks has been accused of literally changing the contestants’ race and putting them in blackface.

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