ANTM (Americas Next Top Model), is arguably one of the biggest reality TV shows in the world, produced by top international model, Tyra Banks. The show which has been lauded for its size inclusivity involving both straight sized, in-between and plus-sized models has been on for more than a decade and is currently in its 24th season. This season of ANTM sees executive producer Tyra Banks, supermodel and body activist Ashley Graham, Paper Magazine’s Chief Creative Officer-Drew Elliott and celebrity stylist Law Roach on its panel of judges.
In a recent episode of ANTM, the female models were told to choose the brawn models they would work with for a full-bodied gold photoshoot. An on-the-spot casting call was held for the selection of three plus-size male models who posed shirtless and dripping in gold. Plus-size male model Zach Miko (who was also on the panel for the selection of the other brawn models), was one of the models selected to do the shoot. This would be Zach’s first ever photo shoot without a shirt.
While this should have been a monumental moment for the show, one of the female model contestants on the show didn’t seem to think so as she boldly body shamed the plus male models present. Rio’s brazen comment during the feedback segment was “To be honest with you, overweight guys like that are not cute. Work out, let’s get healthy, But hey, do you, boo-boo.” While everyone is entitled to an opinion, body shaming on a show like that caused all kinds of uproar both within the show itself and of course online.
Tyra Banks who is known for her outspokenness and who has also been through her fair share of body shaming wasted no time in cautioning the model who made the comment on the brawn models. She said “Hear me now and hear me loud. A DAD BOD SHOULD BE APPRECIATED LIKE A ROCK HARD BOD. We celebrate thick women, now it’s time to celebrate the thick fellas”. She could not have said it in a better way, Tyra definitely hit the nail on the head there. This would not be the first time Tyra Banks would be including plus sizes into the reality show whether as contestants or judges.
It’s also great to see that more people are recognising that all bodies are beautiful and there is no one size fits all idea because as soon as Rio’s comment was aired, everyone went in! From former fans of the models to the media as well social media users who did not hesitate to call for her eviction from the show. While she is still currently on the show, we all will definitely be sipping on our tea and watching for the what happens next. (Your move, Tyra)
Zach Miko, however, expressed how grateful he was for the opportunity after sharing a photo from the shoot which was taken by Tyra herself. He shares from his Instagram handle, ‘I could not be more proud of this. Going for gold with the incredible @jeanaturner shot by the queen herself @tyrabanks on @antmvh1