America's Next Top Model has returned and this time Tyra's been replaced by Ashley Graham, Rita Ora, and... other people. The contestants this go-round are incredibly diverse - ranging from a gingers to Asians & Africans, they got an androgynous girl, sister, and a trans woman - yet Plus Size seems excluded. The community isn't happy.
Two well-known Plus Size icons have spoken out, and I'm sure more are to follow. Daniell Brooks, who plays Taystee on “OITNB,” wrote an open letter to the show calling them out for this oversight.
Read her Instagram post below:
[This is not a bashing of any sort but an observation that wouldn’t allow me to hold my ??’… ] As a plus woman being seen only 1% of the time is a real thing. Period. After watching #ANTM last night I was super excited to see my girl Ashley Graham but bummed out not to see any plus contestants. A curvy judge but no curvy contestants? ???? Out of all 24 girls not one was plus. You had an Asian, African, a red head, transgender, an androgynous sister, even twins…(much love for that) but not 1 plus size woman-when 67% of women are plus in the US?? This could’ve been a perfect opportunity for them to highlight fabulous designers that also do plus fashion or highlight strictly plus designers that rarely get any shine. They could’ve also highlighted the struggles that come with being plus. We could’ve at least gotten to 2%. The plus competitor would’ve been able to lean on the fact that a reflection of herself (Ashley Graham) was in the room reminding her that her dream IS possible. All these things still would’ve moved us forward, and would’ve done more than me posting an IG post. Regardless, We are worth these incredible opportunities. We deserve to be seen. I’m going to continue to push back and speak up for that young girl that wants to model, wants to act, wants to be upfront and needs to be reminded that she is just as deserving as anyone else. ✌????️??’? #seethe67 #voiceofthecurves
She isn't the only one speaking out on social media. Tess Holliday took to Twitter: "#ANTM has a model who works with plus brands & many plus girls look up to, but y'all couldn't get a plus size model on to show to compete?"
The truth is, THEY'RE RIGHT! When Tyra ran the show they had all sorts of seasons - short, UK vs US, college girls, and eventually co-ed. And yes, a plus model won (ONCE. Cycle 10. Out of 22), but there was next a plus season. And here we are, with a plus judge but nothing is different! I wasn't too happy with the show before, and I'm not getting any happier.
Do you think ANTM made this decision consciously? Or was it just an oversight? Leave your thoughts in the comments.