Tyra Banks is back. No unfortunately she is not back on the runway, but she is still the boss that she has always been, on and off the runway. America’s Next Top Model is back for its 24th season and they’re breaking barriers left and right. Prior to season 24 the requirements for the show were as follows:
You must be 18-27 years of age
You must be 5’6 or taller
You must be in excellent physical shape
Mental health must also be excellent
Cycle 24 has gotten rid of all of these regulations and have opened the floor to any and all who apply. On seasons 20 and 21 producers decided to throw a curveball and add males to the mix and that is when things immediately started to change. The theme of guys and girls was ‘Who Will Dominate’ and they implemented social media voting into the show. Fans of any of the models were able to put in their vote to see who they wanted to stay and also gave input on contestants weekly photos.
The guys and girls cycle was just the beginning of Tyra breaking barriers, molds, and gender roles. She even went as far as giving contestant Phil Sullivan from cycle 20 a straight up weave, you go Tyra! You guys she even gave another model a, are you ready for this, A BEARDED WEAVE, by the name of Denzel Wells. There was so much controversy on whether or not these ‘weaves’ looked good or not but I will let you all be the judge of that.
However, Tyra decided to keep it all amongst women on seasons 22 and 23, because, who runs the world? Girls. But season 24 has something different in store. As Tyra would say ‘we have all different flavors, shapes and colors baby.’ The age limit of America’s Next Top Model has been revoked to 18 and over. We have women in their 40’s, and late 30’s and honey they are serving some super fierce face. We also have women who are curvy and not afraid to show it. This hits home, as I am a short girl and here and rooting for all short girls, we have some girls under 5’6 in the building and one of this season’s fiercest competitors.
A little off topic, Heidi Klum, from Project Runway, also decided to switch things up and add curvy girls into the mix on season 16. These episodes would specifically focus on diversity and models all range from sizes 2 to 22 and this began to be one of the most influential moments in Television history. Two plus size models made it to fashion week and walked that runway with grace, beauty and a moment they will never forget and one model in particular, stole the hearts, and snatched the wigs off all of us.
The show is currently at its 4th episode and tensions have already risen to the top. The makeovers this season are beyond imaginable. It gets very emotional. I do want to say this, the reason I am so excited is because representation matters. We are living in such trying times and molds must be broken, we must stop thinking that the status quo is set and stone and that everyone should fit in that box. We have girls on the show with anxiety, psoriasis, alopecia and that’s just to name a few.
I want to thank Tyra Banks and I would also like to thank Heidi Klum, for making it possible for women of all sizes, shapes and colors to feel beautiful and valued and validated for exactly who they are. And here at CSUITEMUSIC.com we celebrate diversity and women all around the world.
Deidre Curiel is a CUSITEMUSIC.com Blogger out of Chicago
Facebook: Deidre Michelle Curiel