People love to hate Tyra Banks and they also love to hate skinny models; put the two together, and you get the growingÂ public outrage over Tyra’s latest blunder, courtesy of a new trailer for America’s Next Top Model: So this model named Ann stands 6 feet 2 inches tall, and has an alarmingly, freakishly tiny waist. When she came before Tyra and the rest of the Top Model panel, Tyra freaked out.
“You have the smallest waist in the world,” Tyra exclaimed. “Look at that waist!” She then added, with a killer Smize, “There’s something about her I quite like.”
Cue the outcry. AOL’s StyleList accused Tyra of exploiting Ann’s body for ratings – that stuff never happens on reality TV – and also of glorifying unnaturally skinny models, thereby perpetuating body-image issues among impressionable young women.
Point taken. But going after Ann herself? That’s a low blow. Says AOL’s Erin Donnelly, “Our reaction, if we saw this stick-thin waif on the street? We’d grab her, drag her to the nearest Denny’s, and force one Grand Slam breakfast after another down her throat. But that’s just us.” And then she goes on to pity “ultra-skinny girls like Ann who are being glorified for their unrealistic figures instead of getting the help — and all-you-can-eat buffet — they might need.”
Yes, it seem Ann DOES need some help, given her gaunt appearance; but joking about dragging her to an “all-you-can-eat buffet” is nothing less than smug (and petty) condescension toward a woman who might have serious and troubling body images of her own.