Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.
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In the series opener of her US chat show, Tyra Banks takes on the media, complaining about a photo that was published of her under headlines suggesting she’d gained forty pounds. The tirade she unleashes was heavily promoted beforehand, and it is clearly something of a ratings-grabbing stunt. I’ve included a eight-and-a-half minute chunk of the programme below, to set the whole thing in context for the majority of my readers who may have missed the story. The much repeated tirade is in the last minute-and-a-half or so of the video.
It has to be said that this is an odd, odd piece of television. The creator and judge of America’s Next Top Model protesting at accusations she’s put on weight, whilst simultaneously claiming to think that ‘curvy women’ are ‘sexy’. The sentiment is very good, but the hypocrisy stinks: If curvy is sexy, then why is she so ‘humiliated’ by the idea of being curvy herself? She surely can’t have it both ways. She criticises others’ obsession with weight, yet knows her own exact weight from over two months ago. She says she’s no longer a model, yet shows pictures from her swimsuit shoot. She says perfection is unrealistic, yet admits that she has her photos retouched. It’s all just hot air.
[ Please visit sjhoward.co.uk to view the video which appeared here ]
Visit sjhoward.co.uk to see the video which appears here.
Perhaps this video symbolises everything that’s wrong with the fashion industry. Everyone pays lip-service to the ideas that big is beautiful, healthy is good, and ultra-slim is bad, but nobody in the industry actually believes it. Which is odd, because I don’t think anyone in the real world finds Size Zero models attractive.
Fern Britton won an award last week for being the woman most men ‘secretly adore’. How sad it is that men don’t feel able to say they’re attracted to women like Fern, and that The Sun insists on branding her an ‘unlikely babe’. When we finally get over these silly mass-market produced images of beauty, and accept real beauty – beauty that lies in the eye of the beholder rather than the eye of fashionistas who decree the latest ‘sexy look’ – then perhaps we’ll be finally able to tackle the misery these ill-conceived perceptions cause.