|ANTM Cycle 19 "Fiercely Real"|
Quotes Banks, "It's my mission to expand the definition of beauty. To show unique, atypical, fiercely real, quirky, clumsy, five-headed girls through all of my many media projects and businesses. So watch out for what I have in store next!" (For the record, "five-headed" doesn't mean girls with five heads.)
Fiercely real??? Compared to what? Unless this is a competition where a woman, regardless of size, is competing against inanimate objects, I hate to break it to you, Tyra, but everybody's real. Or as real as you can get in the modeling industry, which, as you might surmise, isn't very real at all.
|ANTM Cycle 10 Contestants. Find the "fiercely real" one.|
|ANTM Cycle 19 "Fiercely Real" |
Trust me. I understand the temptation. Chastain, among others, notes "thin privilege," the unfortunate but very real fact that thin people are better treated in Western society than fat people just because they're thin. However, thin privilege isn't going to stop just because a bunch of disenfranchised women are shouting, "Real women have curves!"
But I digress-ish. In addition to Banks' fiercely real models having no genetically or identifiably realer qualities than her "industry models," there are a couple of other problematic things with this terminology.
|ANTM Cycle 10 Winner,|
Beyond that fact that few of us are "fiercely real" enough to meet Banks' standards, despite her assertion that these models represent women who don't look like models, let's figure out why these fiercely real/plus-size/non-industry models need the moniker at all. Why can't they just be models like all the other models that don't need a definition before their job title? What if we did that with all jobs? Here's your teacher, and here's your fiercely real teacher. I'd like to welcome our new plus-size president. Give a warm welcome to the non-industry doctor.
I want to end this blog on a positive note. It's very easy to be a naysayer when somebody who is fighting for a similar cause as you goes about it in a way that makes you cringe, like Tyra Banks is doing. The truth is, that she's among a very small contingency of individuals in the beauty industry trying to show any diversity at all. And Tyra chooses models of color, models of (somewhat) varying shapes and sizes, "short" models (they were all about 5'7"), and recently male models. It's obviously not an industry that's going to change over night, but I hope Tyra takes bigger risks than she has and rethinks her labeling of models.
*I got these measurements from a sight that makes me want to put a barrel in the mouths of the American public. The site is called "BodyMeasurements.org" and it updates their information very regularly and contains links such as "The Perfect Woman Body," "Fake vs. Real Breasts," and "Female Body Shapes," of which there are apparently five, three of which are named after fruit.