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Tyra Banks Apologizes For Controversial America's Next Top Model Promo

Posted on Mon Aug 16, 2010 08:55 AM PDT

ANTMgrabtyra.jpgAmerica's Next Top Model photo courtesy of CW

The promo for the next season of America's Next Top Model, featuring contestant Ann Markley with the "smallest waist in the world," has been accused of promoting an unhealthy body image for young women. Executive producer Tyra Banks is now saying sorry for the "misconstrued" message.

In the promotional spot, fellow judge Miss J. Alexander puts his hands around the 6-foot, 2-inch 19-year-old model's waist showing off just how small her midsection is. Host Jay Emmanuel also jokes that another judge will be dieting on "Tic Tacs and watercress for the rest of the season."

Tyra released the following apology:

    “In an effort to create a fun and entertaining sneak peak of the upcoming cycle, America’s Next Top Model released a trailer that was edited in way that misconstrued our overarching message. As a leader in celebrating and promoting healthy body image, I must admit that I regrettably didn’t see this clip before it was released to the public, (with multiple Top Model departments, it’s just impossible to review everything) but on behalf of the Top Model team, these were not the intentions, and we truly apologize for any confusion, anger or disappointment it may have caused.

    The passionate response the trailer has evoked proves that the message to promote and celebrate all different — healthy and natural –- body types has resonated with our viewers and I’m so proud of every one of you who voiced your opinion and participated in this conversation. I have experienced body image scrutiny from one extreme to the next –- as an awkward, extremely thin pre-teen who couldn’t gain weight no matter what I did, to later being slammed by the media for my fuller, curvier frame.

    Driven by these personal experiences, I am committed to expanding the definition of beauty which includes ALL shapes, sizes and proportions, from skinny to curvy and everything in between. It’s about women telling the world to KISS their –- skinny, wide, droopy, flat, cellulite-covered or FAT -– you know what!”

    Through Top Model and my other platforms, I am able to connect with women directly. During this season of Top Model, you will see that Ann (the woman featured in the trailer) provided another opportunity for me to support a young woman struggling with her own body image issues (she’s 6’2″; and is the receiver of countless stares and ridicule). Helping young ladies, like Ann and countless others that have confided in me, furthers and supports my core mission.”

Do you accept Tyra's apology ... or do you think this was a publicity stunt?



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