As we’ve previously reported, Tyra Banks will be returning as the host of the show she helped create “America’s Next Top Model.”
In addition to her return as the show’s host, Banks has also opened casting up to models of all ages, meaning anyone over 18-years-old. Before, it used to be that models had to be 27-years-old or younger.
Now, in a recent interview with BuzzFeed, Banks explained why she’s coming back to the show and what’s going to be different this time around.
Why she’s coming back.
In addition to having spirited conversations with the show’s producer Ken Mok, Banks said the fans played a big part in her decision to return.
“First it was, like, loving,” Banks said of fans who would gently hint that they wanted her to return. “And then it was like the kinda love that’s almost like slapping you in the face at the same time, like, ‘Bitch, how dare you? I’m never watching anything that you do, ever.’ … almost like, slightly trolly, troll-love. But it did get my attention,”
What she thought about Rita Ora ( who hosted Cycle 24)?
“I thought Rita was really good, particularly in the end,” Banks said. “When I was watching the table I was like, ‘Whoa, she knows what she’s doing.’ With anything — from the first episode of me doing Top Model, to Cycle 24 — you’re gonna see a difference,” Banks said. “Just like her from the first episode to that finale. She really was leading that table and really taking charge. I noticed the ascent in the performance.”
Lifting the age limit
One of the reasons she decided to do so was because she’s noticed the hypocrisy in the perception of men aging versus women.
“People, they look at men and they’re like, ‘Oh this man is sexy and he has grey sideburns and he has crow’s feet and laugh lines when he smiles,’ but those types of things on a woman are considered negative. To me, it’s about what you look like. I don’t care like what the number is. It’s like, what is your look for what that client wants and if you’re 47 or 17, it shouldn’t matter,” Banks said. “Even if you look older, there’s still beauty in that. And I want to use the platform and the thing that I’ve created, Top Model, to show that.”
Banks said that the fashion industry tapping legendary supermodels to walk the runway speaks to the public’s willingness to accept models of all ages.
Changing the perception of beauty
“I do feel like girls everywhere either feel better about themselves or are recognizing certain things that aren’t like the stereotype as beautiful,” she said. “I think Top Model has a lot to do that, and I think it’s worldwide.”
Tyra said that she noticed more diverse images when she introduced a public voting system to the show. That’s when viewers started looking for something more in the contestants they prefer.
“It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, she’s the prettiest.’ They would go, ‘Oh, she’s really pretty but that picture’s boring,’ or like, ‘What about her beauty is interesting? Why did you even cast her, Tyra? She just looks like the stereotype pretty girl.’
“I got to see that it was working,” she said.
Finally, Tyra encourages people to watch because this season is going to be #NextLevelFierce, the removal of the age cap and “Mama’s back.”