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ANTM isn't A Plus Size Problem


Strutter's social media timelines were peppered with posts from people who were disappointed that plus size models were not in the VH 1 relaunch of "America's Next Top Model." Some felt that there should have been at least one plus-size contestant in the final 14 considering supermodel Ashley Graham is a judge. Celebrities like Tess Holliday and Danielle Brooks took ANTM to task about the lack of size diversity, with Holliday claiming the move set the plus size community "ten steps back."

How about we all take a step back and reexamine ANTM? It's a competition show. Contestants were not chosen on looks alone. Personality, lack of filter, penchant for drama increase a woman's chances on ANTM than a pretty face.

This isn't Ashley Graham's show: If you watched the first five minutes of last night's premiere, you know that ANTM is, and will always be, Tyra Banks' show. The actors might have changed, but the show has the same director. Take that how you will.

Ashley Graham is not your advocate. It's easy to project your hopes and dreams on someone who you can relate to and making strides in the process. But Graham has her own career to worry about. Biting the hand that fed her isn't smart. Maybe there will be a plus size contestant next year. There were plus size contestants in the past, so it isn't exactly groundbreaking if the competition becomes size inclusive.

Yes, ANTM could have been on-target with a plus size contestant this year, but they chose not to. Remember, it's a competition show where personality overrides beauty.

What's next? The only way to know how the show's doing is by ratings. How many of you will continue to watch ANTM despite lack of body representation? Don't hate watch, don't watch it period. Viacom judges shows based on ratings. If there is a big drop in ratings in weeks to come, that is a much stronger message than any Twitter rant can do.

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