Danielle Brooks plays Taystee on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, which takes place inside a women's prison. The show features a diverse cast of characters, covering many genders, ethnicities, and sizes. Clearly, this is a lesson the actress wishes America's Next Top Model would learn from. In a series of tweets, Brooks called attention to the show's lack of plus size models, something that could potentially alienate the 67% of the female population, who are plus size.
This 1% thing is real. The world really disregards plus size. Watched #ANTM and not one contestant was plus, hell, not even a size 6 or 8.— Danielle Brooks (@thedanieb) December 13, 2016
Even if producers felt well it'll be hard for a plus size girl, show that ish. Let the world see how much work still needs to be done...— Danielle Brooks (@thedanieb) December 13, 2016
The actress, a vocal advocate for body diversity, recently wrote a letter for Refinery29 about not seeing plus size women being reflected in media, so Monday's premiere of the latest season of America's Next Top Model only echoed her feelings.
Brooks continued her thoughts on the lack of body diversity in media with the following Instagram post:
[This is not a bashing of any sort but an observation that wouldn't allow me to hold my 👅 ] As a plus woman being seen only 1% of the time is a real thing. Period. After watching #ANTM last night I was super excited to see my girl Ashley Graham but bummed out not to see any plus contestants. A curvy judge but no curvy contestants? 😕 Out of all 24 girls not one was plus. You had an Asian, African, a red head, transgender, an androgynous sister, even twins...(much love for that) but not 1 plus size woman-when 67% of women are plus in the US?? This could've been a perfect opportunity for them to highlight fabulous designers that also do plus fashion or highlight strictly plus designers that rarely get any shine. They could've also highlighted the struggles that come with being plus. We could've at least gotten to 2%. The plus competitor would've been able to lean on the fact that a reflection of herself (Ashley Graham) was in the room reminding her that her dream IS possible. All these things still would've moved us forward, and would've done more than me posting an IG post. Regardless, We are worth these incredible opportunities. We deserve to be seen. I'm going to continue to push back and speak up for that young girl that wants to model, wants to act, wants to be upfront and needs to be reminded that she is just as deserving as anyone else. ✌🏾️💋 #seethe67 #voiceofthecurves
The modeling competition show has primarily featured thin models since its premiere in 2003, with a couple exceptions throughout the years. Supermodel Ashley Graham is one of this year's hosts, hoped to feature a plus size model, saying "Unfortunately, it didn't happen for this round, but that's alright," and adding, "Hopefully for season two — I'm looking for the woman who wins to be plus size. I think it would be so epic."
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