Tyra Banks Faces More Backlash as 'ANTM' Clip Resurfaces
Tyra Banks is in trouble with social media users again. In recent years, her groundbreaking reality competition series, America's Next Top Model, has come under intense scrutiny for accusations of colorism, body shaming, racism, and overall degrading criticism of the contestants amid the rigorous challenges. A successful alum who did not win the show but went on to become an in-demand actress is Yaya DaCosta. She appeared on Cycle 3 of the show and stood out for her beautiful natural features, and minimalist style. She exuded confidence, and was proud of her Blackness. But the judges often found her demeanor offputting, and one clip from the season has social media in an uproar.
In one styling contest, DeCosta wore her hair natural and dressed in an Ankara-print top. Banks tells her that she looks "intense." While judge Nolé Martin says her outfit, equipped with a cowboy hat, is all over the place. "It looks like you're about to ride a giraffe," he tells her. But it was the criticism from judge Rebecca Weinberg that has caused the most stir. "You have this intensity to prove your blackness, and I think sometimes it's overbearing," she tells DeCosta. Later, DaCosta was forced to apologize to the judges after being called "defensive," for criticizing the kufi cap they wanted her to wear, which she called inauthentic.
DeCosta addressed the clip in 2020 when the show was being streamed amid the COVID-19 quarantine at high numbers. In the post, she wrote that it took her years to heal from the experience, as noted by ESSENCE. And now, more social media users are coming to her defense.
Yaya handled herself well
While the judges were critical of DeCosta's attitude, social media users were not. "Yaya is better than me because everyone would have gotten cussed out," one commented under the post.prevnext
The major criticism has been the racist work environments the contestants were under. One user commented on the Instagram post: "This clip is wildlyyyy racist and anti-black-. Omg. Riding a giraffe?? Overbearing?? Too black. The eye rolls?? Whew."prevnext
Many former show fans are appalled watching some of the episodes back. One user wrote on Instagram: "And to think I used to love this show."prevnext
An alum speaks out
Burried in the comment section of the Instagram post is a comment from Keenya Hill. She competed in and was criticized about gaining weight throughout the competition in Cycle 4. Acccording to her, models will be sharing their stories. "There are a couple documentaries on the way!! Stay tuned!! ❤️" she wrote.prevnext
Expected more from Tyra
With Banks being one of the only Black models of her time, she insisted the show was a way to provide a platform to expand diversity in the industry. But often, Black models were seemingly ostracized and provided harder critique. Amid the resruafced clip, one social media user commented on Instagram: "Tyra should've ended that whole conversation."prevnext
A Phoenix rises
One user commented under The Melanin Shade Room's post on Instagram that despite having a difficult time on the show, DeCosta is arguably one of the most successful. "But look at where yaya is now! A successful actor .. love that for her," they wrote.prev