Tyra Banks Plus-Size Teen Model?

I heard the other day that Tyra was launching a top model-esque search for plus size teens. I was intriqued so I decided to get more details.  It turns out that to be involved you have to be between the ages of 13-19 and size 12-20. I’m not gonna lie, this makes my heart rate increase. Although I FULLY advocate women loving their bodies at different sizes, I also FULLY advocate a healthy woman.  I just do not think this is sending out the right message to young girls, who need to embrace a healthier lifestyle (I’m sorry but potentially being 13 and size 20 is NOT ok.)

What are your thoughts?

Do you think it’s ok for Tyra to put young girls on display in an industry that doesn’t support overweight women??

Do you think she’s actually supporting young women or is this a marketing ploy thats using young girls??


10 Responses

  1. Hmmm, I don’t know, but it sure does sound sketchy to me! You’re right, being a size 20 at age 13 is definitely not ok. Maybe if it was more like size 8-16?? I mean, not that I really think size 8 or even 10 is exactly plus size, but according to the model world it is, unfortunately.

  2. I think that anything that focuses on why women should love their bodies, will only encourage young women to actually take care of themselves. Take it from someone who was a size 20 at the age of 13, the more criticism and negativity others create about your body albeit if its only to try to make improvements on your health, it realy only makes you hate your body and yourself even more. While I don’t know why Tyra Banks is doing this and I don’t really care, I do think it is important for girls to have role models of their own size who love themselves regardless of their shape and size, because as much as physical health is more than important, mental and emotional health and well being is the absolutly vital.

    Okay if you use that type of logic, what do you think are the better ways to encourage acceptance?

    • I fully agree with the fact that mental and emotional health are just as important, if not more so than physical health. Although I have never been plus-size I have been at times very unhappy with myself (turning into years of depression) and know the effects of extreme dispair.
      My issue is when people promote (intentionally or unitentionally) that being 13 and so heavy is ok healthwise. Fashion is an industry of thinness (too thin in my opinion) so I believe that putting girls on show who dont fit that standard (as unheathly as it is) is a disservice to those young women. I believe that acceptance can be built through promoting self confidence and self efficacy in all sorts of things from school, to the arts, to music, etc is a much better way for children, in general to build self esteem then through an industry based solely on ourward appearance. Because that is not healthy for any child.

  3. Just found your blog! Love it! And here are my 2 cents: I totally agree with you. Being 13 and a size 20 is NOT okay at all, but I can make the arguement that teaching young children to love their bodies and not strive to be a size 00 is a good thing. I think the extremes of anything is bad news….

  4. I can understand why she is doing it…. since all the magz and media show skinny females.. but at the same time what is that teaching these young girls… She would be more proactive if she started a health program for these girls. Just my 2 cents.

  5. I would have to disagree. I just watched (a few weeks ago) a special on the TODAY show talking about how woman of various sizes can be at the same health level. The example on the show was a woman who was a size 14, exercised everyday and had a lower risk for heart disease than a woman who was a size 6 who didn’t exercise everyday. So I would agree that the message Tyra is sending is a little convoluted, because we shouldn’t be focusing on sizes, we should be focusing on habits and behaviors.

    • Although I think that there can be women of different sizes ranging in health, I do not think that is the norm, especially for teenage girls. In a time when people tend to be most active (through their childhood years) I believe it would be the exception to find a young girl who is 13, a size 20, and healthier than her slimmer classmates. There is obviously not a size that everyone should strive for or something, everyone is different and their bodies want and need to be different sizes and shapes. And I do think that habits and behaviors should be focused on, I never said that we should look purely as size (it’s like BMI, a nice way not monitor, but not always a reliable “health” measure).

  6. i dont know wat to say but whoa……………………….

  7. While I understand your health and exploitation thoughts and comments, I feel that the opportunities that Tyra provides with this competition are fantastic for some young girls. As an ex-overweight teenager, size 14-18, this would have worked for me. Often these types of opportunities provide a chance for a young girl to build confidence and strength to battle whatever it is that is creating the unhealthy or dysfunctional lifestyle and eating habits. So, for someone like Tyra, whom young girls admire, to give “big” girls a shot at glamour and fame, this can be a a life changing opportunity. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of limelight to change a life.

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