Thursday, May 31, 2007

The incredible shrinking Tyra

During the America's Next Top Model finale episode a couple of weeks ago, Tyra was looking especially gaunt and unattractive. I didn't really care why until I read this. Turns out, she has lost 30 pounds. In five months.

For those who have forgotten, or who don't really care, Tyra was photographed looking fat-ish at an unattractive angle a few months back, and was then ridiculed by the supermarket aisle tabloids. She took the bait, and claimed she had fluctuated a lot since retiring from modelling, yes, but that she liked her normal and healthy body just fine. She appeared on her talk show in only a bathing suit to show off her figure. She said she was 161 pounds at her heaviest, up from 120 at her youngest model weight. As I railed at length in a January post, seeing a 5'10", 160 pound woman as fat is a sign of skewed body image. 160 pounds is in the normal BMI range and the 36th percentile for Tyra's age, weight and height--i.e., totally normally and healthy. On the other hand, 120 pounds is underweight.

If Tyra lost 30 pounds from her heaviest weight, she is now at 131, which is around the 5th percentile and five pounds away from underweight. And that's if her starting weight was 161. Much lower and she'd be ineligible to walk the Madrid catwalk, where models under 18 BMI are banned.

Let's assume she's still within the normal, healthy, range. I can't really fault her for changing her eating habits and taking off a few pounds, I guess. But she has lost 30 pounds. In five months. And during those five months she was simultaneously launching her "So What" campaign, striking back at the tabloids and hyper-thin models, and making a big deal about choosing two whole "plus-sized" models to be in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model (though, conveniently, both were devoid of personality and the ability to pose and were eliminated early).

As much as I appreciate the lip-service Tyra gives to loving-your-body, is her waning figure mixing the message?

P.S. Check out this shot of the ANTM Cycle 8 winner. And her winner photo with Tyra.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I find Tyra's whole "love your body" thing to be a little disingenuous anyway. I was at a taping of an Oprah show once (don't ask) where Tyra was the guest and they had this whole feature about swimsuits that flatter your figure, and Tyra actually claimed that "Bikinis look great on everybody!!!". So I think she kind of lives on a different planet from the rest of us.