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The Greyhound

America’s Next Top Model includes male models
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Author: Kelly Coleman

The new season of America’s Next Top Model cycle 20 has proved to be fiercer than ever. Host and former supermodel, Tyra Banks decided to include male models for the first time, in addition to female models, into the competition. Having eight male and eight female models under the same roof introduces a whole new level of chaos into the competition. The catchphrase of the season, “Who Will Dominate,” has not caused the slightest bit of worry among the female contestants, considering the modeling industry is dominated mainly by women.

“This cycle will explore the similarities and differences that male and female models face in the pursuit of their careers, bringing on experts and celebrities to mentor and challenge them each week,” explained Banks. The mentors and judges of this cycle include my personal favorite, public relations guru, Kelly Cutrone, along with former male supermodel Rob Evans and of course, Tyra Banks as the host.

As social media seems to be taking over the world, the contestants will also be given a “social media score” each week by their fans. Despite this additional score, the contestants’ impressions on the judges are still the most important. I was caught off guard when Chlea, one of the female models, decided that it would be a good idea to tell Kelly Cutrone that her “delivery of words can be harsh.” That was an extremely bad idea considering Kelly Cutrone is known for her brutal honesty. Although the judges can be tough and intimidating, their advice is ultimately extremely valuable to the contestants and helps them improve each week.

With the addition of male models, the show decided to get rid of former judge and “runway diva coach extraordinaire,” Miss Jay, along with photographer and judge, Nigel Barker. Though Nigel first caught America’s eyes with his infamous British accent and the face of an angel, he just couldn’t compete with new judge Rob Evans. Let’s face it, Rob’s a former supermodel and he has a British-Irish accent. Sorry Nigel, but you were only British. The prizes for the winner were also altered to reflect the new changes. The winner will receive a modeling contract with Next Model Management, a spread in Nylon magazine and a $100,000 ad campaign with Guess.

Adding male models to the mix will do more than just please the eye. American culture is surrounded by stereotypes of which gender should work in certain professions. For example, when one thinks of Wall Street, a businessman will typically come to mind; in the same way, the modeling industry is thought of as a female dominated profession. This new coed competition of ANTM tries to break those stereotypes and prove that male models can in fact be successful in the modeling industry. Season 10 winner, Whitney Thompson, shattered stereotypes by becoming the first plus size winner of the competition. Throughout the show, Whitney shared the many struggles that she faced with her body image, inspiring thousands of fans and proving that models do not have to be stick thin in order to be successful.

However, adding male models to the mix seems to be the most groundbreaking attempt of change that ANTM has seen thus far. I don’t know if I’m more excited to see the contestants perform in photo shoots, or to see the drama in the house get juicier each week. I may be most excited to just stare at Rob Evans during elimination. Aside from being one of the most famous male supermodels, he is also a boxer, which explains his extremely fit and muscular body. But, I am sure of one thing: there could be a male America’s Next Top Model for the first time ever. So I ask, who do you think will dominate?


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America’s Next Top Model includes male models