Janice Dickinson's defence of viral America's Next Top Model comments reignites body image debate

·2-min read
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

A lot of progress has been made in recent years when it comes to celebrating a wide range of body shapes and sizes. So it can feel jarring to be reminded of what body image culture looked like in the 2000s.

This is exactly what has happened when an old clip from America’s Next Top Model recently went viral on Twitter. The 2003 excerpt from the hit TV show sees one of the programme's former judges, Janice Dickinson, describe a size 10 contestant as 'fat' and ‘huge’.

Now, Dickinson has come under fire for the defending her comments made in the resurfaced video. The 67-year-old - who was one of the most successful models of the 1970s and 1980s - generated heated discussion in a post on TikTok after refusing to backtrack.

It all started when Dickinson was asked if she had 'any regrets about things you said/ did during your time as a judge on ANTM'. She replied: 'Um, no. It was acting. And that’s that.'

The video - which was also captioned 'people forget TV is acting' - has been watched more than 189,000 times. It has also generated heated discussion, with many suggesting she should have taken responsibility.

One social media user commented: 'It doesn’t surprise me that Janice has no regrets. And while I believe that reality TV is scripted most times, you can’t deny the negative impact you’ve had and the role you play - even if it wasn’t all of your own doing.'

Similarly, another added: 'Janice Dickinson would’ve gained some points if she took accountability for some of her nasty comments on ANTM … saying it’s "acting” is so low of her. That’s not even a good excuse.'

The star's defence of her time on the show came after the aforementioned clip caused shock on social media. It showed a montage about ex-contestant Robbyne Manning - who, despite being only a size 10, was considered the show's first plus-size model.

In the clip, Dickinson, while looking at a picture of the 27-year-old budding model, asks: 'Are we shooting for the large size category?' Tyra Banks, the show's head judge and host, replies: 'Yes, Robbyne would represent a plus-size model. One problem that I do have is that on the top she’s not plus-sized, and on the bottom she is.'

This prompts Dickinson to respond: 'The next America’s Next Top Model is not a plus-sized model, I’m sorry!’ It was this exchange that then lead to her being quizzed directly on TikTok - leaving many even moe convinced that the Noughties was a toxic time when it came to discussions surrounding women's bodies.

What do you think of Dickinson's response?

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