There is a new group of women in the running to become America‘s Next Top Model, but is one of them plus size? Judge Ashley Graham is still on the hunt.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for this round, but that’s alright,” Graham said of casting a plus size stunner in this season’s group of contestants. “Hopefully for season two—I’m looking for the woman who wins to be plus size. I think it would be so epic.”
“You do not see enough women of color on the runways just like you don’t see enough women my size on the runways, so this is very important to have it be a diverse group,” she told E! News.
Times have certainly changed since the hit show debuted in 2003 when iPhones, Twitter and Instagram were years away from dominating everyday life. Now, models are one-man bands who are as much moguls as they are pretty faces.
“We’re looking for somebody who can actually brand themselves and create something and have a legacy like Tyra [Banks],” fellow judge and stylist Law Roach explained. “You can’t just be a pretty face anymore,” Graham added.
Jean Claude Dhien for VH1
At just 26, she’s graced magazine covers, starred in movies, performed music and worked as the spokeswoman of international brands. “I really only wanted to get involved with this season if I get to elaborate on what I think it takes to become an incredible superstar supermodel, which is having your own business, having your own brand, having a following, having people admire you, look up to you, be inspired by you,” Ora told E! News. “What do they have that people are going to want to imitate?”
“It was very important for me to talk to her—we’re talking about someone who’s been doing this show for 15 years,” she said of the icon. “There’s some things that I don’t want to change like the cycle [and] the cards. There’s some iconic things that you just cant take out of America’s Next Top Model.”
Instead, they’re adding new modeling tasks that have never been done before in the series and setting up meet and greet’s with Hollywood’s most prevalent stars. “I’m never going to try and fill up her footsteps,” Ora said. “I’m just going to create new ones.”
“Anything that anybody says to you, you have to take with a grain of salt,” Graham advised. “Sometimes it’s going to be productive [to make] you a better model or a better businesswoman, and sometimes it’s just haters.”