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America's Next Top Model

Is Tyra Banks’ “Fiercely Real” Term Offensive to Non-Curvy Women?

When Tyra Banks was at the height of her modeling career, size 6 was considered skinny. Now it's normal for a model to be size 0. She's struggled with her own body image over the years, going up and down in weight, and on America's Next Top Model the host includes larger-sized models she dubs "fiercely real."

Tyra was on The View today, talking to the ladies about what it means to be a "fiercely real" model. "In the modeling industry, a model that is a size 12 and up, she's called 'plus-size,'" Tyra said. "I don't think that that's a sexy term." So she came up with "fiercely real" to represent what "real women" look like.

Whoopi Goldberg said, "There was a time when I was a little kid that women actually had curves, when having a behind was a really good thing. [...] And you had a large chest and it wasn't anything bad and guys actually thought you were hot."

"And they still do," Tyra said.

"The hourglass figure is always sexy to men," Joy Behar said.

"Men want booty, I'm sorry," Tyra said as the audience cheered.

The "fiercely real" term is meant to empower women over size 12, but is it really fair to emphasize that you're not a "real" woman if you happen to lack curves? Not everyone has an hourglass figure like Christina Hendricks. What if you are naturally tall and straight like Taylor Swift or petite and non-curvy like Natalie Portman or muscular like Hope Solo (or some less gorgeous version of any of them)? Are you not real anymore?

It's true that the average size for an American woman has gone up — it was reportedly size 14 in 2010 — but in between the super-skinny women on one end and the dangerously obese women on the other are women of every other type. It's definitely not healthy to promote the idea that women should force their bodies to be super-skinny, but how is it more healthy to promote the idea that you should have curves to be an attractive woman? It implies that a girl without natural curves isn't quite a real woman unless she pads her clothes or buys herself some boobies and a butt.

Maybe that’s why Hollywood is filled with so many Toothpicks with Boobs, like Victoria Beckham — thin women who diet and exercise to be even more thin, but get implants so they can have curves to be “real” women. It’s unnatural all over the place about as unfiercely real as it gets.

Do you think “fiercely real” tagline leaves out the non-curvy women? Vote in our poll below.

Source: The View

Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.

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06.13.2012 / 10:24 PM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: America's Next Top Model, TV Stars, Tyra Banks

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