The Below Deck Chef took to Twitter to harshly judge Tyra Banks’s weight gain, recalling when the supermodel called her ‘plus size’

On Thursday, Rachel tweeted Tyra, asking her to ‘remember’ calling her plus size after posting an image showing Tyra’s recent weight gain. Though a few supported Rachel’s statement, most thought it was inappropriate.

Rachel Hargrove on America’s Next Top Model?

Yep – but she only auditioned. In 2005, the TV chef was approached by the casting director where she worked, asking if she had ever considered modelling.

‘That was so much fun! I was bartending and the casting director came up to me and [said], you know, um, ‘Excuse me, have you ever thought about being a model?’ And I thought, are you f***ing high?’ I’m slinging drinks and I’m a kitchen creature, so it wasn’t like, it wasn’t one of those things where I was like, hey, I’m gonna go stand there at this cattle call, but it was kinda cool. They just kind of brought me through, I think it had to do with my personality being just off the wall, so… I don’t know! It was a lot of fun, it was a lot of fun.’

Though, when auditioning, a judge referred to her as ‘plus size’; at the time, Rachel was only a size 2 (US).

However, it wasn’t Tyra Banks. Jay Manuel made the body-shaming remarks whilst Banks sat beside him. Sure, she should’ve come to Rachel’s aid – but Rachel was quite quick to agree.

Obviously, that doesn’t make what was said okay. But neither was Rachel Hargrove to judge Tyra Banks so publicly – and Twitter agrees.

This tweet highlights ‘playing to the producers’ as a culprit for why the original comment was ever made, so was there a deeper problem in America’s Next Top Model?

Calling out America’s Next Top Model

After lots of fans took to rewatching the show over the last few years, many are seeing it in a new light. Carly Ristuccia loved the show, but after rewatching it, she can see how it warped her understanding of beauty standards was.

‘It got me thinking about how the ideas in that show probably built my subconscious ideas on body image and the whole industry.’

The show was a product of its time, but that doesn’t make it right. After fans highlighted issues with the show, Tyra tweeted her agreement at their discussion. Since then, she has left Twitter.

Clearly, the show had its issues and Rachel Hargrove suffered first-hand because of them. But does shaming someone right back actually count as reclamation, or sinking to their lows too?

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Jasmyne Jeffery
Jasmyne Jeffery

Hello! My name is Jasmyne and I’m a soon-to-be graduate of English and Creative Writing at the University of South Wales. Originally from North Devon, I now love living in Cardiff. I’m really into my movement; an advocate for joyful movement. I spend my free time either reading, at the Wales Millennium Centre, or running around the city.

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