Tyra Banks Apologizes For “Small Waist” Controversy

 Tyra Banks has apologized for stirring controversy with an America’s Next Top Model promo in which the retired catwalker seems to praise a 6’2″ model with a shockingly tiny waist.

Banks has suffered harsh criticism over the past week for commending Dallas Top Model hopeful Ann for having “the smallest waist in the world.”

In the trailer for the forthcoming Cycle 15 of the show, Ann emerged before the panel in a waist-hugging corset, prompting Tyra to exclaim: “You have the smallest waist in the world.” She then turned to her fellow judges and said: “There’s something about her that I like.”

Runway expert J. Alexander — AKA Miss J — was unnerved by the size and gripped Ann’s waist to demonstrate how frighteningly thin she is.

Tyra’s “waist” comment drew the ire of feminist bloggers at Jezebel.com, who wrote: “Given her history, Tyra probably doesn’t want to promote a totally unrealistic image of female anatomy. But by going gaga for a girl who’s almost certainly shrunk her already tiny waist using corsets, that’s exactly what she’s doing.”

The “Great Waist Debate” also appeared to upset faithful ANTM viewers, because over the years, the show has made a point of spotlighting models of different shapes, sizes, and colors.

“Seeing judges drool (or pretend to drool) over a skeletal girl in an industry that already worships unrealistic size zero frames is a new take for the show, and it just continues a year that has seen some major ups and downs in terms of body image in the modeling industry,” AOL.com Stylelist blog editors wrote.

Last week’s clip prompted a host of headlines including — “Get Ready For ‘America’s Next Top Circus Freak,'” (The Frisky), and “Tyra Banks, Champion or Hypocrite?” from Chicago Now.

Banks is now apologizing for her flippancy. Tyra insists that she didn’t see the promo before it was released.

“In an effort to create a fun and entertaining sneak peak of the upcoming cycle, America’s Next Top Model released a trailer that was edited in way that misconstrued our overarching message,” Banks wrote in a statement posted to her Official Blog on Monday.

“As a leader in celebrating and promoting healthy body image, I must admit that I regrettably didn’t see this clip before it was released to the public, (with multiple Top Model departments, it’s just impossible to review everything) but on behalf of the ‘Top Model’ team, these were not the intentions, and we truly apologize for any confusion, anger or disappointment it may have caused.”

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 15 premiers on September 8 PM on The CW.

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