News flash: The real modeling industry doesn’t take Tyra Banks seriously. Like top-model agent Ellis, who discovered Erin O’Connor and Alek Wek. She pretty much told British Vogue that Tyra Banks’s new season of America’s Next Top Model in which contestants can be no taller than five seven sounded like a stupid, stupid idea. “I really have no preconceived notions when I go out scouting,” she said. “I am a great believer in fate and I never go out looking for someone dark, fair, commercial, edgy — I really just see who crosses my path. But, height-wise, I would not be looking for anyone under 5’$2 9”–5’$2 10”. That’s the absolute minimum.”
“What Tyra is doing really is a first,” she added. “There are exceptions to the rule, of course, there are models who have had a great career and are under that height — like Kate Moss — but they are the lucky ones. They would have to have something incredibly special about them to succeed at that height; an amazing personality, an unbelievable body — something that made them stand above all the other pretty, shorter girls.” Ellis may have just said these things to drum up publicity for her new series, called The Agent (which will air in Ireland) — exactly the same reason Tyra is seeking out shorties for her next season of ANTM. And one might argue that that would put Ellis on Tyra’s level. “So far the winners’ careers have been very disappointing,” Ellis said. “Very disappointing. But hopefully this time, because she has opened it up and tried something different, she may find someone really great.” We take it back. Tyra would never kiss anyone’s ass but her own.
America’s Next Short Model [British Vogue]