'ANTM' Tyra Banks Just Led a Masterclass in Women Supporting Women

Tyra Banks is truly a class act.

After one of her former America’s Next Top Model contestants gave her major shade, Tyra literally had the best response.

So a little background: Winnie Harlow (you may remember her as Chantelle from cycle 21) recently appeared on Watch What Happens Live!, where she completely dissed the show. She told Andy Cohen,

“I really started [modeling] after the show because that really didn’t do anything for my career…which it doesn’t do for any model’s career realistically.”

She added,

“I thought that was going to be a career starter, but it was really like a reality TV show.”

Um, excuse you? Are you not currently on Andy Cohen’s show *because* of ANTM?

Well, Andy recently had Tyra on the show to promote Life Size 2, where a fan called in and asked Tyra to respond to respond to Winnie’s comments.

Tyra said,

“I have nothing but love for my girls and my girls come from so many walks of life and so much pain and so much hardship and so much story, and a lot of the times when people express themselves in certain ways, there’s a reason. I will respect her confidentiality and her life, but yeah. They’re all my babies—even the ones that act out. They’re still my babies.”

Damn, Tyra! Way to be above the drama.

But the best part of her response was how much she refused to tear Winnie down. Despite what Winnie said, Tyra continued to support Winnie and her journey.

Of course, she wasn’t about to completely left Winnie off the hook. Tyra joked,

“Well, come on I discovered her on Instagram so and she’s on this show, so what do you think that means?”

It’s worth noting that everything that Winnie said was completely off-base. Not only did ANTM get the exposure she needed to launch her career, but the show has launched the careers of many other contestants.

We even wrote an entire piece on all the models who have gone on to succeed post-ANTM (hint: there were *a lot*). The show might not have fulfilled their promise of creating “supermodels,” but they have helped many girls start a working career as models. Contestants have gone on to model for Nike, Guess, Prada, Alexander McQueen, and more. Not to mention that contestants like AzMarie, Analeigh Tipton, and Nyle DiMarco have successfully transitioned to acting.

It’s unfortunate that Winnie has such a negative view of her experiences on ANTM. (Although if I remember correctly, she was a total diva on the show). But Tyra clearly cares about the integrity of the show, which she has worked tirelessly to create. And the way she consistently supports her girls shows that she has more class than Winnie will ever have.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.