Variety reports that Tyra Banks has yielded to pressure to remove the age maximum of 27 from America’s Next Top Model contestants. The next cycle, which is the twenty-fourth cycle of the show, will require contestants to be at least 18, be U.S. citizens, and know how to “smize.”
“Smize” here is a word from the thirteenth cycle of Top Model and comes straight from Tyra Banks’s dictionary; essentially meaning smiling with one’s eyes (smile+eyes=smize).
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) April 1, 2017
In Tyra’s own words: “There have been 23 cycles of America’s Next Top Model, and every single cycle we say you have to be 27 years old or younger. You know what I hear all the time? ‘Tyra, come on. Why have an age limit?’ So you know what? I’m taking that age limit off. You want to audition for America’s Next Top Model? I don’t care how old you are, honey. You just need to know how to smize and be open to learning how to work the runway like a supermodel.”
Earlier this month, Entertainment Weekly reported that Tyra Banks would be returning to ANTM after handing the reins over to pop star Rita Ora for the previous cycle. Banks is already creator and executive producer, which is what allows her to remove the age limit for contestants, but will be back again as head judge as well.
America’s Next Top Model was previously aired on UPN and The CW, but since December 2016 its current home is VH1. The most recent cycle crowned 20-year-old India Gants as “Top Model.”
It is pretty obvious that a woman of twenty eight or older can walk down a catwalk in unique clothes. The only question now is why it took so long for America’s Next Top Model to make it official.