Might be time for Tyra to shut down the “ANTM” sweatshop. It’s not looking good for Tyra Banks right now. First it came to light that a former contestant Jael Strauss ended up strung out on meth since her stint on the show ended and one of the “America’s Next Top Model” winners says the former supermodel has done poor job of preparing the “Top Models” for the real fashion world and given them them the cold shoulder when it came to dealing with the disappointing side of fame.
CariDee English, 27, who won the show’s seventh season, left a lengthy comment on Gawker.com speaking about how the experience has impacted her mental health and despite being crowned ‘Top Model’ she’s struggled to get people in the fashion industry to take her seriously, while also blaming the shows producers for not doing a better job of screening Strauss:
Tyra won’t do anything. She provided a wonderful platform for girls to have a chance at their dream, but, after there is no “Tyra Mail”. I had to guide myself, and even though I won a model competition I still had no idea what the modeling BUSINESS was like. I had no idea what the industry was really like. I was famous, but no one wanted to take my picture. And critics and industry love to give us all sh!t for not being the next big supermodel. We all have done well, and we all had to do it on our own. I am not complaining, I am simply defending. I love love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, its horrific. And any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up. No one wants to take us serious as models. I am sure the show lost its credibility in producing a top model somewhere btwn making 3 cycles a year and posing on roller coasters. Tyra wasn’t there when the cameras stopped rolling, nor did she reach out. I got reached out by her “camp” asking if I would do a “All Star” cycle… I said “Whats the prize? Because last time the only thing I didn’t win was being taken seriously as a top model…” ( I declined after no consideration) The only person that has reached out to me directly is Nigel Barker. He even hired me.
Now this isn’t Tyra’s fault.. we are all capable of becoming anything… I am saying it would have been a good call to have some after show support…
When it boils down to it, there is just not a place for ANTM girls to fit post show. We just needed some guidance.. Are we “Reality Star” ? (ARRRGG I feel deeply that I have contributed more, and have more to offer professionally in The Arts than someone being taped from the shore of Jersey) I truly did the show because I am a model…. and a damn good one given the shot.. (pun intended)
I can’t say what made Jael though.
The fashion industry had NO idea how to market us. Our agents, our managers….. because we become a instant celeb…. but had a protforlio of a rookie model. Even though we just were named “TOP” our place in line at Fashion World was at the bottom. The industry many times didn’t care about our name, but did turn a snobby cheek to the name ANTM.
It’s not a curse, not even close. I chose to be on the show, and so did all the girls before me and after me like Jael. I do not regret anything I am so thankful I followed through with my decision to take that track to my dreams. Am I at the top? Yes.. and for anyone who can’t see this, look up instead of looking down at me, at us.
I am again only defending and providing insight.
I have had many wonderful clients. I love my work. I feel accomplished, and I have turned the business of “CariDee” into one I am proud of and love. I love to inspire people out there to go after what they want, let nothing hold them back.
Now, do I feel like a respected model on the other hand…
Poor girl. Having problems and then getting a hint of fame only make an addiction rise. They should have evaluated her a lot more before letting her on the show. All they saw was a personality good for television. Well, this hopefully will save at least her life and someone watching. Everything happens for a reason.
Not to worry, non of us make it out alive.
But heres to making it
Clap it up for Nigel for being supportive. SMH @ Tyra! Might be time to do some damage control “dahhhling”.
We know you’re a busy supermodel/executive and all but uhhhh you can’t just be exploiting people and not giving a fawk.
Hopefully Jael gets some help, we all know that meth can have you lookin CRAZY!