Feature

Tyra Banks' beauty dictate: 'Gap your teeth'

By urging an "America's Next Top Model" contestant to get counter-intuitive dental surgery, has Banks undermined her supposed commitment to natural beauty?

The video: During a makeover segment on Tuesday's episode of "America's Next Top Model," host Tyra Banks recommended that a contestant have a slight gap between her teeth surgically widened so she'd resemble model/actress/'70s icon Lauren Hutton. Banks' young charge was more than amenable to the idea, exclaiming "Make it as big as you want it" — she had a dentist "shave off a quarter of a millimeter" of tooth to achieve the desired gap-toothed effect. As Gawker reports, the style world has recently embraced the gaping look for its supposed "authenticity."
The reaction: "Funny, isn't it," says StyleBistro, given that "Tyra preaches about positive body image and the importance of accepting one's natural look on this same show." Still, says Tracie Egan Morrissey at Jezebel, the seemingly contradictory move makes sense for a show "in which advice, instruction, and definitions of beauty are arbitrary, contrary, and totally confusing." Case in point: In a previous season, Banks advised a different model to make "the natural gap in her teeth less prominent." Watch Tyra change her tune:

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