America's Next Top Model TV Poster Image

America's Next Top Model



A guilty pleasure in model form -- OK for teens.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite billing itself as a talent competition, the show tends to reinforce existing standards when it comes to evaluating women based on their looks. Tyra delivers some very mixed messages about personal empowerment and physical appearance. She has occasionally brought social or health issues into the show's narrative, including discussing eating disorders and homeless youth. There's also plenty of reality show interpersonal drama.

Positive role models

Contestants can be aggressive or catty toward one another, and judges have made derogatory comments about contestants' bodies (posture, butt, height, etc.). One contestant was given surgery to fix her crooked tooth. On the upside, the show has featured plus-size models and women from diverse backgrounds.


Occasional yelling, dramatic confrontations, discussions of past abuse.


Revealing outfits for photo shoots -- occasional nude shots, though all senstive parts are blurred. Discussions about sexuality, relationships. Over the course of the series, same-sex kisses, hints of sexual activity with male models, and occasional cheating on at-home partners has happened.


"Ass," "damn," "hell," etc. Stronger swearing is bleeped.


Prominent product placement. Major show sponsors, such as Cover Girl, are referenced by name at several points in each show. Products/photographers/fashion lines are occasionally promoted in photo shoots.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink in moderation. It was suggested that one contestant had a drinking problem. Some smoking, depending on season.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that despite talk of modeling "talent," this is a show in which women are judged ultimately on their appearance. Contestants are often shown making disparaging comments about one another. There has been a same-sex kiss between two contestants, and a girl has cheated on her boyfriend. Product placement and tie-ins figure prominently; Cover Girl (a sponsor of the show) is referenced regularly. Although host Tyra Banks stresses that the most beautiful contestant won't necessarily win, the women are still judged on their looks, how well they photograph, and their ability to communicate personality.

What's the story?

AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL sends 13 women from around the United States down the runway in the hopes of being crowned America's Next Top Model and winning lucrative modeling and cosmetics contracts and a magazine fashion spread. Each week, another model hopeful is eliminated in a competition. Judges -- including hostess Tyra Banks and a revolving panel that includes fashion/modeling icons like Twiggy, J. Alexander, Nigel Barker, and Jay Manuel -- rate the contestants on runway ability and appearance in photographs. Between being photographed and walking the runway, the contestants make friends and enemies with one another, adding to the show's drama.

Is it any good?


The competition aspect of America's Next Top Model is entertaining, and viewers are likely to find some of the characters interesting and engaging. Contestants come from a variety of ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds, and several talk about seeing modeling as a way to overcome their difficult circumstances. This nod to diversity is definitely a step forward and has the potential of creating talking points for parents and teens -- highlighting the very different and unique faces of beauty.


But parents can expect some strong language during fights, as well as some less-than-positive images of women (cattiness, value based on physical appearance) and problematic messages about women and their bodies. But for mature teens, it's a peek into the fashion world and an absolute guilty pleasure.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how important beauty is to a person's success. What messages does the show send about body image? Do shows like this make girls feel bad about themselves?

  • What role do makeup, lighting, airbrushing, etc. play in creating the images that teens see in magazines?

  • How real is the drama portrayed on this show? Can you tell how producers have heightened tensions or exaggerated situations through careful editing?

TV details

Premiere date:May 20, 2003
Cast:J. Alexander, Nigel Barker, Tyra Banks
Networks:Bravo, CW, Oxygen
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bytexangirl97 July 29, 2009

Great show for tweens and teens!

I love this show! I watch it whenever it's on. It has plus size models. (I think one won a few cycles ago...I'm not sure.) over all It's a good show for tweens. (ages 10 and up, as i think of it.)
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byskye4all December 10, 2010

Good for teens+, but not for tweens

I like this show a lot, but I can see how it would be inappropriate for anybody under 11/12. There are occasional nude shoots and swearing, as well as a lot of focus on body image, as can be expected since the show mainly revolves around modeling. Even though the show does ship the idea of being beautiful on the "inside and out", and some shoots do reflect that idea - like a shoot to show the consequences of smoking or standing up for yourself - being beautiful on the outside is the way for the contestants to win in the end. At the same time, however, the show does focus on diversity and embracing imperfections. I think parents should watch with their kids if they're 11-12 or under, but it's ok for teens.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Kid, 7 years old August 7, 2010

not for kids under 11



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