Looks like someone may need an attitude Ty-over. Model Winnie Harlow competed on Cycle 21 of America’s Next Top Model in 2014 after Tyra Banks discovered her on Instagram. Since then, she’s become a household name in the fashion industry. However, the Canadian stirred up a bit of controversy with comments she’s made about her time on the show. In fact, people have been buzzing about for so long, Winnie has opened up to explain herself further.
“It has nothing to do with being ungrateful, and more over nothing to do with ‘shade’ to Tyra,” Winnie said on Instagram. “She was the first person of higher status to make me feel like I could be a model and, not only am I grateful for that, it’s something I’ll never forget.”
In an attempt to speak her “truth,” Winnie explained that after her stint on ANTM, agencies in the US wouldn’t sign her because of “reality TV stigma.” This made her go build her portfolio in Europe. The model added, “That was when I realized you could be successful off the show in some ventures, but I had never really seen a Top Model in the fashion industry off the show.”
Winnie did stick to her guns and said she still stands by what she said because she doesn’t want “girls thinking it’s a jumpstart to a modeling career.”
ICYMI: Back in May, Winnie told Andy Cohen during Watch What Happens Live!, “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 explained, “I thought that was going to be a career starter, but it was really like a reality TV show… That’s not what I signed up for.” The Victoria’s Secret model did add, “It was still a part of my history and I’m really grateful for everything that I’ve done to get where I am.” If you’re a fan of the show and have seen Tyra’s mentorship, you can see why these comments weren’t well received.
Of course, when Tyra appeared on Watch What Happens Live!, she was asked about Winnie’s comments. “I discovered her on Instagram and now she’s on this show. So, what do you think that means?” Tyra quipped.
Tyra seemingly let it roll off her back. “I have nothing but love for my girls.” She added, “They’re all my babies. Even the ones that act out.”
Former ANTM contestant from Cycle 3 and current Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Eva Marcille, was not as kind as Tyra. When asked about her thoughts on the matter (of course, by Andy Cohen), she said, “I think it’s really whack.” She added, “You know what, it amazes me that people get opportunities and they totally forget who gave them those opportunities.” Ouch.
Well, it seems like Winnie has cleared the air once and for all. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for any more Top Model shade.
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