Monday, December 8, 2008

Tyra on Top of Indian Beauty

“You wanna be on Top?” Normally the show America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) where Tyra Banks transforms an attractive American girl into a potentially fierce supermodel wouldn’t appeal to me, however, the seventh cycle of ANTM featured a nineteen year old Indian contestant called Anchal.

For the first time in ANTM history, Anchal was one of the 13 contestants demonstrating her inner and outer beauty through fashion photo shoots, publicity skills, physical fitness and catwalks. Tyra Banks and the judges panel said that Anchal was one of the most beautiful contestants they had seen, however it was her lack of confidence and commitment that resulted in her elimination.

Anchal was born on January 3, 1987 and had modelled for French Vogue and Zoom magazine prior to ANTM. Her family moved from New Delhi, India to America when she was younger. Anchal confessed on the show that she felt unattractive because of her darker skin and curvy figure, however, Tyra repeatedly remarked that she was “too pretty” and was blessed with her exotic Indian beauty and unique features.

Although Anchal didn’t become ANTM, she was voted the fan favourite to win and “Cover Girl of the Week” for the first two weeks of the cycle as well as numerous fan polls. She was voted the most beautiful contestant, the sexiest contestant, and the contestant with the best body, among others.

Since ANTM, Anchal has gained more confidence about her appearance due to Tyra’s help and advice as her mentor on the show. At one point in the show, Tyra asks Anchal why she wanted to wear blue eye contacts when she already had naturally beautiful eyes like all Indian girls. Although Anchal lacked self-esteem on the show, she showed that we all feel insecure at some point in our lives but we can overcome our insecurities and learn to appreciate our inner and outer beauty.

Anchal is currently majoring in Nuclear Medicine and aspires to continue pursuing a career in modelling. After ANTM, Anchal featured as guest on The Tyra Show where she was introduced to Rheena, an Indian woman who suffered with similar issues in our culture and admired Anchal for her courage. Tyra Banks is a great mentor to help Indian girls, especially those living abroad like Anchal who don’t always feel confident about their appearance.


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