'We deserve to be seen!' Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks hits out at America's Next Top Model for failing to feature plus-size contestants

  • The 27-year-old actress who plays Taystee on the popular Netflix show shared her thoughts about the new season of ANTM on social media
  • She said that while it was good to see a plus-size judge in Ashley Graham, she was 'bummed out' to not see any plus-size contestants
  • Danielle added that the show missed a 'perfect opportunity' to promote body positivity and feature plus-size designers

Monday night marked the return of America's Next Top Model and, just one episode in, the show is already ruffling some feathers.

Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks took to Instagram after the new season aired to hit out at the show for failing once again to include contestants of varying body types to include diversity in beauty.

The 27-year-old actress, who is a vocal advocate for body positivity, wrote a long message on Instagram beginning with the preface: 'This is not a bashing of any sort but an observation that wouldn't allow me to hold my [tongue].' 

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Strutting her stuff: Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks has taken to social media to hit out at the lack of plus-size women on this season of America's Next Top Model

Hitting the carpet: Plus-size model Ashley Graham (second from left) debuted as one of the new judges on the show

The new season is the first of the show not to feature Tyra Banks, instead featuring the likes of plus-size model Ashley Graham and singer Rita Ora on the star-studded panel. 

Ashley and Danielle had actually previously modeled together for fashion label Lane Bryant.

But, despite the inclusion of a plus-size icon as a judge,  Danielle went on to tell her followers that it just isn't enough.

Including an image of a group of plus-size models, including Ashley, from Lane Bryant, she wrote: 'As a plus woman being seen only 1 per cent of the time is a real thing. Period. After watching #ANTM last night I was super excited to see my girl Ashley Graham but bummed out not to see any plus contestants.  

The ladies: Danielle included her message on Instagram along with this image of plus-size models, including Ashley

Ladies united: Danielle and Ashley Graham have previously modeled together

Fan favorite: Danielle (left) plays Taystee on Netflix's Orange is the New Black

All glamour: Danielle took to social media to say that the show missed the 'perfect opportunity'

'A curvy judge but no curvy contestants? Out of all 24 girls not one was plus,' she added. 'You had an Asian, African, a red head, transgender, an androgynous sister, even twins...(much love for that) but not 1 plus size woman-when 67 per cent of women are plus in the US??' 

Danielle went on to point out that the show was missing a 'perfect opportunity' to not only promote awareness of the struggles of being plus, but also to highlight designers who are catering to that large demographic of women. 

'We are worth these incredible opportunities. We deserve to be seen,' she said. 'I'm going to continue to push back and speak up for that young girl that wants to model, wants to act, wants to be upfront and needs to be reminded that she is just as deserving as anyone else.'

Danielle wasn't the only one who noticed the absence of plus women on the show, taking to Twitter to write: 'I grew up religiously watching #Antm & praying one day to be a model.  Girls like me were never given a fair shot. 

Putting it all out there: Actress Danielle is a regularly vocal advocate for body positivity

Out swinging: She told her followers that plus-size women 'are worth these incredible opportunities. We deserve to be seen'

More words: Tess Holliday (left) also spoke out about the lack of plus talent on the new series

'Having 0 plus girls on this season just really feels like 10 steps back. Plus girls need representation. Not just seeing a curvy judge-we need more.' 

Of course, there have been plus-size women included in previous seasons, including Whitney Thompson, who won Cycle 10 of the show in 2008, as well as Toccara Jones from Cycle 3.

When asked about the lack of plus-size women on this season of the show, Ashley Graham said to E! News that it was 'unfortunate' but added 'that's alright.'  

'Hopefully for season two — I'm looking for the woman who wins to be plus size. I think it would be so epic.' 

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