Former ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Star Winnie Harlow Sparks Controversy After Revealing Why The Show Doesn't Do Anything For A Model’s Career

May 16, 2018 8:12 AM

Elliah Dash-Stell

Feature Writer

Tyra Banks will not be happy about this…

Winnie Harlow’s career is on a roll—she has popped up in commercials, campaigns and on the runways of major designers for New York Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and more. 

But did appearing on Season 21 of America’s Next Top Model help her to skyrocket to success? (Tyra discovered her on Instagram; she was invited to audition back when she was 19). 

She doesn’t think so.

When asked on Watch What Happens Live when she knew she made it, 23-year-old explained that it happened after she had been eliminated.

Feeling Old Hollywood💋

“So I really started after the show because that really didn’t do anything for my career, which it doesn’t do anything for any model’s career, realistically,” she noted. “But a photographer from London hit me up. Major photographer, Nick Knight, and he was like, ‘Hey, I’ve seen your photos online and I want to do a shoot with you.’ It went viral, I got campaigns from there and it hasn’t stopped since.”

An apple a day... does what really? 🍏

 “That’s why I went on. I thought it was going to be a career starter but it was really like a reality TV show,” Winnie continued. “That’s not what I signed up for.”

She was known for being a bit of a mean girl on-camera. Many also believed that she lied about fooling around with fellow contestant Keith Carlos, who would go on to win the season. He confronted her about what she was telling people in front of everyone…

Winnie claims this situation wasn’t quite what it seemed.

“We were both lying to the cameras, they confronted us, they lied to him and told him I was talking about us, so he got at me on camera,” she penned on Instagram. “I wouldn’t talk about it cause I was scared of my mama watching so they made me look like a liar which ended up looking worse than just messing around with some dude. Thank you reality TV for making me realize at 18 I was still scared of my mama.”

According to @TyraBanks Im a real Supermodel now lol thank you TyTy! 😍💋 @seanseaevans now i wanna be on @firstwefeast those wings looked GOOD 🤯🍗🔥 (Jamaican Canadian**)

When she was asked if she flourished “in spite of the show,” Winnie said, “I wouldn’t like to say that because it was still a part of my history and I’m really grateful for everything I’ve done to get where I am.”

Lord.. why do you bless me like this? Thank u Heavenly Father for your endless mercy, patience & love. Amen

PS: She isn’t backtracking either.

After receiving more backlash, Harlow has clarified her comments with an extensive statement on Instagram.

“Lol the show films so fast so i didn’t get to elaborate but after it was known i was going to be on a reality show, no agency would book me, no one would work with me & i was told it was because I was now branded a ‘reality break out star’ not actually a model, before the show was even aired. I was going to give up on being a model and go study journalism which i always wanted to do :). Thankfully a stylist showed Nick Knight a viral YouTube video of me from 2012 and he reached out to shoot in London.. my first time every abroad 😫🙏🏾 i was shook and honored,” Harlow wrote.

See the post in full below: 

Can’t wait to see what Tyra Banks has to say about this…

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