After 13 years and 23 seasons of “America’s Next Top Model,” a Mexican-American finally appeared on the long-running reality show.
There have been a handful of Latinas who represented our beautiful cultures on “America’s Next Top Model.”
CREDIT: @yomania, @jaslenegonzalez, fopopps/Instagram
Yoanna House, who is Mexican-Canadian, won cycle two; Jaslene Gonzalez, who is Puerto Rican, won cycle eight; and Felicia “Fo” Porter, who is half-Mexican and half-Black, was fifth runner-up in cycle 12.
But 26-year-old Krislian Rodriguez, is the first Mexican-American model to ever be on this show.
Standing at 5’6″, this beautiful talent also represented for petite models, who are hardly ever seen on the show. While it might’ve been daunting to be the first Chicana featured on “ANTM”, Rodriguez is proud of this huge accomplishment.
She said she’s very honored to represent the Mexican-American community.
Not sure how accurate this is but apparently there hasn't been a contestant of Mexican descent on #ANTM since cycle 3! Now on Cycle 23 I'm so Proud to represent not only my Mexican heritage but my Latino heritage! To share with you my struggles and success as a Latina Model in the industry and breaking the Barriers and stereotypes! #krislianantm #teamkrislian #antm #nextisnow #poderlatino #mexico #fashion #fierce #ritaora #ashleygraham #krislianrodriguez
In this Instagram post, Rodriguez said she takes great pride in her Latino heritage and that she’s excited to “share her struggles and success as a Latina model.”
But she didn’t have the typical model upbringing. Rodriguez was faced with dozens of obstacles during her childhood.
CREDIT: Rodriguez on the left with her siblings.
“Growing up, I was raised by my single mother who migrated to the states when she was only 18 years old,” Rodriguez writes on Instagram. “From the time I started Kindergarten to graduating high school I had gone to 15 different schools in two different states.”
So Rodriguez turned to dance as her escape.
The Moment when the Music Video you're featured in… Is Nominated for a VMA 🙈🙈🙌 @calvinharris @emilnava @taneshataylor @samiclarke @courtneyalicen @jessicadigi @cesdmodelsla #vmas #mtv #tonight #amazing #blessed #nominated #music #summer #artist #wedidit #model #work #congratulations #favoritesong #reallife #lalaland #mtvclublandaward
She says that was a way to make friends in all the diverse neighborhoods that she lived in.
Dance was such a big part of her life that it turned into her career, leading to features in music videos like Calvin Harris’s 2014 hit song “Summer.”
As well as the 2015 single “Five More Hours” with Chris Brown and Deorro.
But it was always her dream to be on “ANTM”.
On the first episode, Rodriguez revealed that she’s been watching the show since she was a teenager. And you can definitely tell — she’s got that fierce look.
She proudly walked into the season as the only Latina with her own business. Rodriguez always credits her mother’s strength for giving her the initiative to start her own swimwear line.
“I learned strength, perseverance, and determination from my mother,” Rodriguez writes on Instagram. “My mother barely spoke English when she moved to the states from Mexico. All on her own she raised me and my two brothers, and started her own business. All while being an immigrant and single mother. She taught me to never become victim of your circumstances and always always create opportunities for yourself and be your own boss. Now here I am on ‘America’s Next Top,’ the only Latina and with my own business.”
And she says the show helped her put her attitude in check.
"True humility is being able to accept criticisms as graciously as we accept compliments." Looks like I'm causing controversy already… But just wanted to thank those of you for your kind words and support! I'll admit I'm not perfect. But that's part of this journey and this competition. To learn, to grow, and to evolve. For those of you who don't see it now, I'll also take your words and learn from them. Because a wise person is humble, and accepts criticism graciously. Happy Holidays to you all! From the bottom Of my heart ❤️ #krislianantm #antm @misskrislian @vh1 @antmvh1
On episode two, the judges criticized her for making excuses when they disapproved of her photographs. “Looks like I’m causing controversy already,” Rodriguez said on Instagram. “But just wanted to thank those of you for your kind words and support! I’ll admit I’m not perfect. But that’s part of this journey and this competition. To learn, to grow, and to evolve.”
There was at least one judge who said Rodriguez was just a “pretty face, but not a model.”
We can’t say we agree.
But as she progressed in the season, judges finally started to see a different side of Rodriguez.
Here's to New Adventures… 2017. #KrislianAntm #krislianrodriguez #antm • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #teamkrislian #krislianantm #Whatsnext #antm #antm23 #ritaora #ashleygraham #tyrabanks #model #fierce #musicvideoqueen #latina # likeforlike #follow #topmodel #maxim #sportsillustrated #fashion #editorial #style #blogger #streetstyle #krislianrodriguez #actress
While Rodriguez is constantly criticized for being too sexy on the show (we didn’t know that was a bad thing), she went from being at the bottom two to getting the best image of all contestants.
…Until she was eliminated this week. 😓
But don’t feel bad for her. She’s walking away with her head high and a check next to her bucket list.
— Krislian Rodriguez (@misskrislian) January 17, 2017