After 21 cycles, America’s Next Top Model has finally cast its first-ever male model of Korean descent, and he’s got a “smize” that will make Tyra proud.
Hailing from Springfield, Virg., Justin Kim, 23, stands over six feet tall and already has quite a following on social media for his dashing good looks. The Korean American model has over 10k followers on Instagram, and it’s only been a week since ANTM Cycle 22 premiered. According to Model Mayhem, a popular modeling network site, Kim has prior experience in editorial, erotic, fitness, swimwear and promotional modeling.
In an interview with DCW Television, Kim admitted that he only saw the previous two cycles of ANTM and never thought that he would actually make it onto the show. While modeling may not be a common career many Asian Americans pursue, Kim said he received early support from his family.
“Some Asian Americans, like myself, come from a conservative cultural background in terms of professions and careers you want to pursue,” he said. “Fortunately for me, my parents were supportive of whatever route I chose.”
By being cast on ANTM, Kim also said he hopes to break stereotypes about Asian American men being short and unattractive.
This is not the first time an Asian male model has been cast in ANTM. In Cycle 21, half-Malaysian model Adam Smith became the first Asian American male model to be cast on the show and even made it to the semi-finals, which took place in Seoul. Previous female Korean models on ANTM include Gina Choe (Cycle 6) and Jennifer An (Cycle 13).
You can watch the first episode of ANTM Cycle 22 on the CW website. The show airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.