America's Next Top "Model"?

I can't escape Americas Next Top Model (ANTM). Everytime I turn on a TV, I somehow stumble upon a marathon of the show, and for some reason, it's on four different channels. The show essentially consists of tall skinny women who are angling to become Americas next top model. The girls range from being unattractive to moderately attractive. None of the girls are hot, and aside from Adrianne Curry, no winner of the show has went on to do anything of substance or importance.

The star of ANTM is clearly Tyra Banks, and Tyra manages to insert 'cute' little stories and lessons about her modeling career into every possible type of situation.

tyra banks antm

Tyra is a real model. The contestants are not.

My biggest problem with ANTM is how these 'models' and everyone associated with them put so much stock in the skill and talent that it takes to win the competition. It seems that what makes a 'sucessful' model changes week in and week out. One week Tyra will eliminate a girl for not being 'agressive' enough in front of the camera, and the next week she'll be telling a contestant that models shouldn't be agressive and that they should be at ease in front of the camera.

Not only that, but Tyra somehow has the ability to read into pictures in a way that mere mortals can't. Apparently basing her opinion on the way the wind blows, Tyra criticizes girls for appearing afraid in photos, for not 'owning' it, for looking too seductive, or for not looking seductive enough.

Call me cynical, or maybe realistic, but there doesn't seem to be too much to modeling. I mean you look the way you look and modelling is all based on how you look. Point being, aside from working out, there doesn't seem to be much you can do to improve upon your modeling ability. You're either hot or you're not. Some girls might feel more at ease in front of the camera, but with photographers taking well over 50 shots per scene, a good photo is inevitable.

And another thing -- High Fashion is crappy fashion. Some of the photo shoots these girls partake in are just absurd and fit better in an SNL skit than in fashion magazines. Wearing 10 foot tall hats and dressing up like animals are just two examples of some ridiculous photo shoots. For whatever reason, modeling clothes that no one in their right minds would ever wear has somehow become the norm. Can you imagine a film festival that showed movies so bad that no person would ever pay to see them? Well maybe if they called it "High Film" it would become more acceptable.

high fashiona a

No wonder it's called 'high-fashion'. Whoever designed these was smokin' some serious doobage.

And then there are the girls. Truth be told, the majority of them aren't that attractive, relatively speaking. It seems that all you need to be to get on ANTM is tall and skinny. NEWSFLASH: Tall and skinny doesn't mean you're attractive!! Somehow it makes you a model though. Call me old fashioned, but I thought models were supposed to be drop dead gorgeous. There's a reason that no ANTM winner has gone on to have a sucessful career as a supermodel. Think about it, if these girls were really so attractive and amazing, you would think that they would have been picked up and noticed somewhere else.

Also, the competitions on the show are just insane. I saw an episode earlier today where they were posing in the middle of the dessert with burning cars behind them. The idea behind the shoot was that the models are lost. The advice given to the models before the competition is that its "not about posing and being pretty, it's about really looking lost and desperate." Then after the models pose, the critiques come out. Apparently some models were looking lost in the desert, but they didn't do a good job of selling the garment -- whatever that means. The funny thing is that most of the girls look the same posing in front of a burning car in the middle of the desert. Somehow, though, some girls were able to "tell the story" through their face. The story of what? The story of being alone in the desert next to a burning car, but being so hot that instead of calling for help, you decide to pose in front of your wrecked car in a hot little dress that you just happen to be wearing? Or maybe the story of bullshit where the girls are told to look a certain way to embody an idea that goes beyond the scope of what a picture can actually convey. "Even though she looked good, the garment didn't, and at the end of the day, you're selling the garment". It's a fucking piece of cloth people! It looks the same regardless. The only thing that changes is the attractiveness of the person wearing it. The models who are criticized then go on to say how they tried so hard. WTF?!

It's also funny when Trya tries to somehow equate modeling to sports and how you have to fight through pain in order to 'make it.' In one annoying scene, she talked about how she once had to do a photo shoot in cold weather and how she had to fight through the pain in order to get the "shot". I guess getting the shot of a model posing next to a walrus is important enough to warrent having a photo shoot in freezing tempratures. In one episode Tyra proclaims, "As a model you have to know your limits, if you're feeling sick, you have to step away from the situation." Wow, what insight! I realize that individuals in general need to know their limits, but I had no idea that models do too! And if you're feeling sick you should step away from the situation? Amazing! It's a shame that the general public doesn't have more access to Tyra's intellect and catalogue of good advice.

This whole 'modeling' thing, or at least the way it's portrayed by ANTM, seems to be a profession crafted out of thin air by boring and self-important people whose jobs don't seem to require any discernable skill.

Basically, ANTM is a show about self involved and self important people exploiting tall and skinny women who are mildly attractive (at best) who want to be models. Truth be told, I could find prettier girls on most college campuses. They might not be 5'10, but a 5'6 hottie is better than a stick figure with an average looking face. And I'm sure most guys would agree.

And another thing. A lot of the models always talk about how Mrs. Jay is so fabulous. Newsflash, he's a weirdo. He's a tall man who dresses up like an old woman. If an actual woman wore the things he wore, she'd look like a fool. But if Mrs. Jay dons grandma clothes, all of a sudden he becomes 'fabulous'? Gimme a break.


Umm... yeah. That's what I thought.

And lastly, I realize the hypocracy of berating a show I continue to watch. I'll admit that it's decent Reality TV, but what I'm really berating is the self-importance with which Tyra and her cohorts carry themselves. It's modeling. Anyone can do it. It's not a skill. It's an activity. Tyra mail that, bitch.

Related: Tyra declares "Times New Roman" the hot new font for 2008.

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