By Maria Lianos
I truly hate to admit it but sometimes, I watch ANTM. It’s a guilty pleasure, yes.
But there is so much that is wrong about this show.
First of all, it makes many young girls think that they could model. In reality, only a few can reach supermodel status.
Sad that we’ve put celebrity and fame so high on the status pedestal that many young girls share the ultimate dream of becoming a model rather than wanting to win an Olympic gold, cure cancer or run for office.
Secondly, it makes many young girls think they need to be a size 0. I am aware that there are “plus size” models represented on the show but there are only 1, maybe 2 per cycle and the weight topic always seems to be an issue.
This season in particular, I was actually shocked when Alexandra said she was a plus size but wears a size 10. Am I missing something?
A size 10 is considered to be an average, healthy size! When did a size 10 become plus? Oh in the modelling world, I see. Makes complete sense – NOT.
I’m sure that first episode put a new wave of girls into a diet frenzy. I know it personally made me question my own size since I wear between a size 8 and sometimes 10.
When ANTM first started, it was fresh and appealing compared to some of the other reality shows out there. Tyra Banks seemed to be genuine in wanting to make a difference in the fashion industry. Giving ordinary girls the opportunity to be thrown into super-stardom was appealing. She embraced young women of every ethnicity. She put the idea of plus-sized into mainstream.
But, as season (oops) “cycle” after cycle has passed and Tyra is already on her 14th “cycle”, it seems to me that the show has become just as discriminating as typical top-notch modeling agencies. The comments from judges are becoming more brutal and insensitive. Editing of the show may twist reality, perhaps showing some girls in a negative light.
“It’s good TV”. Yes, putting a bunch of young, skinny and potentially hungry girls to live in the same house in a competition is bound to cause drama. And drama is great for ratings.
Andre Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue magazine, is the newest member on the panel. This eccentric new ‘character’ actually seems the most sympathetic of the judges.
I will say that I’m much more of a fan of Jay Manuel, not just because he’s stylish and gorgeous, but also because we went to high school together. His flare for fashion was clearly evident as he choreographed the schools’ fashion shows.
Back to Tyra – it’s coming to a point where Tyra should think about retiring her fierceness. I personally have seen enough about “smizing”.
Does Tyra think she’s making a difference with ANTM and her talk show? To me, it just seems like she can’t get enough of herself. I wonder if I’m the only one annoyed by her sing-song dialogue and the bad accents. She seems to be constantly performing, of being “on” all the time rather than keeping it real.
And now with this size 10 comment, the show is helping to feed more into the serious issue of poor body image and the damaging impact of the “thin” ideal on women in society.
When I first saw model Crystal Renn gracing Elle Canada’s glossy pages, I was pleasantly surprised. I give big props to Elle Canada for doing three shoots with this beautiful “plus-sized” model this past year.
Maria Lianos is mom to The Boss and The Destroyer and is amotherworld.