And so ends another gripping season of ANTM. During the final, three things in particular struck me:
- Tyra's face actually appeared superimposed on an image of the Mona Lisa. Does it get more egotistical than that?
- Paula's input into the show consisted entirely of being mean to the models for no real reason.
- A so-called plus-sized model made it.
In past 'cycles' of ANTM, the judges have been quite open about the fact there's not a big market for 'big girls' in the modeling industry. I always got the sense these models were included as a form of tokenism. I wonder what's changed?
The cynic in me suggests that ANTM is trying to 'push the boundaries' in some feeble way - a trend to be continued in the next cycle, which features a transgender model. If I were even more cynical, I might suggest that Tyra has been led to endorse larger, curvier women because she's become one herself. (ANTM's commitment to diversity doesn't run too deep, I suspect. There's still no place in it for older women, for example, and I don't imagine we'll ever see a model in a wheelchair or one who looks like she's has children.)
The thing that disturbed me most about the cycle of ANTM is that Whitney actually began to look large to me, particularly when she was counterposed against the tiny Fatima. When the vast majority of women you see on TV are very thin, it warps your perception. If that's happening to self-aware, cynical old feminist me, what's it doing to my seven-year-old daughter?