Tuesday, 1 December 2009

ANTM breaking news: filming in NZ this week

Via the Herald:
Several episodes of the next season of America's Next Top Model will be filmed in New Zealand, host and former top model Tyra Banks confirmed on Twitter this morning.

"Rumours are true & U R 1st to know. Top Model is goin to NEW ZEALAND for cycle 14! Can't wait to get there. Are y'all excited for next cycle?," Banks' verified Twitter account said.

...Hindin Miller said Banks was due to fly to New Zealand this week and would be joined by the show's new judge, American Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley.

Filming would begin on Thursday or Friday this week, in locations including Queenstown and Auckland, he said...
Click through for the whole thing.

I thought this might be a good way to kick off a bit of a discussion about why people watch ANTM so fervently, despite the fact that on the face of it the show should be verboten to feminists. For me I think a lot of it is about Tyra and how she always manages to make it about herself, no matter what, which is kind of like a metaphor for the modern Fashion Machine.

What do you think?


Hugh said...

Personally I don't watch it. I have no trouble reconciling this with feminism. I thoroughly recommend this course.

Tamara said...

I suppose what I find interesting is the way the fairly ordinary looking girls can be transformed by make-up, photography and their own skill and talent into completely different creatures. (so the photo shoots rather than the runway stuff). At its best it is the creation of art. However, I can't bear all the interpersonal stuff so I appreciated that the NZ version had much less of that than ANTM. Of course, I am well aware of the problems associated with the industry.

Country Lane said...

As a bloke - I watch in 5 minute bursts once every two or three weeks.
My watching is driven by the car crash syndrome. I just can't believe that anyone could treat something so trite so seriously.

The thing that ALWAYS makes me turn off is the absolute self important drivel that's spoken about the skills and techniques of getting your photo taken. The way they can take one ugly photograph of a dangerously skinny woman looking ridiculous in stupid clothes and amateurish makeup and decide it's better than another photograph of a dangerously skinny woman looking ridiculous in stupid clothes and bad makeup. And believe their own drivel. And take it seriously. At least on big Brother everybody knew it was meaningless poppycock and on Master Chef there are some skills involved among the contestants and judges.

A Nonny Moose said...

Can't stand the show, or anything that celebrates the Walking Coat-Hanger lifestyle. Each to their own, make a living/make money out of it if you want. But it helps perpetuate a vicious cycle of body judgment on women.

bronwyn said...

Hmm. Well, I'll admit to being a devoted feminist watcher of ANTM, and I often puzzle about why it doesn't make me throw things at the TV.

Apart from the fact that the directors manage to set up a pretty compelling narrative for each episode, I think it's also partly because, actually, Tyra herself (and therefore the show) is usually pretty careful not to glorify the usual unsavoury aspects of the modelling industry - as long as I've been watching, there's always been a "plus-size" model in the mix (and token or not, at least she's there), and there's also been discussion of what a ridiculous tag that is - that someone who is a NZ size 12 is considered plus size. There's also been a transexual finalist who was treated with respect by the programme makers (if not all the other aspiring models), as well as a number of bisexual/lesbian participants, as well as gay male judges, and there's pretty big range of ethnic diversity going on as well - again, it may be token, but well, it's more than we get on many shows, and it does all seem fairly respectful.

Please don't think I'm trying to build the show up to be a paragon of virtue - it certainly isn't, but like Tamara, I do enjoy watching the breakdown of what goes into all those media images we are confronted with all the time.