Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Last one for today will be America's Next Top Model. But first let me get this out of the way.

EMO GLASSES (We've barely seen them lately, and their closest appearance last night was in old photos. GR.)

First, what business does Janice Dickinson have interviewing the girls? Sure, she's able to reduce a person to a puddle of tears, but as an interviewer she's as hardhitting as Barbara Walters. To top it off, she sometimes misunderstood completely the girls' responses. When April said that she didn't use ethnicity to identify herself (not Caucasian, not Asian), Janice took it as a sign that April didn't know what to call herself. Speaking from my own experience which is similar to April, it's not a matter of confused categorization; more to the point, it's dismissing the supposed importance of categorizing oneself according to something as tenuous as race. But hey, what do you expect from a supermodel? Still, Tyra -- you should've gotten me to do the questioning.

In a similar vein, I don't remember if I actually rolled my eyes, but I'm doing it now at Sara saying that she wanted to be a role model for Persian/Iranian women. Serving as a role model is all well and good, but it's so much flimsier compared to actively doing something for Iranian women. At best, she's offering herself as a counterexample to Western eyes, which I believe she has said, but also the first thing too.

The whole interview is a problematic concept, especially for someone who had such sensitive secrets like Shandi. I caught myself wondering if she knew if she was admitting her past drug problems to a national--- wait, this is UPN--- sub-national audience. Then again, whether she did or not, her composure when revealing the ugliness in her life is noteworthy.

Unfortunately, she also took at least a half-step backwards last night during the makeup hocking and the underwater shoot, which I can forgive since some people don't have much familiarity with water outside of a bathtub. (I'm concerned, though, that I'm simply playing favorites in that case because I was dismissive about Catie's fear of heights -- but in my mind, those harnesses looked sturdy, whereas it's likelier for someone to actually drown in that tank.) Nonetheless, the Guy With Small Dog was a smug jerk. I'm glad Tyra and that Jane-mag guy shouted him down.

Back to April, though I'm done with the ethnicity angle except to say that Tyra et al had to couch it in business terms. Way to represent haha. Also, her mechanical sales pitch was indeed horrible, because she misunderstood the real point of the exercise; it's not so much to sell the product, but it's about selling herself.

Mercedes was making it harder for herself, hiding her lupus from everyone. If stress was such a big factor in aggravating her condition, then she should've realized much sooner that it wasn't worth the struggle to keep it a secret just to prevent people from using it against her (since I imagine there are discrimination issues involved with this sort of dilemma).

Nothing new to say about Yoanna except that when Shandi said that her blood family never showed her affection by hugging her, Yoanna visibly moved towards her but pulled back. Self-consciousness strikes again, though Yoanna did comfort Shandi tangibly. And shame on you for thinking that way, and shame on me for writing it in the first place.

And this week's booted girl, Xiomara: she suffered from a combination of what Jenascia's biggest liability and what Shandi's currently struggling with. They tried/try too hard to ape the sexiness of that comes more naturally to the other ladies when there's marketability in their own uniquenesses.

And again, if I don't mention you, you're boring. Except for Camille. I wouldn't say she's pathological (yet), but I do think Tyra's right about her needing to be in a place where she's giving (rather than taking) orders. And the more she says the criticism of her character doesn't bother her, the more obviously the cold-shouldering begins to affect her.

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