Thursday, June 18, 2015

life lessons I got from America's Next Top Model

I know, right? I realize this is a super strange post.

Hear me out though. 

Since I have all the time in the world on my hands, I have been watching ANTM from the very beginning. The very first cycle aired in 2003. Even if you didn't know that, you could absolutely tell from the clothes the girls are wearing. Also, they use a sidekick. The brand new phone from TMobile.  Lolz. 

As I was watching it, I was loving all the drama, how freaking nuts Tyra Banks is, and of course the photoshoots. 

What I wasn't expecting was how watching this stupid show would make me think about the world today! Just watching the show told me a lot about how the world was in 2003. I didn't like it at all. It made me so happy for all the progress the world has made?
Here are a few examples...

They had a plus size model on the first season. By plus size, I don't even mean real plus size. She had one of the flattest tummies I had ever seen, but she had a pretty significant chest. 

Anyway, the comments to her were blatant fat shaming. The worse was from a few designers that they worked with on the show, and Janice Dickinson. The world's first "supermodel" and also eating disorder promotor. The things they were saying were absolutely horrible. Calling her fat, to her face. Telling her she would never find any clothes in her size, telling her nobody wants to look at her. Telling her that she could take a hint from the bulimic girl on the show. It was so insulting and my heart hurt for the poor girl. She was broken up about it every single week. I'm so happy for the progress the world has made about body image and acceptance. Obviously we have a long way to go! But still, if someone fat shamed her like Janice Dickinson and other designers, there would be a huge backlash. 
OITNB wisdom, obviously we have far to go!

The next big way I saw that America's changed was being accepting of other cultures. On the second cycle, there was a cutie from Brooklyn named Yaya. Her Father had come from West Africa and she was very in tune with her culture, which I think is incredible. After seeing a lot of my students not being taught their culture so they could get Americanized, I think it's great whenever someone embraces where their parents came from.

I hardly ever saw Yaya like this... 

However she did wear African-inspired prints on her skirts, etc. 

Anyway, multiple times on the show she got culture bashed! Told that she can't show her culture this much, told her she was too cliche, told her that this obsession with Africa would ruin her chances. It was so disgusting. I'm really happy that America has really started to embrace people's differences. 

Lastly, something we haven't come as far with, but it was how the contestants were treating Miss. Jay. Miss Jay is the show's runway coach. They were using words like "disgusting" "scary" calling her an "it" and making faces. It was pretty shocking that I was seeing this on TV. I expect to see these things from the comments of an article on a transgender person, but I don't really expect to see them on tv? I dunno, it just shocked me.

So today, I am happy with the world and i'm really excited to see the progress that the world is going to make in the next ten + years. 

I also am trying to find something to do besides watching this terrible show...

Have a good week/weekend! 

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg


  1. Wow great post! I never watched antm but I know other shows/culture in general from the early 2000s treat these topics pretty similarly. Some people whine about how "politically correct" we've gotten but I think being freaking nice to other humans is never too much of an inconvenience.

  2. I knew this post would be a good one. I agree. Whenever people (mainly Mormon's bearing their testimonies, let's be honest) talk about how the world is "getting worse and worse" I'm always like ???? Women have the right to vote? Slaves are gone? We no longer cut people's arms open to "heal" them? Like... I feel like the world is kicking some serious ass lately and I never know what people are talking about when they're like, "I feel bad for my kids because the world just isn't what it used to be." I'm like, "Yeah... IT'S BETTER."

    Anyway. Love this. Love you.