By: Ann Lauren
My intention in covering America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 13 is to provide objective, reliable observations on the show and how it relates to the current state of petite modeling. In my experience working with petite models nationwide (as a producer, model and mentor) I have never insulted or demeaned my participants at any point. So far after two episodes, I am nearly in shock watching the show Tyra has crafted, which appears to demean and belittle the aspiring petite models rather than nurture their talents and promote a positive image.
Tyra’s condescending approach to teaching the models detracts from the legitimacy of these petite models and the petite fashion industry in general. A segment in this week’s episode included the president of Wilhelmina Modeling, Sean Patterson, and appeared staged for the simple purpose of reminding the girls that they are firmly outside of the mainstream modeling industry. Tyra did not appear to instruct the petite models on what to expect or how to handle themselves, and therefore they appeared to be very unprepared. Obviously, none of the girls had interviewed with a large modeling agency and it showed.
This week’s photo shoot was completely amateurish. There was limited instruction on posing techniques for the models and a lengthy introduction to the term “Smize,” apparently a new Tyra catchphrase. The choice to have the petite models stand next to a thoroughbred horse, topless with wigs and over drawn make-up, was certainly a great way to enhance the models’ lack of height!
I am convinced after two episodes of ANTM: Cycle 13 that Tyra’s goal is to make a mockery of petite models. So far the costumes, ridiculous shoots, and Candyland themed home reinforce the overriding association of petite girls as adolescent or juvenile.
Sean Patterson interviewed and even dined with the models, which resulted in the elimination of Rachel “Big Eyes.” Later, the panel sent 5’4″ Courtney (a favorite at Bella Petite) on her way. Courtney was dismissed because of her poor attitude, which is odd considering the girl with the most negative rude personality through two shoots is Bianca. She gets a free pass two weeks in a row! Courtney has a spunky and confident personality, which is a plus! Luckily, 5’3″ Sundai is still alive to carry the petite flag, and represent average sized American women.
As I’ve stated in the past, I believe Tyra and her cohorts will eliminate the real petites first and choose a winner who is 5’7″.
Here is the breakdown of ANTM eliminations through two episodes:
Episode 1: 5’5″ Lisa
Episode 2: 5’4″ Courtney and 5’6″ Rachel