Wednesday, November 7, 2007

America's Next Top...What?

At a certain Point in Wednesday's Episode of America's Next Top Model, I said to myself "What am I watching and what would my 14 year old sister think". Within the first ten minutes of the episode, all the girls were in skin tight body suits, crawling across the floor on kneepads (so they would not hurt themselves), seductively glancing at the multiple cameras in the room. I just don't understand how this passes for actual prime time television. Maybe the fact that the show is followed up by an episode of the CW's newest teenage hit Gossip Girl. The title says it all. Coming out of a commercial, the girls (still dressed in skin tight body suits that look an awful lot like skin) jump up and down in a huge huddle screaming "America's Next Top Model". This is followed up by a celebrity encounter with Enrique Iglesias as he puts them all in his newest music video, choosing one based solely on looks as his counterpart in the video.

Midway through the episode, one of the top females in the competition (heather) becomes sick and very pale on the set of the music video. She is told basically that she needs to eat more and needs to drink being as skinny as she is in the hot atmosphere. Isn't this the dealer preaching to the addict. Sure you have a plus sized model on the show, but that does not make up for the fact that you are blatantly exploiting females strictly on their bodies. When half the show is based on near nudity and sexual positions, 2 lines in the middle of the show does not make up for this. All but one person on the show is extremely skinny and that is unhealthy. Other models acted surprised when this happened to Heather, but I am pretty sure that many of the viewers at home could have seen this coming.

I believe it goes without saying, but my thoughts are that this has a terribly negative impact on the socialization of girls. It is nice that they seem to care enough to put in an "overweight" model, but that overweight model is still the same size as many normal sized girls in today's society. Girl's will be seeing this and likely dressing flashily like they did in the music videos, or dancing like rap video girls as many of the background dancers did when Enrique walked by. While parents should be monitoring shows like this from their children, the fact that a show about modeling and dressing very provocatively is on at 8 pm on a Wednesday says something about society today.

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