Tuesday, March 04, 2008
FIERCE! America's Next Top Model, Living, 8.00pm
WARNING: We will be discussing, at length, the elimination from last night's episode of America's Next Top Model, so if you haven't seen it yet, or were planning to watch tonight and don't wish to be spoiled, don't read beyond this paragraph because we're going to give everything away. Okay? Don't say we didn't warn you. But do make sure you come back and read once you've seen the episode, because we're about to get on our soapbox about this and it will be a matter of great importance.
So, if you're still reading, we'll assume that you watched last night, and you saw Top Model history in the making, where despite being the girl in the bottom two who got given a "fo-to" and a chance to continue, poor doomed Ebony told Tyra to shove her stupid-ass modelling competition sideways (okay, perhaps not quite in those terms, but wouldn't that have been great?) and for her trouble found herself on the receiving end of a ferocious Tyrade of the kind not seen since that time in cycle four when Tiffany had the bare-faced cheek not to cry when she got eliminated.
You want to see that again, right? Of course you do:
If there was one thing we learned from that clip, it's that Tyra does not like it when anyone implies that winning America's Next Top Model may not be the most important thing in the world, so perhaps Ebony shouldn't have been surprised by Tyra's reaction. It's interesting that in a season where the show fell over itself to appear understanding and sympathetic towards Heather and her Asperger's, they decided to completely ignore Ebony's obvious body image and self-esteem issues, and chalked them up to a "stank attitude" that needed a "high-fashion ass-whoopin'."
Indeed, you might argue that a girl with obvious self-image problems is probably better off not trying to be a model, and you'd have a point, which is probably why Ebony decided she'd be better off leaving the show. But Tyra disagreed: "I don't think this is about modelling," she snipped. "You know what I think? I think this is about you not being able to handle criticism. This is about you not liking it when people aren't telling you you're pretty. And the most unattractive thing in the world to me is a quitter. So with that, you can go." So presumably we can look forward to some kind of female empowerment special on Tyra's car-crash of a talk show, where she explains that it's far better to stick at something that is potentially psychologically damaging, than to leave while you still have your head together, and be that most satanic of all peoples: a Quitter. We've got to say: our love for this show has led us to handwave some seriously iffy mixed messages while it's been on the air, but this one was a step too far.
(Also, were we alone in noticing the irony of Tyra yelling at Ebony that she "can't handle criticism" when Tyra's meltdown seemed to be prompted purely by Ebony noting that Tyra's beloved show might be kind of stupid?)
The funny thing is, we weren't even especially big fans of Ebony (it's Jenah ftw, as far as we're concerned). We just felt the need to stand up for someone who was getting such a hatchet job at the hands of the show's editors, because seriously? That little montage at the end, showing Ebony's audition video, presumably in the hope of filling the audience with a righteous fury that this ungrateful girl dared to trick Tyra into letting her on the show when she didn't really want to be a model? All that made us feel was that this show needs a reality check. Guys, she quit. She didn't die. Enough with the morbid montage. We're not that easily led.
And seriously: when lowculture, of all sites, is telling you that you've officially crossed the boundary into being unforgivably tacky and crass, that probably means you have a serious problem. Maybe someone needs an inTyravention. (Sorry.)
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Tyra: what an arsehole. That is all.
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