(Pictured: 'Evil' Tyrant Banks lords over all)
It’s funny how many women complain about being treated as objects, but yet so many of them aspire to work in modelling. How did this ever become the pinnacle of ambition for a generation of females? Being dressed up, posed, photographed in compromising positions wearing ludicrous outfits, then criticized for not being pretty enough by men who have (let’s be honest here) absolutely no interest in women beyond the academic. Who would want a life like that? I suppose the vast heaps of money might help.
Which is presumably why Oprah-in-waiting Tyrant Banks invented America’s Next Top Model. To give young women the opportunity to make a living in the competitive game of standing, walking, looking at things and very occasionally (but not often) talking.
With only six hopefuls left, this week Tyra whisks them off to Shanghai for a “posing challenge”, a make-up advert and photo shoot, and some more of that feminine cure-all, shopping. To the credit of the shows makers they do actually relent from the filming of female flesh to show a little bit of local colour. The shots of the city are glorious, and you almost feel a little jealousy for the girls who’ve been plucked out obscurity for a shot at a jet-setting life in the big time. But only almost, because by the end, one of them has to go.
At the hotel, they find that there are only five beds in their hotel room, obviously to foster yet more tension between Asperger’s sufferer Heather and bitchy hood-rat Bianca, who feels – perhaps rightly – that the show’s judges are carrying Heather because she has “a disability or whatever”.
After a nights kip the girls do their challenge which involves apparently learning “karate” (it’s not) and posing while flying through the air on a rope. Bianca throws a hissy fit and refuses to do it, putting her in the running for the boot.
Luckily for her, Amazonian Lisa screws up the shoot for her advert and Heather gurns all the way through hers. So who’s going to get shitcanned? I’ll give you a hint – it’s not Heather, because she “has something”. What it is that she has, I’m not entirely sure. But what do I know? I’m only a straight guy.