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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
My Take on America's Next Top Model
As passionate as I am about modeling, I'm sure you may be asking yourself where I stand when it comes to ANTM? Well, if it weren't for Tyra's show, I'm pretty sure this blog wouldn't exist! It seems that ever since Tyra appeared on television and gave undiscovered models from across the country a shot at top model stardom, the fascination with the modeling industry has increased exponentially.
I do give Tyra her props for the success of her career and the many roads she has paved for the latest generation but at the same time there are both advantages and disadvantages to the show.
First thing's first, ANTM is NOT what the modeling world is really like. Nor does it offer a very accurate picture of how to approach modeling. All reality TV shows are a "created reality." You have editors and directors who cut and splice and put together the very episodes we love to indulge in. If anything, the show should be taken at face value and watched for pure entertainment.
The most accurate parts of the show that you should pay attention to are the photoshoots, the photographer interaction with the models and the encounters they face with go-sees and talking to talent agencies. There is truth to those parts of the show so it isn't completely fantasy. haha.
To this day, whenever the casting for ANTM hits San Francisco, I get calls and emails from people telling me to try out. As interesting as it may be, I know that they do have a height requirement (I believe it is 5'7" last time I checked) but even if they had an open height requirement, I don't think I would want to try ANTM out. I can only speak for myself but I will tell any model hopeful the same thing I am about to say.
- The opportunity to be on television and meet/work with Tyra.
- Getting to put together a top notch modeling portfolio at no cost to you.
- Working with the world's best fashion photographers, makeup artists and stylists.
- A shot at winning a modeling contract with Elite.
It's easier for me to explain this instead of listing it. As enticing as ANTM appears, you have to think about the details. Not all exposure is good exposure. While you may be getting your face out there, your actions and words may damage your budding modeling career and could backfire on you.
What is the most exciting part about watching ANTM? Is it the competition itself? Finding out who wins? What outfits they get to wear? No! It's about the drama! Not a cycle of ANTM has passed without tears, cat fights, attitude, confrontations and a whole lot of the "B word" being thrown around. It may serve for good TV but it makes for a lousy start to a modeling career if you get caught up in the reality TV modeling politics/drama.
Unless you really know yourself and can remain calm and collected, you can put yourself at risk for some bad behavior that could make people in the industry not want to work with you, or get you unfairly labeled/stereotyped.
For example, say you make it onto the show and throughout the entire cycle you had a sobfest twice. Only twice. With the magic of reality tv, editors can manipulate the footage to make it appear as if you've cried every single episode. The same goes for throwing around an attitude or not getting along with the other girls. Reality TV is known for creating "personas" for certain people in order to get ratings. The way you are presented on ANTM can either make or break any chance you have at modeling, as well as how the public perceives you as a person.
The bottom line: ANTM can do a lot for your career if you win, regardless of whether you do in fact hit "top model" status or not. But at the same time, be sure to evaluate all the risks involved and don't just jump into it if you are interested in auditioning. I still advocate going to modeling agencies yourself and exhausting those possibilities first and then try out for ANTM as a backup plan.