Tyra tried to suck me in, but she hasn’t… Yet.

I wasn’t planning on watching the new season of ANTM until I ran out of other things to watch while exercising. But I have received so many emails asking me for my opinion about this season’s ANTM that I just had to bump it up the priority list. So for those of you who are still waiting on the previews for the last couple of episodes of Heroes, Ugly Betty and the newest addition to my reviewing list, Little Mosque on the Prairie – sorry.

Before launching head first into the new season, I decided to do some background research – perhaps it would help me pinpoint what it is about this season that has so many of Sahar’s Blog readers aflutter.
But then I sat down at my laptop and…Forget about the research. I’m way too curious about the new season of ANTM to take time to ‘read’ about it. I want to see what is making my readers so aflutter about Cycle 12. Has an alien landed on the show? Is everyone ‘short’ – i.e., under 5’7’’? Is it a show only with intellectuals who are going to not only model, but model only about causes then have to impress the judges with their understanding of the cause they are modelling? Seriously, who would want to read about that and not see it first hand? What am I, a nerd?

Don’t answer that.

Cycle 12 starts off with… Well, with the usual.

Screaming girls? Check.
Weird girl? Check.
Attitude girl? Check.
Sick girl? Check.
Over the top arrogant girl? Check.
Gorgeous house? Check.
Mean girls? Check.
Fat girl…

Wait a second. THAT is fat? Seriously? So much for changing the standards of beauty; the girl who is deemed a ‘plus-size’ model is what healthcare professionals refer to as ‘normal’, I believe.

Congratulations – we are all now plus-sized. Let me head on to a specialty store.

Yes, that was a quip – and I have plenty more where that came from. Because although I was checking my emails, exercising and watching ANTM at the same time, I’m still disengaged enough to come up with such quips. The level of disengagement that I feel is such that halfway through episode 1, I can’t help but wonder what the hurry was for me to watch this. Seriously guys… Why was it SUCH a big deal for me to watch? It’s such a bore that I am rambling to keep myself from falling asleep.

There are a couple of thoughts, some typical, some unique, that I’d like to share.

First of all… Why are girls so mean? Seriously, why are they so catty and intent on destroying each other? I can’t get over the fact that some girls in previous cycles and in this one are so mean. And some of them really don’t need to be like that. Sandra for example, is an absolutely lovely young lady whose eyes shine with intelligence. But when she opens her mouth, all that potential flies out of the window as the meanest comments pour out of her. It really is sad, as it dims her beauty. I would love to have a cycle of ANTM centred around cooperation & collaboration. I know, I know, it’s a competition, but still, this is beyond ridiculous. Since when is competition so cruel? The only thing that should be cruel about the competition is the fact that at the end of the episode, someone goes home. And that should be the worse part.

I really miss the feelings of newness, and perhaps a form of innocence that the girls in the first seasons exhibited. Back in the days of Cycle 1, 2 & even 3, girls were less aware of what ANTM was about; they came to ANTM looking almost nothing like models, whereas Cycle 12’s group almost looks like a group of girls who are already, as of day 1, models in training. These girls are all fashionable and savvy and I don’t think we are going to the evolution from girl next door or girl off the street to top model as much.
The other thing that has been bothering more and more is the continuing superficiality of the show. I had hope that Tyra Banks, so intent of redefining beauty, would use the success of ANTM to do exactly that; now that she’s a world-renown fashion icon and a household name, she certainly can afford to play the ‘field’ with fashion without suffering a drop in ratings. I would even have expected Tyra Banks to pull something crazy like teaming up with Dove’s Campaign for True Beauty and have an entire cycle of normal sized (read: non-anorexic) models. But I have been disappointed cycle after cycle.

I can understand that Tyra needs to balance between redefining beauty and keeping models marketable… But ANTM has come to the point where it has the clout to make a massive change, like having all their contestants be under 5’7’’, or weigh over 130 pounds, have mothers only, etc, etc.
And maybe it’s also the only thing that will keep ANTM itself marketable, because it is becoming almost painfully repetitive.

Sahar’s verdict: if there is nothing else, I’ll watch ANTM while exercising. If not, I probably won’t.