Tag Archives: America’s Next Top Model

Oh ANTM, Where Do I Even Start?: Mariah Watchman And The Pocahontas Controversy

All images courtesy The CW and Pottle Productions Inc.

By Guest Contributor Adrienne Keene, cross-posted from Native Appropriations

This is not a post hating on Mariah Watchman, America’s Next Top Model‘s very first Native contestant. At all. I’m so excited she’s on the show, and proud that she’s representing for all of Indian Country. Mariah is from the Umatilla rez in Oregon, but is also Ojibwe, Modoc, and Mandan, and seems pretty down-to-earth and awesome. This is much more about the show itself, and the messages it sends us about society at large.

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Behind The Funhouse Mirror: The Racialicious Review of Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure Tv

By Arturo R. García

In a way, author and journalist Jennifer L. Pozner’s latest work was endorsed by The Learning Channel, without her even having to appear:

We have made it known from the start that Sarah Palin’s Alaska is not a political show.   Sure, there has been plenty of conversation of Sarah Palin’s Alaska through a political lens — some of it on our blogs — but when the focus turns political the conversation goes off track.  And for that reason we try to avoid conversations that are seen as being political wherever possible.

- Brian Reich, host, Sarah Palin’s Alaska podcast

Over the weekend, Pozner, founder and executive director of Women in Media & News, and more recently the author of Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV, was invited, then un-invited from appearing on the channel’s Alaska podcast after Pozner called the series a “series-long unpaid political advertisement.” Her post and subsequent live-tweeting of an episode, Reich went on to say, “created an untenable environment tonight that wouldn’t allow for us to focus on the topic we both want to discuss.”

Translation: the call-in portion of the show would veer into flame-war territory, because Pozner’s analysis would have revealed some truths TLC and Palin’s fanbase weren’t comfortable confronting.

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The Brazil Files: Not So FIERCE – America’s Next Top Model Goes to Brazil

By Racialicious Special Correspondent Wendi Muse

Considering that I am presently living in Brazil, everyone and their mother sent me emails to alert me that this year the America’s Next Top Model “exotic” location was going to be São Paulo, Brazil. Of course, I was on it like white on rice.

I have previously covered ANTM’s behavioral faux-pas (read: extreme insensitivity in relation to the respective racial/ethnic/national identities and/or sexual orientations of the contestants, just to name one of many problems), but I felt the need to take another stab at their culturally-oriented failures considering I am living here in Brazil, visit São Paulo every other weekend, and could safely say, before even watching it, that it was going to end up a hot mess.

In light of the fact that some of the comments made during the show were quite obnoxious, I decided to return the favor. I say let’s squelch fire with fire, ladies. And no, I am not talking about the burning sensation during a Brazilian wax, which seemed to be about the only thing this season’s gaggle of beauties knew about the country that over 196,000,000 people call home.

I have decided to write a little ditty about my take on the show. Check out the clips to see for yourself. Footnotes are provided for additional information. I would have set it to the beat of “the Girl from Ipanema,” but I was too tired from watching the stereotypes and stupidity unfold before me to actually do that. Here goes:

In São Paulo, samba’s not the really the thing. (1)

But hey, at least the girls got flip flops with bling. (2)

Oh and Spanish, speak it they do not. (3)

And in São Paulo, it’s hardly ever hot. (4)

So if you really wanted a sun burn or a tan,

You should have gone to beaches of Rio, a clip of which they ran. (5)

And though capoeirista Eddy speaks quite clear,

They decided to run subtitles as not to offend our AMERICAN ENGLISH ONLY ear. (6)

And Carmen Miranda— for the eyes she’s a feast.

Yet too bad home girl is actually PORTUGUESE. Continue reading

ANTM: The Drinking Game*

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

I was originally going to write a full article about all the patronizing, classist, and racist things Tyra & the Gang (T&tG) said on the most recently aired America’s Next Top Model Cycle 8, but our friend Malena Amusa over at Race Wire beat me to it :- )

So I thought I’d made a fun little game for those of you who have TiVo-d all the episodes or pre-ordered the Cycle 8 box set (no judgment—we all have our guilty pleasures). I mean, Tyra did say that ANTM “is not just about a pretty picture . . . it’s about more than that,” so here’s your opportunity to prove her right.

Please be warned, if you decide to use alcohol for this game (highly un-recommended considering the frequency of T&tG’s slip-ups), be sure to keep a cell phone pre-programmed with “9-1-1” close by. My suggestion, however, is to use water. You’ll be sure to get in your daily recommended dose of 2 liters.

Take a shot for each time anyone from T&tG (including, but not limited to Tyra Banks, Jay Manuel, Miss Jay, Nigel Barker, Twiggy, the contestants, and the special guest judges):

  1. makes a reference to a track, weave, and/or wig when speaking to a contestant of color
  2. says someone “looks foreign”
  3. questions Natasha (the Russian contestant)’s ability to understand English
  4. switches into an accent when speaking a person whose first language is not English
  5. refers to Jaslene, the Puerto Rican contestant, as “spicy” or “fiery”
  6. says the word “fierce”
  7. questions Jael (the half black/half white contestant)’s “realness,” “blackness,” national origin, and/or racial identity
  8. uses the term “ghetto” as a surrogate term for trashy, cheap, poorly made, and/or uneducated
  9. attempts to speak for his or her entire ethnic/racial group, sexual orientation, and/or place of origin
  10. asserts her “American-ness,” gratitude to America, and/or tells a sob story about her native country or old neighborhood
  11. praises/thanks Tyra
  12. asks a contestant to say something in her native language
  13. uses subtitles
  14. expects the contestants to behave in a stereotypical way, then questions their effort and commitment to the competition if they do not do so
  15. uses the term “cha cha”
  16. compares modeling to “acting like a ho”
  17. treats his/her moment on television as a public service announcement on otherness
  18. makes a sweeping statement about lesbians or gays
  19. supplies Latin music as an aural backdrop to appearances made by Jaslene
  20. supplies hip hop as background music during appearance made by Jael in order to remind us she is half black even though she “doesn’t look it”

*Please note, this game also doubles as a youtube scavenger hunt!