I guess I have been pretty out of touch with what we as a society have been telling young girls these days. I caught the end half of America's Next Top Model at a friend's house last night, and I was honestly appalled by what I saw on the show. Maybe I am too old fashioned, but here is what I learned that young girls are learning by watching this stuff:
Being painfully skinny is beautiful
No, seriously, I had NO IDEA girls were being led to believe this is what normal people should look like. Yes, I knew they were being told that "thin is beautiful", but I thought THIS particular variety of sickliness was off the market. Looking at these chicks made me literally wince in pain. I kept yelling at the screen "GO HOME AND EAT!" These girls are so tall but they weigh less than me, most likely (I'm 5'2" and 119 lbs), but that is NOT HEALTHY! Yes, maybe they are like that naturally, but many girls just aren't built that way, and they are seeing these people looking that way being "adored" as models and they think they should look that way.
If you're 25+, you're too old
Really? REALLY?! When one of the judges noted that one of the "models" was 25, the other judges gasped in horror and surprise. Ok, some of that was purposely exaggerated, I'm sure, but since when did being 25 mean you're old?! These girls are being led into "modeling" at a younger and younger age, and now we all are starting to think we're worthless once we're past 25?! I can't even stand it. I'm 29, and I don't happen to think I'm particularly old. Gosh, I even thought maybe I could still do a bit of modeling at my age, but I guess I'm just an old washed up hag! UGH!
DON'T LET PERSONALITY SHOW IN YOUR PHOTOS!
Jeez, I guess all my photos are for shit. God forbid MY PERSONALITY comes through! That's just not FASHION enough! You have to look like a model, gosh darnit, not a real person! Come on, be more sassy! But wait, that's too sassy! Tone that shit down before someone sees you! Ugh, you suck so much because you aren't posing, but you're posing!
You're constantly being judged and you don't meet our standards
The judges actually insulted just about every girl that appeared before them. I could not even stand it or believe it. "What are you wearing?", "You made a funny face", "You're just not interesting". Oh give me a break, come on! You're telling these girls to mug for the camera, but then not to mug for the camera because they are too "sassy" or too "posed", but then you're telling them they suck no matter what they do. I just... I can not stand it! Of course they look uncomfortable when they get out there - you're making them paranoid!!
Yes, I realize this post devolved into more of a rant, but come on... REALLY?!
I just can't believe we let this go on! I suppose I was under the impression that things had gotten better and people had become more aware of this problem. I thought we were edging towards healthier looking "models" or role-models... I guess I was wrong!