Monday, May 18, 2009
Ahhhhh NZNTM. How I missed you. After a lacklustre last episode (that couldn't even inspire me to write a recap), Friday night's show delivered with more punch, more brutal honesty and even a real life celebrity. Sometimes you've just gotta leave the safety of little old New Zealand to get some perspective on things. And I think Alexis Borges seriously put the show into perspective with his truthful and accurate-as-hell opinion on the girls. And that leads us nicely into this week's modelism - which I didn't choose based on its stupidity, but rather its utter lack of perspective.
"He never said I couldn't be a high couture fashion model - look at Kate Moss."
Here's the thing. I used to work as a booker. We'd have girls calling up all the time wanting to sign up, and you have no idea how often I heard the Kate Moss-thing after the height-thing was brought up. "Kate Moss is only 5'6." Yes, but have you seen Kate Moss? Have you noticed that she's the only short supermodel? And that there are only really about 14 supermodels in the entire world? And that most people in the world don't look anything like them??
Let's look at what Alexis Borges said:
On Laura - you could introduce her to the high end designers right now.
On Victoria - no opinion given.
On Hosanna - you're too short, we have some exceptions, but you're not one of them.
On Teryl Leigh - you're too big to work on an international level.
On Ruby - too big for sample sizes, but you could do well if you brought down your measurements.
On Christobelle - take off that makeup, but no opinion given.
What does that say to you, dear readers? Because it speaks volumes to me. First of all, there's a height and a size reality to this business. While size might not be such a big issue in New Zealand, overseas it's all important. Girls will not work based on how short or how large they are. It might not be a nice reality, but I don't think fashion is on its way to winning a Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon. It's like sport - the better condition your body is in, the better you'll most likely do. Same as in modelling - the thinner and taller you are, the higher the likelihood of success. Just wanting it doesn't make it happen, generally speaking you've either got it or you don't.
Second, there are a few girls left in this competition who probably wouldn't work anywhere outside of New Zealand - and possibly not even inside New Zealand. Which suggests to me that they're still in the competition for dramatic purposes rather than their potential as models. Fair enough, it's a TV show, and the better the drama, the better the viewing experience. But let's not fool ourselves otherwise. Finally, there's something I'd like to raise which probably won't make me very popular. New Zealand's Next Top Model is a competition. In order to win competitions, you generally have to attempt to work as hard and at the best level as you can. Why on earth then have the larger girls of the group not made any attempt to lose some weight? They have exercise equipment and they get to choose what they eat, so why don't they choose to work out and diet?? It's beyond me.
As for the rest of the show, I thought Christobelle and Ruby were vastly better than the other girls in the Covergirl commercial, and I'd be amazed if Ruby doesn't go onto success as a TV presenter - she looks to me like she was born to be in front of the camera. The shoot with Nigel once again showed a little bit of reality - if you can't deliver, the photographer will get angry with you. Though probably far far more angry than that lovable chap would ever get on TV.
If it had been up to me, I would have sent Hosanna home. She failed to deliver in the Covergirl commercial and cut some pretty weird shapes in front of Nigel's camera, but my old mate Teryl Leigh went home instead. I liked Teryl Leigh and thought she had a beautiful face, but she was just never able to let go enough. In modelling there's no place for being reserved - you have to be up for anything anytime, and comfortable in the most uncomfortable circumstances. How many other industries do they ask you to strip naked in front of a team of people, walk in shoes that could break your ankles, pretend it's hot while wearing a bikini when in reality it's minus 10 degrees outside, and look beautiful all the way through?
Not many, if any.
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