September 27, 2009

I'm Tired of Tyra Banks....

This morning, I turned on the television and it happened to be on America's Next Top Model, a show I don't often watch, but I was curious today, because the current cycle is about taking so-called "short girls" (i.e. girls who are 5'6) and giving them a chance to be models. Okay, sort of cool, I thought. Let's deconstruct our beauty standards, yes. Let's show that beauty can come in a girl who is under 5'10. I thought Tyra was being all lovely and subversive, but I was wrong, because in the judging segment, Tyra and her panel were all like, "Get rid of that one, because she doesn't look tall in her picture! Last week she looked tall, but this week she doesn't, so cut her!" Um, when did this become a tall girl impersonation competition? I thought we were actually enfranchising short girls and giving them a chance in a really sizeist beauty industry. I thought we were questioning the norm that says tall girls are the most elegant and modelesque, not just teaching short girls HOW TO LOOK TALLER. What is wrong with being short? I thought Tyra was insisting there was nothing wrong with being little!

So, Tyra, all you've done is make me feel worse as a short girl. You've told me that short girls CAN be models, as long as we figure out how to achieve OPTICAL allusions and basically lie about who we are. Is that really good for young girls' body image, something you claim to care so much about? You have your big, "So what?" movement, where every time a girl hates something about her body, like being short, you think she should say, "So what?" Well, your show has shown her what. What's up is that these short girls' little bodies AREN'T good enough. They have to pretend to be tall. These short girls aren't given the opportunity to be seen as beautiful, they are given the opportunity to pretend to fit beauty norms they will never really live up to, because when the cameras stop rolling, they really are under 5'7, after all...

Oh, Tyra, stop trying! You're just such a hypocrite and you make things worse. You've taken girls who are too short to be models and taught them to lie about who they are. Yeah, that'll make them feel better about being short....

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