OK, it’s official: my summer reality TV fast (a needed respite after sending the Reality Bites Back manuscript off to my publisher) is over. To mark the occasion, I’m going to be livetweeting analysis of the season premiere of America’s next Top Model, Cycle 15 — yes, 15 — tonight at 8pm EST. (UPDATE: Full feed of the livetweeting session below.)
Long-time readers of my other blog (WIMN’s Voices, the group blog of Women In Media & News) know that I’ve monitored this series since it debuted, often to horrifying results. Not surprisingly, then, ANTM features quite often throughout Reality Bites Back, in chapters on body image, race, and product placement advertising and media economics. But the show also has the distinction of being the only reality series of the decade to get its own chapter in the book: “Ghetto Bitches, China Dolls, and Cha Cha Divas: Race, Beauty, and the Tyranny of Tyra Banks.” Let’s see if tonight gives us a glimpse why…
Send your questions, comments and snarky hashtags about gender, race, beauty, product placement, manipulation, Tyra Banks’ batshit crazy antics, and anything else ANTM-related to @jennpozner on Twitter, or post your questions to the comments section below. (You can connect to my Twitter feed by clicking on the blue “t” icon on the sidebar at the right of this page.)
9:50pm: Well, that was… fun? Not exactly…let’s say, engaging. Here’s the partial transcript of my Top Model livetweet Twitter feed from the evening, in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top, first at the bottom).
@jennpozner Correction: Halle Berry’s Vogue cover=1st time black woman on Sept cover since 89. Several othr Black wmn have had Vogue covers @TheTVJunkie
@jennpozner For analysis of gender, race, class, beauty & advertising on #ANTM in more than 140chars, order www.RealityBitesBackBook.com
@jennpozner They’ve said worse in past. Wrote abt it in #RealityBitesBack RT @DuallyConscious At least Mr. Jay et al told her she definitely wasn’t fat.
@jennpozner PS: if Jordan was really “anti-pop culture” & “anti-consumerism” she’d NEVER appear on #ANTM #productplacement #shillfest
@jennpozner #ANTM contestant says she’s “against consumerism & imperialism.” Lets see how long she lasts on #productplacement #shillfest
@jennpozner Still about 1/2hour left of #ANTM livetweeting. Send your questions & comments.
@jennpozner #SeriouslyUnsubtleEditing #ANTM: bratty rich girl w/own horses paired b4 single mom w/2inimum wage jobs &public assistance #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner No-just said Top Models work every day. RT @strawberrysgirl @lechatsavant Not to my knowledge, just been following @jennpozner‘s ANTM tweets
@jennpozner Only 3rd or 4th time in mag history Black woman on that cover. RT @TheTVJunkie Halle Berry is on the cover of US Vogue September
@jennpozner Ever-present #ANTM Southern-white-girl-vs-Black-woman fight. #ItsSoHaaaardToBeCalledRacist aftr u say u don’t like Black ppl #Sniff #Whimper
@jennpozner Emaciated #ANTM girl says she stopped modeling b/c she “was too fat” even when she was skinnier. See beauty chapter of #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner True. Still, franchise history not good. RT @KrystenLuna actually vogue italia made history in 2008 for their all black issue
@jennpozner Esther IDs as “a modern Orthodox Jew.” Tyra
says #ANTM works every day &she can’t observe Sabbath. #WayToRespectDiversity #HappyRoshHashanna
.@TheTVJunkie Ah, yes, but Vogue franchise has rarely ever featured women of color on covers. @Mica4Life: 1-off stunts notwithstanding
@jennpozner #ANTM gender proscriptions: Gratuitous anti-trans clips implying former contestant Isis wasn’t a “real”
@jennpozner With Italian Vogue cover as prize this #ANTM cycle, I’d be surprised if they allow woman of color 2win. #productplacement #realitybitesback
@jennpozner #ANTM Lexie uses the word “disingenuous.” On this show, that counts as an SAT word! #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner #ANTM =edited; not realistic RT @strawberrysgirl South is getting really diverse. I’m in Atlanta so I’m biased but not all of us r like that
@jennpozner Catty, backstabbing bitchery is structurally built into #ANTM from the outset–Girls told friends they sat w/on bus are direct competition.
@jennpozner “Consumerism materialism is the opposite of everything that I represent.”—Jordan Good luck w/that on #productplacement #shillfest #ANTM
@jennpozner 1st #ANTM “racist Southern girl” stock char sightng: “Culture shock!We don’t have this many diversities & cultures”–Emily #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner From 50-75%less. RT @sdmediareform Networks say ppl want reality TV– “shallow justification” b/c reality costs 75% less http://ow.ly/2Bss6
@jennpozner Yes, Tyra, we know—#ANTM = all about u. But don’t u ever get tired of seeing yr own 15-yr-old runway clips? #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner 2mins in, 1st #BatshitCrazyTyra clip: Banks donning schoolgirl uniform. #GirlYouAreGROWN! #WearAdultClothes #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner “This cycle we’re creating a fashion superstar.”-Tyra on #ANTM cycle 15(!) premiere #FirstTimeForEverything #RealityBitesBack
@jennpozner NOW: Livetweeting #TopModel #ANTM season premiere, cycle 15! Send Qs & comments! #RealityBitesBack post: http://bit.ly/9cFBEI