America's Next Top Model: Cycle 1
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AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL: CYCLE ONE has 14 beautiful contestants taking part in a series of tests over the course of the series to determine who has the sheer strength, will and attitude to make it as Americas Next Top Model. Along with Tyra Banks, notable fashion editors, photographers and agency reps judge the girls each week and decide who should pack their bags and go home and who becomes one step closer to being Americas next top model.
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Release the other Cycles on DVD!!! What's the hold up, I don't get it.
America's Next Top Model reveals the complex decisions, responsibilities and intellectual challenges models face on a daily basis. Not only are contestants required to navigate the streets of Paris, two even participate in a major fashion show.
The most exciting part of the show is definitely the challenges the contestants face. The desire to overcome all obstacles seems to be the key to traversing the distance between obscurity to fame.
During each show, a panel of fashion experts decides on who will be cut from the show. Dreams are dashed as beautiful women show weaknesses and character flaws.
The bikini wax session was a little much but did show what women have to endure for beauty. The models then endure cold temperatures to model swimsuits on a rooftop. While this does show endurance, it made me wonder why they didn't fly these girls to a warmer location for a weekend.
The physical stress was something I had never considered. The photo shoots were often very energetic and you can see why models need to be young. Robin is the oldest model and seems to play the roll of mom more than model for the most part. Her religious beliefs create an interesting interplay between Elyse and Adrianne who then become friends when Robin becomes a little too controlling. Elyse made me laugh quite a bit with her witty naughtiness and my heart went out to Adrianne who wanted to win like it was life itself and survives food poisoning. Fortunately they get to live it up in Paris later and Adrianne's amazing strength pays off.
Robin ends up in a Garden of Eden type setting (complete with a snake) and also has to make decisions about nude photo shoots. I thought the show went a bit far with the photo shoot in Paris, especially with such young participants.
The stress of competition brings out a great deal of insecurity and self-esteem issues become apparent. Enduring all the criticism alone would cause anyone stress. Tyra Banks is one tough cookie when it comes to dealing out the dirt on every wrong move and every fault. She completely scrutinizes every aspect of each photo shoot and I can't say she is wrong about anything she says to the girls. Her eye for detail is exquisite and she also tried to give the girls a boost in their confidence with carefully selected positive comments.
I remember the days of being 135 pounds and walking on a catwalk in a swimsuit and heels and I will say that these girls are ten times nicer than any of the girls I had to compete with back in my high school days. I wish I'd watched this before my last photo shoot because there were many elements about how to make your eyes more vibrant that I hadn't really considered. I knew eyes were important, but Tyra really emphasizes this point and also makes you think about how the world views intelligent women.
Tyra Banks has done young women a great favor by creating this show. Not only can women see dreams come true, they can see how to avoid nightmares. If you have strong religious beliefs, modeling has many challenges. You are in a no mercy environment where materialism is paramount and you are basically a canvas upon which the world of fashion wants to paint. I was shocked they would cut Adrianne because she was almost dying of food poisoning. That really disturbed me for various reasons. She could have easily completed the test they gave in 10 minutes, sometime later when she was feeling better.
I did gain a new respect for Top Models and the interviews show a full range of personalities and intelligence levels. Most of the contestants are more in competition with their own weaknesses than the other models. In this show, being late to a photo shoot can erase your chances in a heartbeat. As a model, your life is not really your own. Do you have to sell your soul for fame? You decide.
Fortunately there is not much "clawing" their way to the top and everyone seems to have normal problems like everyday women in the real world. I didn't even sleep last night, I just watched all six hours. It was that entertaining.
~The Rebecca Review