I wasn't going to do it; in fact, I had no plans in doing it. But I did it. I flipped through the premiere fifth season of America's Next Top Model and the channel stuck. I couldn't resist watching 36 young women pour their hearts out to J. Alexander (the runway trainer), Jay Manuel (the art director of photo shoots) and the great Tyra Banks herself. Super model Tyra Banks is also one of the executive producers.
These women all believe they have to be a model at whatever cost. Life will not be complete. By the time the two hours was over (yes I watched the whole thing) there were only 12 women left. These remaining 12 moved into a "Model Home" where for the coming weeks they'll compete for the top model slot.
The aspiring models hail from all walks of life. There's the gay girl, the abused girl, the beauty queen girl, the baby girl, the tough girl, the shy girl, the klutz girl and the complainer girl. All these girls get to live together in a mansion filled with designer clothes, shoes, make-up and perfume. It looks like a giant doll house. Before they actually got to see their new digs they went on a tour of Hollywood star homes with the infamous Robin Leach.
Other guest appearances were made by hip hop artist Nate Dog, who DJ'd the girls first fashion show as well as photographers Mike Ruiz and Nigel Barker (final judge). "Fashion icon" Twiggy took up a seat at the end as one of the judges.
Modeling is big business. Little girls around the globe want to be models. They want to work 14 hour days, eat very little and live the glamour life of Kate Moss. Wait... didn't she just get caught snorting coke on film? Oh so very glamorous. Even plus size girls are not immune to the modeling bug. I get dozens of emails from young girls and women asking for help with their modeling career. "Where should I start?" "What's the secret?" "Who should I contact?" "Look at my photos."
Just like last year a plus size model wannabe exists in the group of 12. Her name is Diane, she's 23 and is from Orlando, Florida where she works as a Criminal Defence Investigator. She gets her great dark features from her Puerto Rican ancestry. Does she have a chance? Hope so. Will she make it into the top slot? I doubt it (but it is the fifth season so who knows). The world just isn't ready for a plus size "Top Model". Well at least half the world isn't. The other half, who is bigger than a size 12, would probably welcome her with open arms. If only we could convince the industry of the same. But then modeling wouldn't be left to the elite would it?
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you Diane. There's always hope. And there is a spot to vote for your favourite model on the official site. So when you go there to check out the models photos and profiles, be sure to give Diane your support.
Relive the first cycle with a DVD from Amazon.com.