the original kStyle blog.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Joy of ANTM

It's not just the pretty girls, the catfights, or even my old excuse of Armchair Anthropology that makes America's Next Top Model the most addictive show on television. Add those elements up, throw in the Cinderella story and a good dollop of glamour, and still the explanation falls short of the appeal. What is it?

It's that we, too, want to be the best on some level. We want the top cats in our fields, our heroes and mentors, to recognize our spectacular achievements, to single us out, and to give us the prize in a stunningly public, universally admired way. I want to be America's Next Top Shiatsu Practitioner. Of course I want my classmates to succeed, to become great shiatsu practitioners, but I want to succeed just a little more than they succeed. You, perhaps, want to be America's Next Top Teacher, America's Next Top Novelist, America's Next Top Poet, or America's Next Top Dessert Chef/Handball Player.



Blogger Ann said...

Meh. I'm not interested in being famous, although nobody believes me. I want to be really good (among the top 10%, maybe), I want people to love what I'm doing, but other than that...meh. Besides, "America's Next Top Poet" (or "Next Top Web Designer," for that matter) doesn't make any sense.

If you're sad about no more "ANTM," and if you have cable, check out Project Runway on Bravo. I love love love this show. Part of it is that I know that I can't do what the designers do (be naturally brilliant in my field) as well as they do it, but I want to so badly that I'm hoping to learn something from them and the judges. They're all actually talented and know what they're doing, except for the one who wasn't and didn't, and she got kicked out last night, thank God. And the clothes are really cool.

4:15 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Forget the fame; it's not really about the fame. Would you like to have the poets you most admire mentor you and then deem you the most talented, promising new poet of all the talented, promising new poets? Would you like, on some level, to be the envy of your other aspiring poets? Would you like a $100,000 contract to write poetry for a year?

Sadly, I don't have cable anymore! *sniffle*

6:49 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

1. No. Somehow "panel of judges" doesn't strike me as a worthwhile mentorship. Besides, Anne Sexton is dead, and I don't think Paul Simon counts as a poet.

2. No. But I would like to be admired. Not exclusively; just as one of the damn good ones. (Heh: Envy was actually the subject of last week's "Project Runway" episode.)

3. Oh, yeah, absolutely.

7:20 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

PS Ann, I was pleasantly surprised that Eva won. She was my favorite, but YaYa won almost all the competitions for the whole series. Who did you pick?

7:20 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Actually, once it got down to the final 3, I was indifferent to who won. I liked all of them. But then, I didn't see most of the previous episodes, so I hadn't had a chance to make any good vs. evil distinctions. (I was glad that Ann didn't win, though. After seeing the way she worked, I was surprised she'd even made it to the final 4.) So yay Eva!

On some level I think this show should be required for high school girls. I'll never be able to look through a magazine again without remembering what's going on beyond the page, the photo retouching and dozens of shots and mess of equipment and people who are responsible for designing the picture and Janice Dickerson. In particular, watching the Eva and Amanda and YaYa turn on the fake smiles for the final photo shoot was a real mystery-breaker for me. I mean, I always knew that ads were fiction, but ANTM made it that much more obvious.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Emma Goldman said...

Really, though, I'd rather just with the lottery. I'm tired (and tired of reinventing myself), so . . . But I do understand what you mean about the recognition. I think everyone wants to be Understood & Appreciated, which is what the recognition is all about, I suspect.

7:43 PM  

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