« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

'America's Next Top Model' premiere: What's a short top model to do? Tyra sort of knows

Model  For me, the "America's Next Top Model" formula was fine as it was – a well-oiled top-model-selecting machine. I thought, just like many of you I'm sure, what the heck is a short model going to do even if she wins? Well, Tyra answered that in Wednesday's second elimination as she was consoling the girls who didn’t make it:

“Ladies, I know this is hard,” says Tyra. “And the advice that I can give you is, yes, you’ll walk into agencies and they will say you are too short.” Please note she’s supposed to be consoling them. “But there are some other things you can do. You can do commercials. You can do [slight pause, eyes widen, wait for it] face modeling …OK?” And hugs.

She could only name two things! If that was Tyra’s version of a pep talk, please Lord, don’t let her volunteer for a suicide hot line. After Tyra’s less-than-graceful goodbye speech, I realized something – Tyra was just keepin’ it real.

So, in the spirit of Tyra, I'm going to keep it real with my review of the moments that made me go "Wha?" in Wednesday's two-hour premiere:

Le Cycle 13 - The Fall Collection: What's up with the random openings they've been using in the last few cycles of "ANTM"? Remember the crazy "futuristic" opening in Cycle 11 when the Js came out in couture bodysuits? Tonight's episode started off with a French-theme dubbed Tyra's Le Cycle 13: The Fall Collection where the girls are supposed pieces in Tyra's next fashion line. She then bursts out dressed like Mrs. Roper and screaming about the injustice of height discrimination in the worst French accent I've ever heard. Of course, the only explanation for this: Tyra is cray-cray.

The Thumbelina Complex: Any fears that this cycle was not going to, um, measure up in the drama department disappeared once the girls started rolling through. I've never seen so many "ANTM" contestants with so little self-esteem. Sure, they seem confident, but we all know the happiest clowns are really just sad carnies under the wigs and makeup. So, Amber does not fool me when she says that she's there for Jesus while she gyrates ("Shake that thing, Shake that thing!") around the room. Is anyone surprised she dropped out for "personal reasons"? Or Raven's tinkle-making tumbling passes during interviews. What about Bianca when she exclaims her high intelligence and self-esteem, yet throws a fit about everything she's asked to, uh, model. Has anyone told her what competition she's in? I'm pretty sure we're going to see some major breakdowns this season and when they arrive size won't matter. On the upside, these girls are here to play. And "ANTM" is always best when the girls want it bad.

What's a Ty-over?: Ms. J explains that it’s "a Tyra-Makeover." In my opinion, the makeover episode is the best episode of the season: Weaves fly, long tresses are snipped, and, inevitably, girls are in tears. You know this season is going to be good when the makeovers appear in the premiere, oh-tay! Sometimes, though, I just feel Tyra is messin' with the girls and I felt that way tonight. Sure, Bianca's attitude sucks, but c'mon, you had nothing to do with her, so yah bleached the girl's brows? Just mean. And why does Jennifer, the sole Asian contestant, and Lisa, Amber’s replacement, basically get away with a trim?

The truth is that once you get over the height requirements, this cycle is just like any other. Tyra is still narcissistic. The judges are just as harsh. And while the stakes may be higher for these girls because of their height, the Top Model standards are just that – the standard. Even with all the potential Tyra saw in her, Lisa left because she couldn't project the Top Model within -- and we can't just blame that on her height.

To paraphrase Ms. J, no matter how short you are, you have to walk that runway like you're 6 feet tall. And for that, "ANTM," I ain't mad at yah.

— Jethro Nededog

Photo courtesy the CW

Comments () | Archives (18)

Hi all,

Lisa, the first model eliminated from America's Next Top Model will be online for a live chat Thursday 9/10 at 2:30 pm PT/5:30 pm ET taking your questions and comments and giving you her view from behind the scenes about the other girls, the challenges and the judges.


Hope you can stop by and chat with Lisa.

Jim (For Fancast)

I agree, at first I was skeptical, but now have really caught on to how desperate these women are to win. Shows always get good when the contestants want it bad, and these ladies surely do!

What happened to Amber?!
She was a nutjob. I honestly thought they were going to keep her, that would of been extremely entertaining.

So far off mark, but you brought it home at the end.

I haven't watched ANTM since the 3rd cycle. Its all Tyra pleasing, all the time, lots of whining and crying, and lots of catty crap, but how much real world model skills are they building? None. Yeah its a game show, yeah its entertainment, and yeah its pretty girls in great costumes, but overall its just a bunch of crappy behavior I don't care about anymore. Can't watch it.

In the end, however, if the girls want to be models, they need to know the Tyras of the world are still out there, and the business is still about business.

hi my name is mitchelle dat my dream 2 bcome in the american next top model i m gonna keep dreaming about dat N' i want to all of u r dreamin about dat keep dreaming one day u will become one

"But we all know the happiest of clowns are really just sad carnies under the wigs and make-up." Awesome.

I really didn't appreciate allll the comments about sex it was empty and vauge, and not something good for our bright young teens to watch, why is she letting him feel her boobs,,there is more to life.. Clean it up.. and sing better lyrics.. thanx nf

I don't like tall women (physically, but I'm sure they are nice people). I myself am a 5' 7" male and see nothing glamorous about an unrealistic version of a woman who is over 6 feet tall. I've dated women taller than me before and we both have felt awkward about it. Most women are not that tall, especially in the Mexican and Central American community.
The only women I see that tall are white women and there is something class-based about that...being that tall indicates generations of privilege, a lengthy family background of a beef-abundant diet, and marriages with other tall people (usually men).
The future of this state (and eventually nation) is a short one. Look around Los Angeles and there are multiple examples of beautiful women in the medium/short height range.That's because the demographics are changing.
So hooray for medium/short people!


Thanks for calling me an unrealistic version of a woman. I really appreciate it. I'm 6'2", but I am not a size 2 so don't identify with the catwalk models much either. I'm glad that my self esteem is high enough to not be effected by your comments.

I would never think to refer to you as an unrealistic version of a man ... though you are below the "average" height. I'm wondering if your issue with tall women stems from your feelings of inferiority rather than anything else?

Tyra drives me crazy, but I get drawn into the drama. I dig the crazy girl, I think it is Nicole AKA Bloody Eyeball. She doesn't even know how to say "thanks" when she gets a compliment. If she doesn't win, she should star in a remake of the movie Carrie!

yes, i totally get how short/average height girls face way more challenges breaking into the modeling industry. but the ridiculously overdramatic way tyra and company were going on about it, it seemed like the girls had leprosy or something, not a height disadvantage.

i hope the season gets better, but it doesn't look promising. the makeovers were so lame too.

The show with the short ladies is unteresting; are short women always this boring! Bring back the tall, striking, interesting ladies.

Wow, Kit! Manuel talks about his feelings, which he has every right to. But instead of talking about yours, you dis someone you don't know. I agree that, based on the real world, the image of a 6' model is unrealistic. Most women are not that tall, thin, or beautiful. (BTW, just as most men don't look like male models.)

I think Tyra is reversed racist especially when it comes to Spanish women. She kept the girl who was complaining about her makeover and her outfit over the girl that she gave a second chance to, which I think she was just carrot dangling the poor girl anyway. I am just saying if a White or Spanish girl complained about her makeover Tyra would have called her out then kicked her out. It also seems funny to me that she dyed her hair dark brown the same color of the girl that she was jealous of and kicked off. I think it's funny to hear the other judges give "compliments" to the girls that Tyra chooses. Like when Nigel said he liked how he liked the fact that there was something green about one of the girls, yeah her complexion. And what about the girl with the ghetto tattoo of her girlfriends name right on her collar bone, if that was a white girl with her boyfriends name like Chad or Jose Tyra would say she couldn't have a modeling career with something like that one her body. I think she is so Witchy with a capital B and transparently racist. I think thats the reason why I haven't seen Paulina yet cause she actually calls her out on her obvious favoritism just like Janice used to.

Love the show, but the poor farm girl who has to castrate cows has her hands full. For one thing you don't castrate cows - cows are female, you castrate bulls, they are the ones with the balls.


It has nothing to do with whether you like tall women, how beautiful they are or demographics, it's about the fashion industry and what they want.

A model is a living mannequin and should be a blank canvas for the items of clothing the designer is trying to sell and in this case they are required to be tall.

As for the years of privilege..... many African women are very tall and they certainly do not stick to your stereotype of the upper class white America..

i think keeping it real is so fake. Seriously every person is an individual, every person on this planet is different in one way or another. Come on, not everyone can be five/seven! The hieght requirements for modelling, is an oximoron all in itself! their is really no ideal height, everyone is different.

As a "short woman", I do find it unfair how only tall women can get away with being a "top model". However, it's not all that surprising. The modelling industry is known for using tall, stick-thin women. It's simply not the norm. I myself am quite thin, however the majority of women are not naturally thin. As well, the majority of women are not 6 feet tall. There's a reason these women are models - because they're rare. The rarer they are, the more in demand they are. If the runway modelling industry (re: the high-payed models) accepted all types of women - thin, heavy, short, tall - I really think no one would look up to them, and the modelling industry, as well as the design "houses" would fall flat on their faces. It sucks for all those beautiful, short women (thin or full-figured), but for this to continue to be a lucritive industry, sadly, I fear not much will change no matter the outcry and backlash.


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: