Saturday, July 26, 2008

There's a Lot More to Life Than Being Really, Really, Ridiculously Good Looking - Part 2

When my friend called to tell me that "America's Next Top Model" was having open casting calls in the DC area, I couldn't think of a more hilarious way to spend my weekend. We sat together for hours working on the "application." With our gaze fixed on the computer screen, we tried to think of the most clever answers to "What would you do if this show made you famous?" and "Would you ever go to a nude beach?" Long after my friend had to head home, I sat, eyes glazed over, trying to come up with the wittiest response to "What is your ideal romantic partner like?" These reality show questionnaires are of course looking for the "honest" answer. Seriously people, just be yourself. Except that on ANTM, girls are routinely shot down for being themselves. On more than one occasion Tyra has scolded a few modeling hopefuls for not being lady-like or whatever modern day phrase is slightly more socially acceptable, yet not any less offensive. I typed and untyped "must be good in bed" a couple of times under the question about romantic partner qualifications. In hindsight, I should have went with it, as it became clear during the first audition that our cleverly honest, well thought out applications would be taken into little to no consideration. Plus it is one of my qualifications. A major one. I scrapped it though, with the idea of seeming neat and pretty until I made it on the show. Then, once in the public eye, my plan was to be outlandishly crass, outspoken about controversial issues, and outright defiant, while of course winning the competition and shattering the image of perfection in the modeling/beauty industry. The whole process started to become less of a hilarious anecdote to tell later, and more of my chance to change the way Americans conceptualize beauty in one fell swoop.

"Do you have a temper?"

"What kind of people would you want to live in a house with?"

Ridiculous question after ridiculous question, I started taking more seriously. I dumped all of my goofy, sarcastic answers for more polished, droll responses. I wanted to erase the blemishes. Anything that made me sound flippant and irreverent had to go. My application was me wearing make-up. Not a lie, just a more palatable version of the truth.

"Have you ever thrown something in anger? Explain."

"Have you ever thought of running for political office, why or why not?"

“How do you deal with someone who intimidates you?”

At the root of it all, after 7 pages of bullshit MySpace like survey questions, this application is really just asking, “How good of a reality television show contestant would you be?” I was convinced this show was looking for entertainers, not models. They need someone to keep audiences tuning in week after week…someone with personality...and in my dark living room at 2am the night before the auditions, as I typed my perfect answers out with rapt attention, I was convinced. I told myself, that someone is so me.

1 comment:

Montana said...

Where's the next installment? Hurry, I can't wait to read on!
Love, Montana