Something interesting happened on America’s Next Top Model on Monday night.
No – seriously.
In amongst all the usual shit, a sparkling moment of clarity. The truth outed itself for one instant, but then vapourised without leaving its mark. But for that tiny, shining moment, the grotesque absurdity of the whole franchise was called into question – and it came from the most unlikely of sources.
The important folk on ANTM refer to each series as a ‘cycle’. Not a ‘series’. Not a ‘season’. A ‘cycle’. When you dwell on this, the logic holds up. The girls all come from nowhere and end up back in sweet obscurity – so ‘cycle’ it is.
This cycle, we have the usual bunch of warped, seven foot in-breds doing walking, then doing standing still whilst under the scrutiny of a bunch of complete and utter cocks, headed up by the contemptible, neurotic bundle of blabber they call Tyra Banks.
Among the contestants this cycle, the only candidates of any interest are Marvita and Fatima. Marvita is an amazonian shit-kicker who’d eat you for breakfast. Looking like Chris Partlow‘s older, more aggravated sister, she talks through her history of abuse as though she’s reeling off a shopping list. Her cold, dead eyes are supremely likable for some reason.
Then there’s Fatima (pronounced ‘Fah-TEE-mah’, apparently – though I prefer the ‘Whitbread’ phonetic of ‘FATTY-mah’). Fatima is an out and out bitch who, in episode one this bicycle dropped the bombshell that she was circumcised at birth and suffered genital mutilation. Which is horrible, and we all feel for her. The first time she says it. By the time we’ve heard about it for the fourth time in 40 minutes, the goodwill sadly starts to diminish to the point where we forget about her campaign and realise she’s using it as sympathy-leverage so she can be this unicycle‘s wind up merchant, starting cat-fights like there’s no tomorrow.
And finally in this brief round up, until last night, there was Kimberley. An unremarkable, plank-thick blonde with nothing to say for herself - last night she became a fleeting heroine as, when asked to step forward before they ripped the shit out of her photo on judgement day she said (and I’m forced to paraphrase):
‘Y’know – I don’t really like fashion much’
She went on to explain how she thinks that high fashion is stupid and that anyone who pays $2,000 for an outfit is an idiot and, sorry, but this whole thing just wasn’t for her.
The judges’ faces dropped. As they sat there with jaws on their laps I hoped that, even if only for a millisecond, they felt humbled by the logic of a nobody - suddenly realising that the show they’re working on is a fatuous, risible and futile mess that creates absolutely nothing of any meaning or value. Unlikely, but maybe she hit her point home for a fraction of a moment.
Kimberley - I salute you.