A Body-Love Advocate Who Loves 'Top Model'?

ANTM runner up, and my favorite, Laura.

I was rushing home from work in order to catch the America’s Next Top Model finale tonight when it struck me: With my eating-disorder advocacy and dedication to body-love, is it weird that I’m so into a show about modeling?

Nah. The fashion industry definitely has its problems (namely not showing a large enough range of body types, which magazines like Glamour are trying to change). But what I love about Top Model is that it’s not even about the girls’ bodies. It’s about the clothes, the makeup, the styling, the set design, the talent and the art of it all.

And I think the show actually takes away some of the glitz, glamour and aura of “perfection” that girls tend to ascribe to modeling. What the show makes clear is that it’s a freakin’ job—and it’s a job not everyone can do, no matter how pretty or thin they may be.

I love that the ANTM winner Nicole is a self-described awkward nerd!

I’m curious: Do you think shows like Top Model are positive, negative or neutral when it comes to women and girls’ body image and self-esteem?


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4 Responses to A Body-Love Advocate Who Loves 'Top Model'?

  1. I think you are right…top model actually works against negative self image. They have had on people that don’t fit the model mold each season. And some of the girls that are the best at the modeling are not the prettiest. Plus Tyra has embraced her curves publically! it breaks the model stereotype and shows you they are real ladies.

    Now if you are talking about shows that are negative….The biggest loser! It advocates unhealthy weight loss and contributes to false expecations for the public. People that are overweight think, “If only I could just go on The Biggest Loser”. Real change doesn’t happen in 8 weeks, and certaintly not healthy change, physically and emotionaly

  2. katrina m says:

    i will say, one good thing about the biggest loser, and they seem to be showing it more and more with each season, is that they DO try to work with the people to find out WHAT their emotional issues are, WHY did they become this big, and HOW can they change. i agree it is hard to see them on tv get so upset about “only” losing 5 pounds in a week, and it can give people an unrealistic expectation about real life. i wish they would address that a little more in the show (they do bring it up sometimes) and also more about nutrition and eating healthy foods. i just love watching the show for inspiration. “if they can work out in the gym for 6 hours a day at their weight, i can definitely manage 30 mintues!!”

  3. Katie says:

    If you like Biggest Loser, this NY Times article is worth a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/business/media/25loser.html

    It talks about the “dark side” of the show and the potentially dangerous techniques the contestants use.

  4. […] post, magazines, media by Sunny You guys know that I’m not anti-celebrity or anti-media. I love watching America’s Next Top Model, and, heck, I’ve worked for women’s magazines for the last nine years. That said, I […]

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.