Death does not become her: America’s Next Top Model crosses the line


by Dorothy Snarker

Dead girls aren't hot. Period. End of discussion. Unless we're talking Dana Fairbanks or Tara Maclay (and even then, not while covered in blood), the dearly departed don't scream "SEXY!" In fact, they scream very much the opposite. So imagine my surprise when I was surfing around last Friday and found the most recent photo shoot from America's Next Top Model.

Yeah, you guessed it: dead girls. Is this a sick joke, emphasis on sick? When did violence against women become fashionable? Has Tyra finally gone and completely lost her mind?

(Click "read more" for more grisly scenes.)

Now, I'll freely admit, I'm no fan of ANTM. I was forced to watch most of cycle 4 a couple of years ago, and ever since, I've stayed away as if the very salvation of my soul depended upon it — which, quite possibly, it does. No matter how pretty the girls are or how lesbian their tendencies, I just can't bring myself to willfully watch an hour of young, immature, underfed genetic anomalies pose, pout and, inevitably, cry for the cameras.

I understand that wacky photo shoots are just part of the game on the reality series. I mean, how else would you explain the shots of the models looking like escapees from Willy Wonka's Insane Asylum? I've also heard the show is a bit of a lesbian guilty pleasure. Well, I hope not anymore.

Because wacky is one thing, but sick is another. Are we supposed to be entertained and titillated by these young women posing like crime scene victims? Wait, let me be more specific: bloody, beaten, semi-naked corpses. Further adding insult to faux injuries, many of the snuff shots have "cute" backstories about one girl killing another out of jealousy. Because, naturally, whenever a group of women get together, the claws come out, the fur flies and someone gets stabbed with a meat cleaver. You know, girly stuff.

These images paint a stark and frankly ugly picture of what today's top fashion minds think about women. I'm not the only one to take offense, either. Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, said the gory stunt was "supremely ironic, when it's a show geared toward women about women, and about glamour." Listen, I know it's only make-believe, but violence against women is very real. It's not a joke and it's not a fashion spread. And it is under no circumstances beautiful.

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