View Full Version : Diana: ANTM, Ep. 1

22nd March 2007, 18:57
<br>Is Diana America's next top model?

Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is certain: she is far more beautiful and talented than any of the other contestants on <i>ANTM,</i> Cycle 8.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap003.jpg"></center><p>She would likely surpass them even if she were a reed-thin model, but the fact that she is full-figured means that, in an ideal world, this wouldn't even be a competition.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap014.jpg"></center><p>What the show presents is a group of malnourished cadavers competing with a voluptuous beauty.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap023.jpg"></center><p>And if the beauty <i>doesn't</i> win, then this will only confirm, yet again, just how insane and absurd the fashion industry really is.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap020.jpg"></center><p>Sadly, at 6'1, Diana's curves tend to disappear in many images, leaving her on the borderline between faux-plus and genuinely full-figured. (How one wishes that she were a bit more curvaceous!) However, she does possess a 45" hip measurement, and best of all, a curvy waist, which the program--to the delight of fans--has admirably <i>not</i> attempted to disguise.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap016.jpg"></center><p>The first episode of <i>ANTM</i> 8 (a two-parter) began with a "screening" session, in which the models introduced themselves to Tyra and the other judges.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap044.jpg"></center><p>The girls expressed their aspirations, and presented their "lingerie-ready" figures. Once again, Diana proved to have soft, womanly curves. Her presence on the show must be regarded as an advance for <i>ANTM,</i> which has only featured <i>very</i> thin plus-size models in the past.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap049a.jpg"></center><p>The episode continued by showing the girls settling into their new residence--and yes, amidst the lifestyle footage of the models in their "home away from home,"<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap044.jpg"></center><p>the camera did catch Diana doing something that no straight-size models ever do: actually enjoying a meal.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap060.jpg"></center><p>(Kudos to the show for including this in their footage.)

Next, came the first elimination, which whittled the group down from twenty to thirteen (yes, Diana made the cut).<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap063.jpg"></center><p>This was followed by the girls' first photo event, which involved a celebrity photographer shooting them during an evening shindig in Atlanta.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap072a.jpg"></center><p>Here, viewers were treated to their first glimpse of Diana's modelling talent, which revealed that she can strike a variety of expressions and poses,<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap079.jpg"></center><p>including that most exciting of all looks for plus-size models: the appearance of indolent vanity and haughtiness, which suggests their cognizance of their own beauty.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap078.jpg"></center><p>There were a few tense moments during Tyra's next opportunity to judge the models, and for a time, it seemed that Diana might not be asked to advance to the next round. But finally, her name was called--and she was understandably overjoyed.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/cap083.jpg"></center><p><center>* * *</center><p>In the second half of the premier episode, the contestants undertook their first modelling challenge, and first runway show. In a twist, the girls were taken to a downtown Goodwill, and asked to assemble an outfit from whatever they could find on the second-hand racks--in three minutes.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap001.jpg"></center><p>For such a short "hunt time," Diana actually came up with a nice ensemble--quite curve-positive, even though it barely appeared on screen.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap025.jpg"></center><p>The actual runway show presented the girls in different looks, and Diana was given the most attractive outfit by far--a pink skirt and top, covered by what appeared to be a black crochet cardigan, of the sort that Charlotte Coyle has recently modelled for M&S.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap028.jpg"></center><p>Flared skirts are generally more attractive than pencil-skirt designs (for women generally, and for voluptuous vixens specifically), but Diana did a solid job showing off this fitted piece,<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap031.jpg"></center><p>and struck a graceful and curve-flattering pose at the end of her accomplished runway walk:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap037.jpg"></center><p>The episode's photo shoot rested on a clever premise: The girls were required to embody different political beliefs, from pro-life to anti-fur, and Diana was tasked with illustrating a "pro-gun" mantra (in opposition to another model's "anti-gun" photograph).<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap002.jpg"></center><p>Thanks to her womanly figure, Diana turned what could have been a brutal image into something rather attractive.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap005.jpg"></center><p>The shoot was actually a fortunate draw for Diana, as voluptuous vixens have a long tradition of posing with firearms, as we discussed in recent threads about <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=463" target="_blank">Mickey Spillane</a> and 1940s <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=216" target="_blank">femmes fatales</a>.

Christina Schmidt memorably evoked the spirit of <i>films noir</i> in this famous Torrid image by Michael Anthony (in which the model logically used a hand gesture to represent a gun, rather than an actual firearm, out of consideration for Torrid's youthful audience);<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cs/christina52.jpg"></center><p>Diana did a fine job of fulfilling the photographer's requirements for a "movement" shot,<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap057.jpg"></center><p>while still retaining an extremely appealing serenity in her facial features (which exhibit such a lovely Classical shape, in this image).<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap060.jpg"></center><p><center>* * *</center><p>Although one tends to be ambivalent about "reality shows" in general, and about this one specifically, it seems worth devoting some attention to this cycle of <i>ANTM,</i> at least while Diana is a contestant. These programs have a regrettable tendency to bring out the worst in their participants--and then, to exhibit those all-too-human failings to the entire world--but for us, the salient point is this: <i>Top Model</i> is broadcasting images of an attractive plus-size model into the homes of millions of Americans every week, and in a positive, fashion/glamour context.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap048.jpg"></center><p>It is therefore doing as much to advance the cause of size celebration as any other current media project.

One hopes that the show will persuade many viewers to reevaluate their perceptions of size and beauty; and acknowledge that plus-size models are beautiful <i>because</i> they are full-figured, not despite this fact; and to realize that the Classical femininity is a far richer cultural ideal than modern androgyny.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/do/1Bcap059.jpg"></center>

25th March 2007, 23:38
Go Diana!