Fans of Whitney Thompson who tuned in to this week's episode of America's Next Top Model
were overwhelmed to see the most gorgeous images yet of their beloved starlet. Most notable was this breathtaking headshot--one of the most beautiful stills that we have ever encountered, and one in which Whitney's resemblance to Shannon Marie is most pronounced.
Her facial features look irresistibly soft and full, and her smile is warm and gentle. With her rosy cheeks and halo of golden hair, she truly resembles an angel in human form.
The episode also yielded an alluring image of the model's luscious figure.
However, fans of Whitney were also treated to some harrowing moments, as their beloved contestant was nearly eliminated--for reasons which were quite incomprehensible.
Despite the trepidation of the near-elimination--or perhaps because of it--this episode produced a host of altogether novel images of the model. The stressful situation resulted in Whitney expressing a range of somber, vulnerable emotions that she has not previously exhibited.
And those moments of vulnerability endeared her to her admirers more than ever before.* * *
The episode opened by presenting some moments of tension between Whitney and another contestant. Such personality clashes are the least appealing aspects of "reality shows," but in this case, fans appreciated the drama, if only because it gave Miss Thompson more camera time. Observe how soft and angelic she appears here.
Even when mocking another contestant, Whitney looks adorable.
Her most sarcastic comments are softened by her ever-so-sweet appearance, and become cute rather than mean.
Indeed, Whitney's beauty is so extraordinary, that even in the most casual attire, in a domestic setting, she still appears divine.
Part of this has to do with her makeover--which, as we have said before, is the finest makeover that any model has ever been given. Her long, fair tresses enhance her goddesslike beauty immeasurably. They seem to bring out her true nature.
Notice the soft curve of her waist in this image. An amusing exchange in the episode involved another girl half-jokingly referring to Whitney's curvy figure as f**, after Whitney offered her some banana bread. (Fans now know two of Whitney's beauty secrets--her love of (1) steak and (2) banana bread).
Miss Thompson's response: "I don't even believe in the 'f' word"
(a sentiment that we share at this site). Notice how seductive she looks here--because nothing is as attractive as a plus-size goddess in a state of indolent repose.
She added, in her most self-assured voice,
"Perhaps you meant p.h.a.t.?"
And it wasn't just what she said, but how she looked saying it. In the following still, doesn't Whitney resemble the alluringly spoiled coquette Blair Warner from The Facts of Life? There is nothing more irresistible than a goddess who adores her own appearance.
As the interlude ended, the camera caught Miss Thompson departing, and, besides offering a glimpse of her fabulously p.h.a.t. figure,
it also showed her performing a truly amazing high-kick.
(Remember this scene, for later in the show.)* * *
Whitney was given twice as much screen time in this episode as in previous programs. She practically became the show's narrator, introducing each of the segments. Here, she looks especially delicious as she describes their first challenge--a posing study. (Note that most desirable of all facial features, the "slight rise" of a "slope towards the throat.")
The girls were introduced to the three posing categories: "catalogue" and "commercial" (attractive poses) and "couture" (ugly poses). Whitney's captivating "I'm better-than-you" expression indicated her confidence that she would excel in this challenge.
Fortunately, she was tasked with striking a "catalogue" pose (an attractive one), to promote the cute purple sweater that she was wearing,
and by exposing just a hint of her soft waist, she proved that she could make any
item of clothing extremely desirable.
A twirl of her tresses further confirmed her ability to rivet the viewer's attention.
Afterwards, she filmed a short comment expressing her (somewhat humorous) frustration with one of the instructor's observations.
Notice how adorable Whitney appears when she is slightly peeved. Be sure to watch the video clip (below) to see what prompted her reaction.
Her beauty is becoming more pronounced every week.* * *
The next segment of the episode subjected viewers to the most intense "drama" that they had yet seen on the show, and it all originated with (of all things) telephone-calling times. Trivial as the disagreement was, the topic gives us an excuse to post two pictures of Whitney looking incredibly cute while speaking over the phone.
She is even lovelier in casual, "lifestyle" situations than she is in her celebrated photo shoots.
The incident involved one of the rival contestants becoming upset with Miss Thompson because she (the other contestant) had missed her allotted calling-time on Whitney's telephone list. The absurdity of the other girl's claim is apparent from this reaction.
Matters became heated when the other girl hurled a rather defamatory insinuation at Miss Thompson, prompting a vigorous reaction. (Note the glimpse of a bare midriff.)
As Whitney observed, regular insults are to be expected, but this attack was rather out of line.
The argument ended with Whitney emerging as the clear winner, but still feeling understandably upset. Notice that she still appears gorgeous--perhaps even more gorgeous--when she is angry. (Just look at that baby-soft face.)
Be sure to watch the video excerpts to hear her concluding comment--half-angry, half playing to the camera. It's the funniest line in the entire show.* * *
While flipping her hair in a coquettish manner, our lovely narrator next introduced the episode's second challenge, another posing exercise.
(Fans have observed that Whitney looks so gorgeous in her comment clips, that an entire program of Whitney speaking to the camera would be every bit as watchable--and entertaining--as an actual ANTM
The girls were taken to Brooklyn, where they observed local performance artists creating what may be termed "extreme poses."
The sight of Whitney--looking every bit the pampered uptown debutante in her posh white coat--in the midst of such an urban environment provided a jarring contrast.
As Miss Thompson explained, (looking especially lovely as she did,) the girls were divided into two teams, with the winners being promised special prizes.
Whitney is attractive enough that she should have won this competition simply by standing in place,
however, wanting to take her team to the top, she struck an "extreme" pose of her own--performing the splits.
The glimpse of decolletage only added to the wild allure of her poses,
as did her arresting expressions.
But Whitney's forte is always beauty, so her most captivating "extreme" pose of all was this one, with balletic overtones. Any model can be fierce, but only a true goddess can be graceful.
Look at how seductively well-fed Whitney's features appear in this still, as she explained that the final step of the challenge involved ending the series of wild movements with a single, viable "catalogue" pose.
Whitney did--her opponent did not--hence her win.
Her delight in triumphing was completely understandable.
And just look at how charming she appeared when the posing coach announced her team's victory.
In a past episode, one of the judges complimented Whitney for her "stage presence," and that sense of always being the centre of attention is definitely a part of her nature. It is one of her most attractive character traits.
The delight continued while the girls were shown their prizes for winning.
As noted before, the charm of these episodes is getting to see one's favourite model in unguarded moments,
moments during which her beauty shines even brighter than in formal photos.
Perhaps the most interesting such candid shot was seeing Whitney's reaction when she learned that a different girl from her team had been judged the best individual
poser--and for her efforts, had won a trip to Bora Bora (!).
Afterwards, somewhat jokingly, Whitney confessed her astonishment at not winning the grand prize. After all, she said, "I'm a plus-size girl doing splits. Hello!"
And Whitney's feeling of being robbed is more than justified. The excepts video shows that she clearly had the most exciting poses. And besides . . . she really is the fairest of them all.* * *
Any girl can be beautiful in a photoshoot situation. But if a girl can look like a goddess while brushing her teeth--well, that girl is born to be a model. Notice the soft, rounded contours of her arms.
The episode's main shoot was preceded by a glimpse of Miss Thompson reading the daily epistle from "Tyra Mail" (yes, this is the fan-favourite "wet" look),
and looking somewhat apprehensive en route.
She still appeared bit uneasy upon arriving at the photo studio,
but was delighted to learn that this would be a close-up "beauty shot" (a.k.a. cosmetics photograph).
With the vanity that has made her so adored, Whitney cooed:
"I'm glad that we're going to do a close-up shot because my face is my best feature."
And with a face like that, who can blame her? But this is not to minimize the beauty of her figure. Earlier in the episode, Whitney had said,
"I have curves because I don't look like a little boy, and I love that about myself."
So this is a model who loves both her soft face and
her generous figure; who thinks that every last part of herself is incomparably beautiful. Such self-love is utterly intoxicating.
The makeup shoot was a bit on the "arty" side, and involved colourful paint being added to the models' visages, but this capture shows how gorgeous Whitney looked before the paint was applied. She was fortunate enough to be given the most attractive colour scheme of all of the girls. (Lilac rivals frost pink as the most seductively kissable of lipgloss hues.) Notice her exciting "She can't hold a candle to me"
expression as she looked upon another girl's work.
The shoot was preceded by photoshoot director Jay Manuel giving Whitney a few pointers.
Mr. Manuel brought up the only valid criticism that could be made of Whitney--that she has an unfortunate tendency to suck in her cheeks. The reason why Whitney's screencaps have consistently been so beautiful is because they have captured her face in a relaxed state.
As Mr. Manuel stated:
"She doesn't realize, Whitney has that effortless, timeless beauty."
To have a member of the straight-size fashion world identifying Whitney as someone who specifically embodies timeless
beauty, and encouraging her not
to try to make her face look artificially thinner, but to celebrate its naturally soft fullness, is a remarkable sign of progress.
In another adorable Whitney moment, as the paint was applied, she giggled, and said in her most girlish voice . . . "It tickles."
She could win this competition on charm alone.
We continue to applaud ANTM
for so completely transforming its approach to Whitney's figure. No longer covered up, as was the case in the abortive lingerie shoot, Whitney's curves are now being proudly displayed in every single episode.
As we will shortly see, the judges were not as impressed with Whitney's images from this shoot as they were with her previous pictures, but the reasons are impossible to divine.
We are not particularly fond of modernist themes such as these, but Whitney still managed to look attractive, even in such unfavourable conditions--far more than did any of the other girls.
Our favourite of her poses was this alluring self-embrace, with both arms crossed over her chest. (One would love to see this expression in a picture without the obscuring paint.)
And in this image, there is something almost . . . carnal in Whitney's demeanour.
She brought all of her appetitive passions to the fore, and exhibited them in a compelling manner.* * *
The judging segments of ANTM episodes are always entertaining. Viewers who watched the complete program will know which incidents prompted Whitney to do a priceless eye-roll,
and to grimace squeamishly.
These panel segments also give fans an opportunity to see Whitney in outfits that are elegant, if understated. This week's wardrobe was especially attractive--a closely-fitted sleeveless top, and slacks that embraced her every curve.
She may be a shade slimmer than the plus-size model ideal, but Miss Thompson definitely possesses luscious, womanly contours.
But paradoxically, what made this particular panel so compelling was that the judges were a tad dissatisfied by her performance in the episode's various challenges. (Here, observe the beautiful roundness of her face.)
To us, her final photograph was as attractive as any picture with modern styling can be.
It may not have been pleasant for Whitney to hear these criticisms, but the experienced altered her demeanour, and brought out a fascinating new range of emotions. Here, she barely suppresses a look of disgust as a rival model is given unwarranted praise.
It was wonderful to see her face exhibit these negative feelings. Any one of these expressions could serve as a captivating look in a proper photoshoot.
Note the serene beauty of her features, the attractive pout of her lips, as she witnesses other models being chosen ahead of her.
The smiles are gone. Notice the slight flush in her features, as the impossible confronts her: She might actually be denied what she knows she deserves.
She should consider incorporating these darker emotional colours into her modelling repertoire.
Her figure has never looked as Classically perfect as when she was relegated to the bottom two.
In a fairy-tale, this would be the moment when the enchantingly spoiled princess who has always received everything she wants faces a denial, for the first time in her life. The experience only increases her attractiveness.
But no, to the relief of countless Whitney fans--and of the model herself--she survived to compete in the next round. It was worth the tension, the anxiety, just to experience this moment, and to see this unaffected pose.
Note the vulnerable expression in her eyes as she looks up at Tyra in gratitude.
And in the end, her smile returns.
One final, beautiful moment--a hug for the girl who was
eliminated. Her expression is remarkably tender.
"Reality show" or not, this episode produced several moments of genuine drama--not in the various abrasive arguments, but in Whitney's near-elimination. And it showed the model looking lovelier than ever.
Fans eagerly look forward to next week's show.
- Click here to view excerpts video