6 Things I Learned From Binge Watching Old Episodes of America’s Next Top Model
For the past four months, my roommate and I have steadily been working our way through “America’s Next Top Model,” a.k.a. the greatest, most binge-worthy reality television show of all time. I know it, you know it, and VH1 definitely knows it.
While mostly I’ve just been watching for my own entertainment, I’ve also managed to learn a couple things. Here are six of the lessons. And no, smizing isn’t one of them.
1. Looking good in your photographs is 40% genetics, and 60% finding the right angle
If there’s one thing to take away from ANTM, it’s that being a pretty girl doesn’t mean you can take a pretty picture, which is kind of bad news for models, but super great news for the rest of us. Like we all learned back in the MySpace days, the secret to a good picture is all in the angles. Here are some examples:
This is Naima. She won Cycle 4, so you know she’s got skills. This is Naima on her best day:
And this is Naima on her worst day where’s she looks like a second-rate catalogue girl:
Here’s Snadi, who didn’t win Cycle 2 (but came very close) rocking all of her right angles:
And here’s what happens when she just misses it:
See? Same pretty girl, different results. Angles are all that matters. Also maybe skip the harness.
2. Cheating on your boyfriend on TV will f*ck you up
Cheating on your boyfriend is never a good look, but doing it on a popular television show is even worse. This seems like a no-brainer-why-would-I-even-put-myself-in-that-position kind of thing, within the first six seasons, two girls had to learn the hard way: Shandi from Cycle 2 and Nnenna from Cycle 6.
Shandi cheated on her boyfriend of four years after some male models came over, poured the girls some wine, and somebody had the bright idea to move the party to the hot tub. Almost immediately after Shandi got in the hot tub, she ended up sitting right in front of one of the male models who may or may not have had his hands wrapped around her until they started making out in front of everybody. Once she got a taste of that sweet, sweet male model action, Shandi was powerless to resist an all-night boning session, which made the phone call she made to her boyfriend the next day all the more traumatic.
Nnenna’s incident was far tamer by comparison, as all she did was get caught up in the moment and lock lips with a male model during a photo shoot, which sort of doesn’t count because she was working and shit happens.
Although both Shandi and Nnenna managed to pull it together enough to not immediately get voted off, neither woman fully recovered from their lapses in concentration and confidence and both wound up being sent home.
Moral of the story: If you ever go on a reality TV show, please don’t cheat on your boyfriend. It’s going to hurt him, but more importantly, it’s going it’s going to hurt you.
3. The 2000s were not a good time for anybody’s style
Even though the 2000s are on the verge of making a fashion comeback, I’m here to tell you that that’s a BIG mistake — and I have ANTM to help prove my case.
Remember when we all thought long, belted peasant skirts that we wore at our hips was a cute look?
Does the sight of this hat make you want to vomit because you used to have one just like it?
Why did we ever think that pleated denim micro minis were ever okay?
I had at least three tank tops like this. Only some were strappier.
And where do I even start analyzing the hundred different shades of wrong that are going on in this picture? Should I begin with the stretchy jeans, the satin skirt, all those pastel strappy camis or are the belts the most unforgivable aspect of this still?
There’s plenty to be nostalgic for about the 2000s, but the fashion isn’t one of them.
4. Living in a reality TV house is a NIGHTMARE
Some people might say the ANTM house was so awful because “girls are drama,” but I went to an all girls school from kindergarten through senior year, and comparatively that experience seemed like a fairy tale. This is because none of us had to worry about seeming interesting on TV, although funnily enough, one girl I went to school with ended up being on Cycle 13 of ANTM and made it to the final 3/4 (joint elimination).
In Cycle 3, mean girl dream team Ann and Eva decided that the best way to deal with Cassie’s messy habits was to carve “clean your shit” in her brownies – obviously that didn’t go well.
In Cycle 4, Michelle’s face broke out in a very crazy way, and some girls started spreading rumors that she had contracted a contagious flesh-eating bacterial disease that was killing people across the US. Spoiler alert: she didn’t have that but she did have impetigo, which is actually contagious, so this was just a bad situation any way you look at it.
In cycle 5, Bre poured out all of Nicole’s energy drinks after one of her granola bars mysteriously went disappearing, and the drama kept going into the next day’s photo shoot… and panel.
And Lisa from Cycle 5 was so perpetually drunk that at times she seemed like she was low-key psychotic.
Seriously, just don’t go on a reality show.
5. Twerking in public won’t hurt your career
Tyra Banks doesn’t get enough credit, but she’s one of our OG twerk queens. Back when we still just called it booty popping, she took off her shoes, got on top of the judging panel table and backed that ass all the way up.
Miss Jay was confused, and years later, so am I. But that’s not the point.
The point is that just like people hypothesized that Miley’s twerking antics would be the end of her career, Tyra Banks’s career was undamaged by her bouncing butt cheeks.
Moral of the story: twerking doesn’t hurt your career, so never let a dumb ass conservative troll tell you otherwise.
6. When you don’t know which accessory to put on, just say f*ck it and wear your pet
It worked for Paris Hilton and it worked for Nolé Marin, judge from seasons 3 and 4. Seriously, how cute does he look right now?