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For Realz?: Supermodel Self-Delusion

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I'm a little ashamed to admit that I completely mindlessly accepted that, on Bravo's Make Me A Supermodel, the modeling industry would require size 2 female model Salome to lose some weight in the hips, but got all outraged when they told male model and former ballet dancer Sandhurst that his thighs were too big for him to model jeans. And that it seemed plausible to me that female model Fo on America's Next Top Model was probably too short at 5'8" to make it in the industry, but that it was completely ludicrous that Make Me A Supermodel's Colin is too tall at 6'3". I feel bad now about my double standards!

I guess it's good for me to see completely arbitrary standards of attractiveness applied in a context that's not immediately familiar to me (i.e., male models) for the total insanity of the whole system to really stand out. But really? Do I really not find the idiocy of mandatory hair removal notable until Make Me A Supermodel Branden accidentally nicks his testicles with a razor next week, in an failed attempt to depilate? Well, okay, that's just going to be hilarious.

Picture of Sandhurst struggling to get denim over his self-described "thunder thighs." I'm not seeing it.

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Comments

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I know!!!

Make Me a Supermodel is only one of the tv shows I'm currently watching and I KNOW!! I'm always surprised by how they don't even BLINK on body issues! I mean doesn't America's Next Top Model have plus-size models? On MMaS it's always like, "sorry sugar, it is a FACT and a TRUTH that you will fail with that body." Also in that one episode where Gabe was talking about posing with Sandhurst and said something pretty strange involving "chocolate?" Also no commentary by the show.

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Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
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part instinct, part conditioning...

The tension between what we as humans instinctually judge "attractive" and what we are conditioned to judge "attractive" makes for never-ending table-conversation, doesn't it?
A walk through museums and art galleries reveals, for example, a nearly universal preference for the "classical" build -- neither too slender nor too massive, both genders. Those female and male body types seem to be the instinctual, biological preference -- if the only criteria for a partner was physical appearance, most women below size and four and above size sixteen, and men built like scarecrows or Sumo wrestlers, would be mateless, as unfair as that may be. Similarly for physical symmetry -- the more nearly-symmetrical a body or face is, the more attractive humans, universally, judge it. Hetero relations providing for the continuation of the species is typical, and biology directs us to choose partners displaying traits better-conducive to survival.

Conditioned judging is more interesting, though. Consider body-shaving...how do you as a woman react when you see a woman with never-shaved underarm or leg hair? Those are natural states, yet most 21st century North American women find that sight disturbing, at the least. Same with pubic shaving -- it's only in the past decade or so that it's become "normal", and unshaved natural genitals are considered "unattractive" -- check out some old erotica to see what was "normal" thirty years ago before. Beyond biological prompts, our criteria for "attractive" becomes societally and situationally conditioned. You watch enough Hollywood and TV without deliberately reminding yourself that it's all illusion, you end up being conditioned to use what is actually an arbitrary appearance as your yardstick for "attractiveness."

Fashion is a strong drug the

Fashion is a strong drug the judges of this show are on. As for me I don't care much about body types. It's a pity that Sandhurst's great sense of humor couldn't matter more than his thighs. I think his Caribbean thighs are absolutely fantastic!