Jay Manuel should feel pretty good about himself right now. The pictures from the first Mr. Jay-less “America’s Next Top Model” photo shoot have been released, and they are some of the most misogynistic, badly photoshopped work to grace the internet. This misguided attempt at artistry, shot by “90210” star Shenae Grimes, never would’ve happened with Manuel around.
Even the weirdest “ANTM” shoots from the past weren’t as downright offensive as this new one, which features the college student models posing like hunting trophies. Adding insult to injury, the ladies’ names are ‘shopped onto the bottom of their “plaques” as an afterthought — honestly, it’s a miracle they didn’t use Comic Sans.
In the past, fired mentor Manuel has used his skilled eye to guide the wannabe models as they tackled tough topics like eating disorders, body image and bees (hey, they’re scary) in painfully obvious but non-offensive photo shoots. They weren’t necessarily sophisticated, but they got the point across.
But what point, praytell, is Tyra Banks trying to make by likening the contestants to hunted animals? It’s not tongue-in-cheek, it’s gross. Portraying teen girls as mounted and preserved prizes is disgusting and goes against any type of B.S. positive body image messages the show tries to send.
When you have to resort to shock tactics and pretending that you’re having fun with such a damaging concept — one that you should be 100 percent against – maybe it’s time to pack up your makeup and go home. What’s next? Making them wear fat suits and photographing them cramming food into their faces?
But, hey, as long as you get someone who isn’t a size 0 to be the photographer, it should be fine.