Ms Fitz on Australia's Next Top Model

With last nights launch of Australia's Next Top Model I thought I might do a bit of a post on my experiences with fashion reality television :) It hasn't been vast experience, but its been enough for me to form some kind of opinion.

Last year I styled a challenge on an episode of Germany's Next Top Model, who were in town to shoot an episode.
It was crazy fun- my mate Cody Bayliss landed the gig and I was asked to style together a runway show using his pieces. Much to the German judges disgust!! I'm pretty sure he says something like "this looks like it could have been done by a kindergartner". HA!
Yeah, probably. I just really liked the idea of passing off some bang up, hand sewn, spray painted vintage leotards as 'hi-fashion' and seeing if anyone pulled me up on it. What a joke.
(The over zealous producer kept getting in my face at the casting "So, can you explain to me again on film exactly WHY you DON'T like Mindy??")

Anyhoo, a few series' back a very close friend of mine came runner up on ANTM. We (albeit naively) encouraged her to audition, and being the striking hottie that she is, came 2nd.
I cant speak on her behalf, and I can't honestly make up my mind as to whether it was worth it for her in the end. There were definite positives and negatives that came with the experience.

I not saying that I would never be involved in a Next Top Model series- infact, we were in talks about it this series (but that's another story). I think it could be a really fun experience. But I'm having a really hard time working out how I feel about it all. On one hand, the punk in me thinks its all a big joke, something to poke fun at, on the other I'm kind of outraged by it all, and on the other, it is just what it is- a television show. (wow, how did I end up with THREE HANDS??)

I have mixed emotions about the Australian 'Next Top Model' series, mostly because I believe it shows the Australian Fashion industry as this elitist, bitchy, closed doored industry, where if you "don't make it NOW, within the context of this television show, you wont ever have a chance again".

As you see above, I was asked to come along and appear in the model's 'launch to the industry': the whole scene made me feel a bit icky - "THIS is the crowd you want to impress" (screenshot of WAYNE COOPER and then me.. jesuz if we're the best the industries got, we're in dire straights) - so I spent the arvo getting blotto on free champagne and harassing the waitstaff for canapes. ha

They offer to give the contestants the world- the glamour , the glitz, the money- but the experience comes as a double edged sword. On one side, the girls are given incredible exposure, but on the other- they are stuck with the stigma of being 'a reality television' star.
Of course, this isn't exclusive to ANTM, it holds true for all talent based reality television.

As a side note though, I must say, I really prefer So You Think You Can Dance over ANTM. I guess the difference is that there is more room for growth on SYTYCD- you can better your point and turns each week; we can see the 'journey', as they say. But on ANTM the audience can tell who the winner should be on the first day.. and you can't exactly make your legs any longer, or your eyes any bluer to change it. So they create some kind of narrative out of drama and bitchiness.

The contestants are woken up in the middle of the night, sleep deprived- edited in a way to exacerbate certain personality traits.. The nice girl becomes the Angel, the quirky girl becomes the crazy girl, the strong girl becomes the bitch, the country girl becomes the bogan.

And the reason why they do that is pretty simple: to make good, cheesy, addictive television.

And don't we love it??!! Such a guilty pleasure.
I feel about ANTM like I do about porn, or KFC.. feels really good at the time but afterwards you feel kinda yuckky.

Love loveeee,
Ms Fitz

Ps I'm going to NY on Monday :)