“Cycle” 24 of Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) returned to so-called Reality Television this week, and as with anything and everything in “the age of Donald Trump” (a term often being referenced lately) the producers apparently felt it necessary for them to virtue signal to their viewership by negatively referencing America’s 45th President mere moments into the first episode of the season, and to go further still by featuring a contestant’s quote associating Mr. Trump with racism.
I know your parents might be racist and they might be Trump supporters but you don’t have to follow that cycle. You can get out of there.
This insult and slander against President Donald Trump, and more importantly and directly an insult and slander against fellow contestant Liberty Netuschil and her parents, came from 20-year-old “Chrissy” from Atlanta who, it appears, was eliminated by the end of episode 1 as she does not appear in the list of the final 15 contestants.
Ms Netuschil, 20, of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho proclaimed herself, early in the competition, to be a Trump supporter. The change in the atmosphere, tone and music shown in the video is interesting, and one can fairly wonder if the producers were intentionally going for something confrontational, and perhaps even something a bit sinister. Then, in an apparent counter to the ominous Trump supporter the music becomes more upbeat — although it is all done rather subtly, and that is by design and on purpose — and in a camera confessional (or directly speaking to the television viewing audience) Chrissy proffers, “I know your parents might be racist and they might be Trump supporters but you don’t have to follow that cycle. You can get out of there.”
Of course we don’t turn to reality television or 20 – year-old model hopefuls for advice about anything other than, perhaps, how to do hair, makeup and nails, but there are certainly insightful moments in this program that speak to wider social, cultural, political, and educational issues and concerns, and probably should be disconcerting to thoughtful viewers: Take, for example, 23-year-old Rio Summers’ (from Detroit, Michigan) comments about her telling God that, “If I’m not gonna make it to Hollywood then just take me. It’s okay.” I’ll let you read into that what you will. I view it as telling and deeply concerning about the state of America, and indeed the world, in 2018. ANTM also loves a good I’m a
victim survivor story, as always — and, to be fair, so does the entertainment industry as a whole, because it makes for good copy.
Then there’s 20-year-old Kyla Coleman from Lacey, Washington who knows what suffering is because she’s half-black and half-white (apparently some take umbrage with the “half-black” term and prefer mixed) and she’s been watching ANTM ever since she was “like a kid:”
Apparently, when she was growing up people would say “racist things” and assume she would not be offended because she’s “only half-black.” That’s when “it” started to anger her and she “wanted to make a difference,” apparently by “attending rallies” and holding up signs stoking political and social division in her community.
I don’t know which rally she was attending when she held up a sign proclaiming “White Supremacy Is Terrorism” but presumably, as she is wearing a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt, she was at one of the many BLM protests and she is one of the many who experience delusions (it is more than just misunderstandings or being misinformed, although it is all of that also) about racism in America in this era. I’ll go further and say that I suspect her being “half-black” with an ‘African-American father’ is something she uses to her advantage any time it suits her and, among other things, it gives her a position or a ranking — that she feels is virtuous — on the totem pole of victimhood.
Kyla doubles down on the identity politics and goes on to tell us that “as a woman” and “as an African-American” (mixed) she “just think(s) that it is so important to be very educated” and she thinks it is “very important to have a voice.” What any of that has to do with … well … anything, really, is hard to pin down. Oh, maybe not, as I suspect she is doing little more than parroting so-called progressive and modern feminist claptrap. Don’t fear, though, as 20-year-old Kyla is coming to the rescue of those who are oppressed with her plan “to use modelling to, like, make a difference.” It’s like we’re listening to a stereotypical Miss America interview that people used to joke about — I sing, tap dance, do ballet, play the piano, and I want to make a difference and work for world peace and the children. Awwww.
It’s obvious that Tyra Banks’ idea of diversity, which she loves to virtue signal about in her ANTM program, is only the identity politics (e.g., black/brown, Muslim) and trends du jour (e.g., beauty comes in all shapes and sizes) version of diversity and does not include, at least in any meaningful way, diversity of thought and absolutely not diversity of political opinion. Yes, one can point to the inclusion on the program of Trump supporter Liberty Netuschil, but let’s be honest with ourselves and with everyone, and admit that she is a token: Whether her political opinions were known before she made it to the final round, I don’t know, but I suspect they were. She’s a beautiful and seemingly intelligent girl, and if she can sing then with her looks she may well find success as a country music star as the judges talked about. Perhaps that is also inappropriate or unfair stereotyping of a pretty white girl from Idaho as would it be, no doubt, if the judges told a black girl from Harlem that they don’t really see a model but just a pretty gangsta rapper. However, she’s one of Tyra’s chosen few because (a) her political opinion will create tension and drama (note the atmosphere the producers created simply around Liberty saying she supports Trump), and in 2018 more importantly (b) it helps the producers drive and promote a political narrative and political and cultural agenda: In the first few minutes of the first episode they were able to take slanderous jibes at President Trump (their real target) and Liberty and her parents (collateral damage), and mask it all as no doubt something virtuous sounding like empowering young women to speak their minds, because they would never come right out and say that they used one of the contestants (Chrissy) to do their dirty work for them.