What you should know before America's Next Top Model casting call July 8 at Florida State Fairgrounds
Once upon a time, for me, announcements about local tryouts for national "reality TV" series was a big thing.
Fans of the shows invariably are interested, hoping for a shot at enacting the strategies they have groused about from their couches for years. And journalists like me know that a successful casting call in July could mean a flood of Florida-based contestants on national series months later.
But, after presenting some tough analysis of the tricks and destructive images advanced by unscripted shows such as The Biggest Loser and America's Next Top Model, I'm a bit more ambivalent about telling readers to get involved.
So be warned: I think ANTM encourages some unhealthy ideas in the young women who watch the show, including reaffirming stereotypes about overweight people, models and people of color even as it claims to dispel them. And host/co-creator Tyra Banks is a living embodiment of the show's dysfunctional message and ambivalent attitude toward young women.
But producers from the show will be in town next week looking for fresh meat.
According to a release from local CW affiliate WTOG-Ch. 44: An open casting call for The CW Network’s America’s Next Top Model will be held at The Expo Hall at The Florida State Fairgrounds, on Friday, July 8th, 2011. Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. Casting is looking for females, ages 18 to 27, of diverse backgrounds, shapes, sizes and with a minimum height requirement of 5’7” tall.
If you are serious about participating, let me suggest you first read an excerpt from critic and author Jennifer Pozner's excellent book, Reality Bites Back, which looks at ANTM. It's called The Exquisite Sadism of America' Next Top Model. You can also click here to see the Five Biggest Lies About Reality TV, cooked up by the author and myself.
According to WTOG's release: America’s Next Top Model follows a group of young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes who live together and vie for a grand prize which will include a modeling contract. The finalists compete in a highly accelerated modeling boot camp, a crash course to modeling fame that includes mentoring by supermodel Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion industry gurus, all under 24-hour-a-day surveillance of the “America’s Next Top Model” cameras, which chronicle every move.
Remember that locations and times subject to change, and you should visit www.cw44.com for up-to-date casting information, applications, as well as additional open calls.
And if you do decide to take part after reading this, you can't say you weren't warned.