Smize for the selfie

by Kelly Hillock, Features Editor, Assistant Features Editor

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“Do you wanna be on top?” asks Tyra Banks, her eyes smoldering at me through the TV screen. Smoldering into straight into my soul. “Yes, Tyra. I do want to be on top,” I whisper back. There’s pints of ice cream and an empty box of pizza on the coffee table and my roommates and I haven’t seen daylight in far too long. All concept of time is lost and our conversations have diminished into screaming at our TV until well past 3 a.m.

America’s Next Top Model is on HuluPlus.

There’s 21 seasons of ANTM and most of them are currently available for streaming on HuluPlus. One of my roommates got an Apple TV for Christmas, and as you can imagine, ANTM has become one of the many ways in which we treat ourselves.

After watching four consecutive seasons of ANTM, I basically consider myself a modeling expert. No, her arm looks weird in that photo. Her eyes are dead. What’s with this tennis shoot? So not high fashion. She doesn’t look high fashion AT ALL. Oh, her cheekbones are SO high fashion. Her big eyes are so interesting, so high fashion.

In addition to my newfound skills as a modeling coach, I’ve also developed my own modeling skills. Instead of regular snapchat selfies, every selfie now needs one of three things: a smize, some booch and/or tooch. Also necessary: elongating of the neck, strange arm placement and/or using enough bronzer to give myself those high cheekbones. Obviously, I’m trying to achieve that Giselle look without looking like I’m trying too hard.

The best and most important season of ANTM is season four. It’s always pleasant to relive the good days of 2005 when low-rise jeans and crop tops were the typical fashion and you know, I was eleven. This was back when the models acted like  little kids and less like a competition and Tyra’s hair was an interesting shade of orange. Nevertheless, season four isn’t noteworthy for its aesthetic, but for the single greatest moment in reality TV history. It’s a moment that shaped the course of reality TV and impressionable young girls for a generation.

The Tyra Meltdown.

During one of the challenges in episode seven, a hopeful model can’t read a teleprompter and struggles with the pronunciation of chartreuse and Hermes. She starts crying and gives up, strutting off camera mumbling about how much of a “joke” the competition is. I mean, I’m laughing. Really, you don’t know Hermes?

Fast forward to the elimination round and this girl is now in the bottom two. Will she go home? Will Tyra lose her cool? I’m greedy and so I’m hoping for both.

The girl does, in fact, get eliminated and she actually starts laughing or something. Whatever she does, Tyra takes offense to. And if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that Tyra is not someone you should laugh around. Suddenly, Tyra is angry:

“I was rooting for you! We were ALL rooting for you!”

All smizing is gone and Tyra’s orange hair feeds into the dragon vibe she’s got going on.

Now, there are several moments in reality TV history that have gone on to change the course of pop culture for the better. But this Tyra moment is really a transformative one. This is a moment that can be applied to all facets of a problem. While angry, Tyra is still a level of fierce I aspire to be.

I’ve learned a lot from watching ANTM on a continuous loop this past month. I started out as a wannabe model, just someone who wanted to look cute in Instagram posts and I became a Tyra-Transformed model with a whole lot of fierce.

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