So I've been watching A Model Life with Petra Nemcova on YouTube (originally aired in 2007) over the last week. For the first couple episodes I felt "This is refreshing; what a realistic portrayal of the modeling industry." They don't try to embarrass the hopefuls. Everyone or no one could get a modeling contract at the end; there are no ridiculous elimination ceremonies. But as things progress, I find the show gets really depressing.
One of the best things about America's Next Top Model is the I-could-totally-do-that factor. Let's be honest, us ladies out there watching that show are full of thoughts like: "I'd pose like this and rock that set", "I can't believe that girl can't even pronounce that designer's name; if I were on the show, I could describe actual outfits from his last three years worth of collections", "She's doing well in the competition and I swear I'm prettier than her". Forget that. A Model Life is more like "She's taller than me by 3 inches and younger than me by six years and weighs less than me by 10 pounds and they're telling her that she'll never make it if she doesn't lose some weight." Welcome to the real world of modeling. I'm not surprised at all that A Model Life lasted one season and ANTM has been going for more than a decade now.
Also, I don't know why more people aren't saying this: Have you ever noticed that all the well-known models ("top" models, if you will) in this country are more the Victoria's Secret/Sports Illustrated types (Tyra Banks and Petra Nemcova included)? I can probably name twice as many models that have been on the VS runway than I could for all other runway shows combined and I follow the fashion industry more than the layperson. And yet the modeling competitions are always full of "I don't see her doing couture" "She needs to turn the sexiness down, she'll never be editorial posing like that", etc? That drives me nuts.