Friday, August 8, 2008

ANTM Season 7

A few years ago, my friend Alison moved to New York City. She is a real city girl, born and raised in Chicago, and couldn't stand the small-town feel here. I had only ever been to NYC once at that point in my life (my father moved there a few years after Alison did, so I have spent a lot of time there since). After she settled in, Alison invited me to come down for the weekend. I was doing landscaping that summer and only working 3 or 4 days a week because it NEVER STOPS RAINING HERE and my boss didn't like getting wet. Suffice it to say, I didn't have enough money to get to NYC, but I REALLY wanted to go.

Alison, who is an intellectual property rights lawyer, offered to pay my way to the city on one condition: I had to go to the America's Next Top Model open call that was taking place in the city that Saturday.

Now, I do a little bit of modeling, but I'm no supermodel. And I certainly don't feel confident about my looks. I think I am unique looking and I'm tall, but not thin enough by the fashion industry's standards. They want girls my height to be a size 2. The only way I'll ever be a size 2 is if I have a long battle with cancer and my body wastes away.

Anyway, I wasn't thrilled about the open call, but it sounded interesting, if nothing else. While I didn't believe I had any chance of being cast and didn't even know if I would want to be on the show if I were cast, it was worth it to me to go in order to spend a weekend in the city. Plus, it was at 8 long could it last?

The answer is: 7 hours. It was the most awful morning of my life (well, second most awful...waking up and wondering if my mother was still alive was the most awful). I got there a bit early. I skipped breakfast because it makes me feel gross to eat before 9 a.m. There was already a line of women stretching almost two city blocks from the hotel where the auditions were taking place. I somehow managed to get in line next to the only other white girl there (okay, this is an exaggeration, but there were significantly more black women there and where I live, only .2% of the population is black, so I felt extremely out-of-place). I chatted with some of the girls around me to pass the time, but the time was passing SLOWLY. Also, a bunch of men had gathered to take a look at all the girls, so there were lude comments flying around everywhere. I got sexually harassed at least 10 times that morning. I desperately wanted to get into the hotel, away from the pervs and get the fracking audition over with.

Getting inside the hotel wasn't any kind of saving grace. The people running the auditions didn't have a plan for organizing over a thousand women. They let us all through the doors and only after everyone was inside did they attempt to assign us numbers and seat us in order. Due to the lack of organization, I was forced to sit in a hotel conference room for hours with over one thousand hungry women. Did I mention that I was fracking starving?

After waiting in the hotel conference room for all of eternity, the finally started the call. They led me, along with a group of thirty other girls, into a little room and had us all line up against the wall while they panned the room with a camera to see how we looked on screen. Girls were screaming "We love you Tyra!!!!" and I wanted to barf. It was embarrassing. It made me hate young women. What the hell is wrong with us?

After enduring shrieks and squeals and sexy poses and a million other cringe-inducing things, I got escorted with the other non-qualifying women to the exit.

I stopped on the way back to Alison's apartment and got a huge bacon cheeseburger.

I won't ever do that again. Ever.


Badass Geek said...

I think that show is exactly what teenage girls shoult NOT watch.

scargosun said...

That is too funny and a really interesting dare.

for a different kind of girl said...

It's disheartening to realize how many women would look toward a show like that as some sort of salvation. Plus, Tyra Banks freaks me the hell out. I've only watched less than an hour of that show, total, but just watching it made me uncomfortable, so I bet going through this phase was as cringe-worthy as you say.

Ms. Moon said...

Well, chalk it up to something-I-never-thought-I'd-do-but-did-and-never-have-to-do-again.
I think you were brave.