Thursday, May 17, 2007


America’s Next Top Model could not have put together a better finale if they tried. Well, they could have but it would have necessitated different designers with clothing I liked better and stronger finalists. Oh well.

Of the three finalists; Jaslene, Natasha, and Renee I was relatively certain Jaslene would win. I really hated Renee and was hoping to see Jaslene and Natasha duke it out on the runway. I wasn’t disappointed.

The first part of the show had the three finalists filming a “Cover Girl” spot and taking their Cover Girl photo. I put the spot in quotes because the whole “my life as a cover girl” thing they get to do only airs during ANTM and is utterly awful. The models very rarely get any other work with Cover Girl cosmetics. Renee stole this part of the competition. All three of the girls shot horrible commercials but hers was the least horrible. Her picture was also the least horrible although it looked seriously airbrushed. When Tyra didn’t call her name she had the most hilarious look of confusion on her face. You could literally see her saying “Huh?” then taking a deep breath and accepting it. They basically told her she was too old and was starting to get wrinkles from being in sunny Hawaii, harsh. As she left she said “Win this for the Mamas,” to Natasha, which was super bogus because she had been way more friendly with Jaslene from what I could see on the show.

So it was down to the Russian “mail order bride” and the “cha-cha diva” from Chicago. Both of them had horrible commercial as neither can speak properly. Natasha just isn’t all that familiar with the language and Jaslene, well she sounds like a cha-cha diva from around the block in Chicago and when she speaks she opens her mouth in a very unattractive fashion and kind of curls back her lips to show nothing but teeth. However, it was far better than Natasha’s. Jaslene’s Cover Girl photo shoot was also far better. Unless she fell flat on her face during the runway show it was pretty much all her.

Despite my not liking the clothes, the runway show was very entertaining. They had to start out walking as Neanderthal type women, which was utterly hilarious. Natasha was great and Jaslene looked a hot mess. On the next pass Natasha’s skirt fell off. Luckily, she was wearing a bodysuit as well. She handled it with grace. Jaslene just got better and better throughout the show, on her last pass I knew she had sealed the deal.

In the judging room Tyra was the only one who thought Natasha was better on the runway. Many of the judges seemed to like Natasha better as a model but others really favored Jaslene. They all said that Natasha was a quick study and has great potential to improve while Jaslene came in strong and has stayed about the same. This is all true. They picked Jaslene. Yeah. Now I can be done watching that mess until next cycle.

Airbag, Radiohead- How much of a tool am I for listening to Radiohead like it was 1999 on a regular basis? I would venture to say not too much of a tool because good music is always good music .Unless you grow up and realize it sucks.

Jet Song, West Side Story- Am I the only one who thinks the Jets are a bunch of punks and that in a real honest rumble the sharks would have seriously kicked their asses? I hope not because it is true.

God Only Knows, The Beach Boys- This reminds me that Big Love is scheduled to start again soon. Man do I ever enjoy that show. It is utterly ridiculous. I love how they try really hard to make a polygamist family look normal. It is impossible for a family to look normal with like 20 kids.


Monica said...

God Only Knows is Me and Jamie's song! We used to dance on the counter at Hellbux whenever it cam on. Aww. On the finale, I have so many opinions. It totally wouldn't have been fair if Natasha won. It would ahve exposed the competition as the lie we already know it is. How can you send someone home when they are performing better than the one you keep? how do you continue to cast girls who just don't have the chops? Renee looked old from jump. If they knew they weren't gonna keep her, why let her be in it? I'm done. I quit. I hated her anyway but you see where I'm comiing from.

Kiyotoe said...

Aw man Nat i can't believe you watch that garbage. There's so much more quality television out there.......

like Flavor of Love and I Love New York! :)

CSG said...

We had that show for the first time in Spain a few months ago. Not very successful. They tried to make is look serious, but viewers wanted more of the girls gossip. So it ended up being a fiasco.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

The following has little if "anything to do with your topic, but it's on my heart and I want to share it with you:

The Washington Post says,

The contest for black support in South Carolina mirrors the national struggle Democratic candidates are waging to win black elected officials' support. Many have long-standing ties to the Clintons or Edwardses or others but are nonetheless tugged by racial solidarity with Obama and the excitement they see his campaign generating among their constituents. Moreover, Obama's early fundraising prowess has convinced observers that his campaign will be formidable to the end.

I'm not going to address Hillary v. Obama, because that's something everyone will decide for themselves. Here's my biggest gripe with that paragraph and with the whole article from which it's excerpted: the word "racial." The word race is a synonym for "species" and the Washington Post is saying that we will vote for Obama because he from the same species as us, just like dogs hang out in packs with other dogs because they are from the same species.

I'm not buying that. I'm not going to let anyone say that I am from any species other than the human species.

Let's face it: What we have in common with Barack Obama but that separates us from whites is not our "racial" species, but simply our skin color. Is that so hard to say and accept?

Of course whites like to exaggerate our difference so they can rationalize the exaggerated differences in the way we are treated. That's why the word "race," that appears no where else in the biological sciences, is applied to the difference in SKIN COLOR between Blacks and whites.

Let's face it: There's no way we will ever win equality in America for so long as we concede that we are not even from the same species as whites. I don't think "separate but equal species" is our best argument for equality.

Now, someone will insist that the word "race" is essential to our efforts to gain equality and fight racism. That's like saying that the "N" word is essential to our efforts to fight against epithets! The word "race" is itself a badge and mark of inferiority and the word "racism" unless you accept that concept of "race."

I am never going to use the word "race" again without referring to it as "the disproved pseudo-scientific theory of race."
Nor will I use the word "racism," which is a word whose definition is premised upon the existence of the disproved pseudo-scientific concept of "race".

Let's look at this linguistically and decode the word "racism": Any argument about Marxism implicitly accepts the fact that there was a man named "Marx," which is true. Any argument about "capitalism" implicitly excepts as a premise the fact that "capital" exists, which is true. Likewise, any argument about "racism" - pro or con - is based on the premise that "race" exists, which is false. NO ONE anywhere can offer me even a half-baked argument that there is more than one species of human beings!

Only "racists" believe in the color-animus motivated pseudo-scientific concept of "race." And so the literal meaning of the word "racist" has to be "someone who believes in the concept of "race." " From now on, to avoid being taken for a "racist," I'm not going to use the word "race" anymore, neither claiming or conceding to be from a different "race" from white people.

Just as black cats and spotted cats from the same family are all from one species - "cats," likewise, Black people and white people who all came from Africa originally, who interbreed, who have transfuseable blood, who organs can be transplanted one to the other, we are all from the same species. If the word race is superfluous in discussing differences between animal species, it is also superfluous in discussing differences between humans.

The word "race" serves only one purpose: to gloss over the fact that there is no evidence that we and whites are from different species and to gloss over the fact that we and whites MUST, by all evidence, be of the SAME species, that our only difference is skin-color.

So, what term will we use instead of "race"? How about simply "skin-color"? And what term will we use instead of "racism"? How about "skin-color aroused antagonistic behaviors of individuals, groups, organizations and societies." Yeah, it's a little longer than "racism" but has the advantage that it doesn't concede that we are, like dogs, being from a different species from whites.

If there is inherently, innately something more to the difference between Blacks and whites than skin-color, then what is that "something more"? "Inherently inferior intelligence?" "Inherently inferior values?" "Innately superior bongo playing?" "Genetically superior sexual drive and potency, but with less impulse control?" All of the possibilities are both unproven, improvable and absurd as a matter of science but also profoundly insulting to us as a people, and intentionally so. The word "race" (and every word derived from it)is inherently and irremediably an insult wherever and whenever it is used. Unless you can tell me what innate characteristics make us inherently different from whites, you have to admit that the concept of "race" adds nothing that the phrase "skin-color" of "phenotype" doesn't. All "race" add is baggage and highly negatively charged linguistic discrimination.

For so long as we agree that we are from a separate species from whites, we will never, ever convince them that we are from an equal species. As the Supreme Court said in 1954, "separate but equal" is an unconstitutional fallacy that simply never, ever works.

If someone asks me, "Are you equal to whites?" it does require more letters for me to write "yes," (3 letters) than it requires to write the word "no," (2 letters) but I think it's worth the extra effort, considering how important it is. Likewise, I think it's worth taking the extra time to write "skin-color" instead of "race," because "skin color" preserves our humanness and equality while using the words "race" (and logically therefore also "racism") negates our humanness and equality.

Blondie said...

I was wondering what happened! I watched a marathon of the show last week, but of course they got to the finale and stopped. I'm happy to hear Jaslene won--she seems like a nice girl. Renee was a beyotch!

Brooke said...

Uh. OK, I thought this might be a longish comment, but it's real short compared to Dude a couple comments up.

So I had not watched all season, but I'd been reading the recaps on Television Without Pity. How sad that I read recaps of shows I haven't even seen. Whatever, the recaps are usually a whole lot funnier than the show. Anyway, the only episode I actually saw was the finale. I guess Jaslene had strong photographs or something, but DAMN is that girl dumb. Not like most of the winners are super genuises or anything, but she takes it to a new level. Good luck to her.

Monica said...

Someone seems to have been copying and pasting his blog posts into the comments areas of others. Interesting.

Natalie said...

Monica- Yeah we know it is not a rue competition, it's just silly entertainment.

Kiyotoe- After the first season of Flavor of Love I was done. I love NY was just painful to watch. At least this show has fun photo shoots.

CSG- This show has plenty of gossip, I wonder what yours was missing?

Blondie- Yeah she did seem nice. A crazy special mess but nice. Renee was a mean lady but every exit interview I read said she wasn't really that bad.

Brooke- She really was a special girl. Then again, there were a lot of "special" girls this season.

Monica- I know, I need a new box to reply to it.

Natalie said...

Francis- Ok I don’t even know where to start with this comment. In a way I understand almost what you are trying to say but your argument is fundamentally wrong. From my study of biology, I have learned that biological classification goes like this; Domain, Kingdom, Phylum/Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, and occasionally subspecies. Race is not included in this because race is not a synonym for species. Race, in anthropology and biology, is defined as a group of persons [all same species] who share genetically transmitted traits such as skin color, hair texture, and eye shape or color.

Now, when it comes to terms that actually separate people of color into different species, such as mulatto which stems from mule, a sterile offspring of a horse and a donkey [which are different species] I am right with you in abolishing the term because people are obviously all the same species. However, race does not fall in that same category. While I would argue that ethnicity is sometimes a more applicable term than race when talking about shared experiences, ethnicity doesn’t necessarily include the genetic markers that correlate with racial designations.

As a dear friend put it, races of people are the same as breeds of dogs; they look different but they are still all dogs. They can mate and have mixed breed offspring that can have children. When things of different species mate, they either have no offspring or sterile offspring. Unless you are going to deny that people from different regions of the world have different genetics traits that are similar to other people from those regions and are not generally shared by people native to other parts of the world, you can either accept the designation of race, or call it breeds, or makeup some new term to say just the same thing.

csmc said...

I was surprised whaen they got rid of Renee! I had assumed it was going to be a close race between her and Jaslene. When Natasha made it into the final two I figured it was goig to be Jaslene that took the crown. :) I hope next cycle brings in stronger folks as contestants. I heard a rumor that they picked the girls w/ the most "personality" because there were complaints last season about folks falling flat in that department (which they kind of did)... as much as I like ANTM - and believe me I do - sometimes I have to just shake my head at it all and laugh. :P

Abby said...

i like your blog :) after all of these comments, i have nothing else to say but that!

dave said...

i would catch that show from time to time. i'm glad jaslene won, i liked her of the three finalists. i also was not all that fond of renee, i found her annoying and tedious. natasha was a quick study and a hoot, but i found something about her off putting.

Mom said...

From the website "Race: Are We So Different?" (A Project of the American Anthropological Association) at (emphasis mine):

"race: a recent idea created by western Europeans following exploration across the world to account for differences among people and justify colonization, conquest, enslavement, and social hierarchy among humans. The term is used to refer to groupings of people according to common origin or background and associated with perceived biological markers. Among humans there are no races except the human race. In biology, the term has limited use, usually associated with organisms or populations that are able to interbreed. Ideas about race are culturally and socially transmitted and form the basis of racism, racial classification and often complex racial identities."

Just wanted to contribute that piece to the discussion on race. The "Race: Are We So Different?" website is a good place to explore the topic of race. It's very useful for people who have never given the topic much thought. And it also provides plenty of in-depth info and interesting tidbits for those who have thought a lot about it.

terry said...

thanks for the ANTM summary -- i missed the show! i'm lame.

re: west side story -- plus, the sharks had bernardo. YUM.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Moms, thanks for that teaching on the political aspects of the linguistic and sociological use of the fallacious word "race."

Natalie said,

"From my study of biology, I have learned that biological classification goes like this; Domain, Kingdom, Phylum/Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, and occasionally subspecies. Race is not included in this because race is not a synonym for species. Race, in anthropology and biology, is defined as a group of persons [all same species] who share genetically transmitted traits such as skin color, hair texture, and eye shape or color."

It's important to note, first of all, that explanation comes from "study of biology", which admittedly doesn't use the word "race." Moreover, the study of biology, although highly admirable, is not where the political purpose of language is usually taught. It is important to note, as Moms did, that the struggle against Extreme Color-Aroused Antagonism (ECA)is a political issue much more than a biological one.

More importantly, the explanation that Natalie gives above concedes that "Race is not included" in the standard hierarchy of biology at all, but finds its meaning in the social sciences like "anthropology" and sociology and politics but, in any case, outside of biology.

The fact that white supremacists went outside of the standard biological vocabulary (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum/Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus) to define what they thought we were is an indication that the word that they came up with IS NOT a scientific word with a scientific purpose. It's a political word with a political purpose.

Once you realize that, you need only look at who developed the word (white supremacists) and when (right as slavery was beginning) to gather tremendously strong circumstantial (to go with the linguistic evidence of the word's exclusion from the vocabulary of normal biology) which all leads to the conclusion that the only purpose for this word was and still is our enslavement and subjugation.

Once you realize that, you realize that if there is any possible alternative within science and linguistics to avoid using the word and phraseology of the oppressor then we should do so.

Barack Obama is half white and half Black. Obviously, when they say he is from the Black "racial" group, they are not speaking biologically, because biologically he is from the Black AND white racial group if such a thing existed at all. The choice to insist that he is from the Black racial group even though he has Black and white parents is a sociological choice, a white supremacist choice, but NEVER a biological choice, because biologically it is illogical and irrational.

Considering that the fallacious word "race" is NOT used in American society in a strictly biological way, we must decide what to do about the word in the context of linguistics and sociology and the position of Black people. The simple solution is to simply discard the word entirely in favor of what white people REALLY mean when they refer to Barack's group. They are referring to his Skin-color group and they are lumping all people with even one drop of Black blood into the "Black" skin-color group.

Fine. Let's refer to this is Barack's "skin-color group."

There was a time when some people insisted that the "N" word was not an insult but only referred to "biological differences." Thankfully, that battle has been won and most people have realized that, although there we differ by skin color, there is no scienfically based need to refer to that difference using the "N" word.

The same is true of the word "race." We differ by skin color, but the phrase "skin-color differences" is perfectly adequate to encompass that difference without reliance on the word "race" or on the "N" word.

If well-meaning white people wanted to make a 400-years tardy attempt at describing Black people's difference using what you say is standard biological terminology ("Domain, Kingdom, Phylum/Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species"), I would still reject that because it does not serve the political purpose of freeing us from oppression. What serves our political purpose is to insist that we are "Black people," distinguished from white people by skin-color. And when whites discriminate against us, they do so because of Skin-color-aroused animus, not because they can perceive some fallacious subtle genetic "race" differences when deciding to stop my car on a dark highway.

You've studied biology and you can make a counter-argument based on biology that some people might accept. Such an argument could never prove the linguistic or scientific need for the particular word "race" (that particular term was invented to oppress us) and an argument against discarding the word "race" cannot and will not help to free us as a people.

Because you value science, you will also have to admit that "color-aroused antagonism" and Extreme Color-Arousal (ECA) are much more scientifically precise and descriptive terms than the term "racism."

Thanks for giving this some thought and consideration.