Nowadays, more often than not, I find myself critiquing the fashion industry and all things related to it more and more.
Though shows like Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, Fashion Police, etc. are very entertaining, what purpose do they serve other than being just that...entertainment?
Let's start with Project Runway.
Contestants are picked based on their level of personal creativity and innovation, but that's just the thing that gets them eliminated. It's okay to have designs and ideas that are bold and exciting, but, according to the judges, as long as their not too bold and exciting.
I've always wondered how the judges were chosen. I'm DYING to see new faces in those judging seats. I often disagree with their critiques of designers' work. Their judgements often seem to be personal, almost from an archaic or stagnant place and not reminiscent of the innovative place they always reference. I understand that some ideas are a bit too much (or not enough), but where was the standard drawn for individuality and creativity. In an industry that prides itself cultivating trends, the show seems slightly uptight and complacent. Critiques are for existing and not transcending trends. It sends a message that one can be creative as long as you stay within certain guidelines.
Photo Credit: Threads
I can only recall a handful of success stories from the show's participants. I question the show's credibility to successfully incubate and release talented individuals into the fashion world and to have these designers taken seriously. Besides a little exposure and increased fan base, what boost within the industry is there to show for it? Perhaps there's a reason there is a higher success rate for CFDA-backed designers than Project Runway designers.
Photo Credit: Bustle
The same issue stands for the participants of America's Next Top Model (ANTM). There are only a few successful models from the show. It's like the industry doesn't take them seriously. I'm a fan of ANTM, don't get me wrong. It's great TV (I am, however, partial to throwback ANTM). My issue lies in this new ANTM; I can't get onboard with it.
One of the main issues within the fashion industry is inclusivity. While I do commend the racial diversity of models entering into the competition, we see the same type of girl, the same size girl a little too frequently. The "If it ain't broke..." mentality is prevalent within the industry. The funny thing about this new brand of ANTM is they took the leap to have plus size model Ashley Graham as a judge on the show, but where are the models that reflect the decision?
The panel of judges was also a bit comical to me. After the first few episodes, I was over it. They are so snappy and petty with this group of girls. Their tones are almost antagonizing when they should be creating an environment for these young women to grow as models, not feeling attacked. It's no secret that the fashion industry is cutthroat, but that still doesn't give anyone the right to talk to anyone any kind of way, no matter their place. You pull girls off of the streets, essentially, hoping to mold their potential; they're not going to come in knowing it all, girl. Not to take away from the judges' success or pull within the industry, but there are plenty of other qualified people who can fill the panel. I'd love to see what a younger group of judges could do for the show. It'd be interesting to see what people like Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Shaun Ross, EJ Johnson, Chanel Iman, even Kylie Jenner could do for the brand.
But hey, it all makes for a great show, right!
Bottom line: reality TV, produced moments don't equal talent! Sorry, not sorry...
These shows need to get it together because I'm honesty tired.
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