Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

America's Next Top Model: "You're Beautiful, Now Change"

Illustration for article titled America's Next Top Model: "You're Beautiful, Now Change"
Illustration for article titled America's Next Top Model: "You're Beautiful, Now Change"

I love the title of this, the makeover episode, because it hints at Tyra's major motivations for these and all ANTM makeovers: Either she's being passive aggressive about the girls' beauty ("No, you look great…we're just gonna change your whole look."), or she wants them to become less beautiful. This cycle/season it was a bit of both, and anyone left over simply received a perfunctory weave.

Falling into the first, passive-aggressive makeover category were Hannah Alaskah, Marjorie, Sheena, and Samantha. Hannah Alaskah's limp, mousey (or caribou-y?) locks were chopped into a nondescript bob with bangs which made her look like a 9-year-old, turn-of-the-century newsie. Just give her a cap, a few paps, and a time machine, and she'll be yelling "Extra! Extra!" with the best of them. Still, considering that her former look was just 9-year-old, this is a vast improvement. Speaking of street urchins, Marjorie's transition from platinum to brown made her look even more gamine, like a supporting cast member in a touring production of Oliver!. Then there was Sheena, who was chosen mainly for her resemblance to Kimora Lee Simmons, but given highlights in order to look less like Kimora Lee Simmons. Not surprisingly, it doesn't really work: she just looks like a tackier Kimora, which is (frankly) a styling feat. Likewise, bubbly, likable airhead Samantha, was chosen because with her long blonde hair she looked like a stereotypical, California girl-next-door. So what does Tyra do? Give her Agnes Deyn's hair style. See, it's bad to look like a famous model, unless Tyra says so. Still, Samatha's new hair does look cute, apparently it's magical, because Paulina noted that in her photo Samantha looked like she was thinking about something. I guarantee you she wasn't thinking anything except, "Wow!"

Getting Tyra's patented beauty-reduction makeovers were: Lauren Brie, Analeigh, Clark, McKey, and poor, poor Elina. Lauren Brie was given plastic platinum Barbie hair, because apparently someone has to get that every season, no matter how terrible it looks. Analeigh's naturally wavy, golden brown locks were reduced to a generic blonde–but at least the "Good Fierce Witch" (that's the best way they could fit fierce in there?) didn't cut them off. But to Clark, whose naturally blonde locks were really the only thing she had going for her, the Good Fierce Witch wasn't so kind. Thankfully, Tyra didn't cut off Clark's hair, but she did give Clark a deep dark brown dye job, which almost had the same effect. Dark hair just draws attention to the face, and for Clark, and the people who have to look at Clark, that's definitely not a good thing. Then there was McKey, who needs a new name almost as badly as she needed a new haircolor. Her bright red hair just looked, well, weird. But her new terrible faux-Linda-Evangelista black crop looks even weirder. For one thing, Linda Evangelista never looked like she was wearing a toupee. McKey does–which is why her new nickname is McWig.

The worst of the beauty-reduction makeovers, however, was Elina's. The Good Fierce Witch took her from flattering, elegant, and versatile straight, dark hair, to Carrot Top, all in the name of making her look more "racially ambiguous." Right. When Ms. Jay said Elina's look was a first in Top Model history, he wasn't exaggerating. Never before have they tried so hard to make a pretty girl look ugly (and not even ugly/pretty, or model/ugly, just ugly/ugly). Elina could team up with Marjorie and Hannah Alaskah to start a sad, no-budget production of Annie. I can't wait to see how raggedy her weave creation looks after a few washes.

As for the rest of the girls (Isis, Joselyn, and Brittany), they all lucked out by receiving nondescript weaves.

Of course, in the end Brittany wasn't so lucky. As the Bottom Two Edit informed us all along, Brittany is pretty but doesn't want to be pretty. She wants to stand out. Unfortunately, the only things that made her stand out were her total inability to take direction (if a photographer has to remind you, "No, walk normally. Walk normally," that's not a good sign), and her numerous complaints about being pretty instead of interesting. Neither of those things were interesting enough to make Tyra keep her, so Tyra sent her home to study fashion magazines instead.

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

—At the pretty princess pizza party™, Tyra's tiara was at least 4 times larger than the contestants'. I bet it was also made out of actual diamonds.

—Tyra and the Jays Snow White skit is one example of how being a contestant on ANTM can be a very trying experience. Having to laugh with Tyra instead of at Tyra in situations like that must be incredibly difficult.

—Nothing is creepier than an empty Wal-Mart–except maybe an empty Wal-Mart where you are greeted by Sutan and Nigel Barker's wife.

—Hannah Alaskah after winning the Wal-Mart challenge, "I'm gonna be online!" What a prize.

—Honestly, I don't know who to blame for the "I love my mother" "I hate my mother" discussion. On the one hand, sitting around saying "I love my mother so much," is very strange and irritating, but casually talking about how much you hate your mother is equally as strange and irritating. Still, Brittany's strong reaction "How the hell you hate your mother? You an evil bitch." was the most irritating part of all, so I guess Elina wins.

—Tyra's "Good Fierce Witch": I bet Tyra stayed in character all day after she shot that–icy blue contact lenses, high-pitched squealing, giant poofy fairy-tale sleeves, and all.