Thursday, September 4, 2008

Trans modeling goes public

So America's Next Top Model has a trans woman in the running this time around.

I think that's awesome. Isis has not had surgery (she can't afford it), but here she is, going for it. She has a lot of talent (she was a background extra in the "homeless shelter" shoot last season--which was INCREDIBLY problematic, but let's not get into it--and she did amazing), and she's just in it to win it.

It was interesting to watch the other girls' reactions. A larger number than I would have thought took it in stride, and one (that they showed) defended her place on the show. There was, of course, a sizable amount of just straight up shock and nervous laughter, and then the inevitable hostile faction.

But it was interesting to see. And I think the producers, or whoever controlled the editing, wanted to make a positive statement that Isis belongs here and that her female identity is valid. Because they showed a lot of neutrality; they showed a somewhat extended defense of her presence ("whoever has the most talent should win. It should be about your spirit and how much you want to be here." Also compliments on how strong and unconcerned with others' objections Isis was); they showed the "WTF?!" committee acting kind of childish; and the individual whose interview they chose as a negative reaction was the girl they've already been setting up as the overcompetitive, manipulative bitch.

I don't know what was left on the cutting room floor, but that sounds like a quiet endorsement to me. Cool cool.

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