On September 3rd, America's Next Top Model will showcase fourteen young ladies in the competition of a lifetime. The usual suspects return for a two hour premiere to kick off the grueling reality program. Girls will eat together, sleep together, and compete together, all before a television audience.
As always, one lucky contestant will win a lucrative cosmetics deal, Elite Model Management contract, and Seventeen Magazine cover. This season, the competition was especially fierce. Thousands turned out in cities all over America for a handful of coveted spots. Tyra Banks called contestant Isis "Amazing!" Other people call her something entirely different.
From the show that brought us transvestite, autistic, lesbian, and plus-size women comes the last bit of barrier breaking. Transsexuals. Can a woman trapped in a man's body subsequently transformed into a woman convince Tyra Banks that she deserves the top prize? More importantly, is the show selecting these young women as part of a drive toward political correctness or to increase TV ratings?
There is something bothersome about a thin but not especially striking transsexual winning an exclusive spot over thousands of other women who applied to be on the show. Some applaud her selection as ground breaking, taking risks other programs not dare for fear of negative backlash. Others believe these castings are nothing more than exploitation, a way to parade around people with unusual characteristics like a circus freak show.
How do you feel about ANTM allowing a transsexual to compete on Cycle 11?