This is a sad comment on my inner life but my favourite TV show right now is Make Me A Supermodel on the UK’s five channel. It hopes to crown the next catwalk king or queen from a group of gorgeous amateurs.
Wonderfully, the series has been blighted by a row over the size of Jen, one of the four finalists. The judges think she’s too fat ever to be the next Naomi (ie a stick insect psycho) but Jen is threatening to subvert the show’s concept with something not often seen in a young, walking talking mannequin: she has a warm, charismatic, winning personality. She’s also displayed considerable guts to withstand the bullying of the celebrity judging panel – last week Rachel Hunter ranted at her for daring to make size and weight an issue. Result: the public are on Jen’s side.
The final is this Thursday at 8.30pm (my apologies to readers overseas, btw). I really think Jen could win. The other female model Marianne has the supermodel stats but the aura of a fridge freezer. The two guys Jake and Albert are sweet and beefcake perfect – manufactured at some sausage factory for Stepford Stag.
The judges deny that the Jen controversy is over her weight – “It’s about shape,” they say, disingenuously. “She’s the wrong shape.” So why was she selected as a contender in the first place? To pretend public involvement in a contest that would ultimately be manipulated by a bunch of gargoyle experts from the fashion world? The show nicely mirrors the actuality of fashion: that thinness is the ideal for women. In that sense it’s a raging success.
As for the judges – my God!
Tandy Anderson – runs Select Model Management. She’s all Absolutely and no Fabulous, a cold-blooded troll lookalike. “You will never be a supermodel,” she sneered at Jen after one show. Remember, she's supposed to agent the winner. On the show’s website she says she was once an international model. What for? Eiderdowns?
Perou – not a bad lad really, a “subversive” photographer with bad skin, tattoos and enough spiky rings on his fingers to female-circumcise a harem just by being a little too friendly. I’m sure he’s never touched a Class A chemical in his life but I’d advise him to book into a health spa anytime soon.
Rachel Hunter – I don’t think she’s 40 yet but the ex-Mrs Rod Stewart already shows signs of raddled skin, doubtless the legacy of starving herself to success and getting hitched to an old cocker. Her rant at Jen was highly emotional suggesting to me that she secretly envies the younger woman’s chutzpah. I really think she needs to get herself a whippet – something thin and doesn’t answer back.
Dylan Jones – the GQ editor. He’s very maths teacher, isn’t he? Perhaps he’s just shy. You don’t expect to encounter a sombre male heterosexual in fashion journalism even if he looks like he’s trying to hold in a butt plug. He tried to be nice to Jen but showed his true colours when the public voted her to stay – he couldn’t disguise his fury at this exercise of democracy. You simply don't have to suffer this sort of thing at GQ.