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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! America’s Next Top Model And “Portraying” Race

October 30th, 2009 | 7 comments | Posted by Jen

Tyra Banks is the Mistress of Babble. She’s usurped the word “fierce” from drag queens and publicly abused it to the point that it’s been emptied of all meaning and packs the same linguistic punch as clearing one’s throat. Her biggest contribution to the English language, “smizing,” or “smiling with your eyes,” is a made-up modeling term that’s also a paradox, something she’s defined in the past as “squinting with your eyes open” (and something that I happen to really suck at).

Her crazy talk extends beyond modeling to the “social” ideas she explores on both her talk show and America’s Next Top Model. Remember when she put on a fat suit for a day to understand what it was like to be the victim of what she called the “last form of open discrimination that’s okay”? Or when she had the Cycle 10 ANTM contestants “do” homeless, posing with real-life homeless youth, and told the models she understood what it was like to live on the streets because she (again) did it for a day on her talk show?

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Good News! Tibetans In, Filipinas Out!

July 19th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
“I’m so Zen and balanced, unlike the nutjobs I work for.”

The New York Observer published a story this week on how Tibetan nannies are all the rage in New York at the moment (it used to be Filipinas, but apparently they’re history). The pink gossip rag points out that, on, parents with Tibetan nannies claim their hired help are “very balanced and Zen,” with some going so far as to say that they aid in a child’s “spiritual development.”


But it gets better:

“There’s kind of a mutually agreed unspoken agreement among mothers that all the normal rules about racism are off when you’re talking about nannies,” said one book editor in her early 30’s who asked not to be identified because her Filipina nanny is illegal. “People talk about ethnicity in a way they never would at any other time. Even people who are very aware of not making racial stereotypes will put that on hold when talking to other mothers.”

You know, like many other women in my generation, I’ve been kind of ambivalent about motherhood, but now that I know being a mother means getting a free pass to blather on like an idiot..well, heck, sign me up!

Click here for full story.


(Thanks Jasmine for the tip!)

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