Okay, I admit it. I watched America’s Top Model tonight. It’s UPN’s attempt to rival FOX for lame reality shows. Tyra Banks hosts this cat fight between a bunch of amateurs duking it out for a chance to be professional mannequins.
Tonight’s show was down to four contestants: two tough edgy girls who really have no interest in modeling and only want the cash, one ditzy California blond, and the token Christian who reads her Bible way too publicly. Tonight’s round of grueling modeling trials included partying French style with four hoity-toity French guys and modeling naked. The shots ended up being tastefully done with the appropriate parts covered, but the positions did demand nudity. The blond and the Christian refused to go buff, and they were offered the chance to try “simulated nudity,” which basically means wearing very little and the Photoshop what was there away (this is how Tyra Banks does “nude” shots). They still refused.
So a test of morals. Of course it was a joke, the modeling they were asking for wasn’t pornography, it wasn’t incredibly racy. It was simply the beauty of the human body. And they were being pretty accommodating about privacy. This is a show about modeling, what do you expect?
The real kicker is how the Christian dealt with it (her name was Robin, so I can stop referring to her as the Christian). Robin was just a bitch. While hanging out with the hoity-toity French guys she was just rude. She wouldn’t even try the fancy French food. When the four wanna-be models had a day of free time, Robin refused to compromise what she wanted to do so the group could stay together. Apparently visiting the Paris Gap is pretty important.
Then comes the whole nude modeling flap. Of course Tyra Banks (the host and one of the judges) saw Robin basically flash one of the designers and not seem too concerned about modesty, so there was a big question about consistency.
The two edgy contestants often escaped and vented about Robin. During the complaining session one of them noted that if God does exist he’d kick Robin’s ass when she gets to heaven for being such a prick. She also noted that “the good book” says when your neighbor asks for your coat you give it to him, noting that Christians are supposed to be selfless, and Robin is wholly selfish.
Perhaps Robin’s just a bad example. Perhaps the show was edited to make her look inconsistent. The producers always play up whatever angle they need to, and Robin could just be a victim of the need for drama. This is UPN after all. But quite frankly, I don’t think so. Why do Christians always have to come off looking so bad. If we were doing it right in the first place, I don’t think we’d have such image issues.
Somehow we think that putting on a show of spirituality is all it takes to follow Jesus. Of course Jesus told us to pray in our closets, not on the street corner. He did tell us to give our coat to someone who asks, and he also told us to love our enemies. You can read your Bible in the limo and pray before bedtime, you can say “Lord, Lord” and go to church every Sunday, but if you don’t have love you are nothing.