Monday, August 20, 2012

Transgender Models -- Talent or Hype?

Isis King was the first model to step out on America's Next Top Model, even though there were many transgender models in the world of fashion before her.  GLADD announced that "

America’s Next Top Model kicks off its 19th cycle next Friday with an all-new set of judges after Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and Miss J. Alexander were given the boot.

But it’s an international version of the show—there have been more than two dozen to date—making waves right now: Season Three of Korea’s Next Top Model features among its cast of aspiring fashionistas Choi Han-bit, who is transgender."

Is allowing transgender models on the show an open door policy that anyone who can pull it off can compete, or merely a new TV hype for ratings?  And does it matter? I've noted my thoughts on sensationalism before.  

When Isis king appeared on ANTM, she became an international story, sensationalized yes, but also a voice with a platform.  When some of the girls on the show mistreated her, she was classy, well-spoken,, and maintained her dignity at all times while letting those girls show their cattiness for the world to see.  

Did that help?  I believe it did;  Isis was endearing, intelligent, and conveyed most what the world needs to know: that we're just regular people, like them.   

Whether for ratings, hype or sincerity, Tyra has provided a platform for our voices to be heard, and that's a good thing.  

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