Ghetto Bitches

In this day and age, media shapes the way we think of “beauty.” Whether we think of beauty in a physical way or an emotional way, media cultivates the interpretation of beauty.

In Jennifer Pozner’s article, “Ghetto Bitches, China Dolls, and Cha Cha Divas,” Pozner discusses how the executive producer, Tyra Banks, wishes to broaden beauty standards. However, the author provides examples from previous contestants on America’s Next Top Model, that show the hypocrisy of Banks when judging these contestants. The show negatively impacts society because women and men participate in America’s Next Top Model filled with confidence and ambition only to be broken down by Banks and other judges with both stereotyping and criticism. Pozner’s article argues how stereotypes in reality shows have effects on the contestants and viewers. She writes about Tiffany Richardson who was let go in episode seven due to inefficiently reading off of a teleprompter. Richardson said her goodbyes with a smile on her face and reminded her fellow models that she’d be “okay” (362). Banks, rather than acknowledge her positive demeanor, preferred to criticize Richardson for not leaving depressed or in agony. As viewers see this, it can raise many questions as to what’s the real purpose of this show and how exactly it broadens beauty standards? This type of media becomes a negative effect on society because viewers witness a person who is self-confident get rejected, and not only that, get criticized for not being what other people may think is “beautiful” or “confident.” Pozner continues by adding a statement given by a Television Without Pity commenter that reads, “Tiff and others like her can’t be bothered to pick up a book? Read. Learn. Get good grades… Tyra was right. Get off your ass Tiff and accept responsibility for yourself. . . . Slackers disgust me (363). This comment made definitely strengthens the argument made by Pozner that this show is very stereotypical. When the commenter says “others like her,” what does he mean? Does he mean other low-income single moms as told in the article? Or does he mean black women with a very “ghetto” background? Either way, both meanings are very stereotypical and greatly affect women who are black, low-income, and/or single mothers. The women that participate in this show are torn to the floor by the criticism and stereotyping giving by the judges and from this, we conclude that America’s Next Top Model has a negative impact on society, whether we are watching or hearing about the reality show.

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