American Popular Culture: Still Living With Racism

Topics: America's Next Top Model, Race and Ethnicity, African American Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: July 30, 2011
American Popular Culture: Still Living with Racism
In the article “Constructing Race: Readings in Multicultural Semiotics,” the authors Maasik and Solomon argue that America is not a place where racism exist. They also express that “American popular culture “Is a social experiment whose outcome is by no means certain… the implicit and explicit racial hierarchies of the past are visibly receding” (654). The reality show “America’s Next Top Model (ANTM)” created by Tyra Banks, contradicts Maasik and Solomon’s statement demonstrating that American is still inhabited with racist people. This reality show is a women competition for becoming America’s Next Top Model and for their recognition as professional models by very popular companies like Covergirl. Up to today, the reality show, debuted in The CW TV channel, has 17 cycles, but some of them have been examples of how ANTM can be described as a racist reality show.

Banks is a Victoria’s Secret model and is also the first black woman to dress with elegance a “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit. The creation of her own reality show made her more famous, but it also brought along several controversies. In the castings for cycle 3, Eva Pigford, one of the semi-finalists, was being rude to the others especially to a girl named Amy, who was criticized for having an anorexic body look. Seeing Pigford’s behavior, Banks expresses that she does not want “another black bitch” in her reality show, criticizing black women’s behaviors as “too nasty,” in other words too discourteous. Banks, in this episode, goes against black people claiming that they do not know how to behave, that their behavior is “too black.”

Another example of behaving “too black” in this reality show is Tiffany Richardson’s behavior. In the auditions for cycle 3, she shared feelings with Banks saying that she wanted to change because she disappointed her family several times for being too tough, but in the same season Richardson got into a bar-fight, which...
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