A week ago today, America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) crowned its season 20 winner – Jourdan Miller, a 19-year-old native of Bend, OR. Congratulations, Jourdan!
This season, the show’s executive producers (Ken Mok, Tyra Banks and Laura Fuest Silva) added a new twist…drum roll, please: male models. Adding men to the mix was interesting for several reasons.
First, and as you might guess, there was at least one romantic relationship and hints of others. There was plenty of flirting and tension because of the flirting. While I appreciate the fact that recent seasons of ANTM have had less of a focus on conflict among the contestants, this new view is fine…for now.
Second, it was great to how expectations for the women and the men were similar and different. On the one hand, everyone has to smizing (or be expressive and intense with their eyes), create angles or shapes with their bodies, find the light and show the appropriate expressions while featuring the clothes. All of the models also have to deal with expectations about femininity and masculinity, as featured with male model Corey Hindorf, this season’s second runner-up. On the other hand, I didn’t see runner up Marvin Cortes have to wear a heavy cloak and walk in six inch heels while stomping fiercely on the runway…I’m just sayin’.
Finally, it is somewhat unusual for us to get a view of how men adapt in an industry currently dominated by women. Not so easy, right guys?
On the Encore! side, this November 16, 2013 Entertainment Weekly interview with Miller does my job for me, in a way. Throughout the season, Miller talked about leaving an abusive relationship and the impact it had on her life. And, according to this interview, she plans to be a role model for young women and kids in similar situations, including working with organizations that provide support.
Here’s that part of the interview:
You talked a lot about your short marriage to an abusive man on the show — do you plan to maybe work with a domestic violence organization?
Yes, yes, of course. I am extremely interested in either working with a nonprofit organization for battered women, or even just families who are victims of domestic violence in general. Because domestic violence doesn’t always have to be physical. And I want not only women but kids out there to know that if they’re in a situation that is hurting them, there is help. I want to be that role model for them. I want to go around to schools and be able to share my story. And maybe someone will come up to me and be like, “Hey Jourdan, I heard your story, and it really inspired me, and I think I need some help.” That would just be amazing, if I could help another person get out of any type of bad situation.
I applaud Miller for wanting to make a difference, and I hope she follows through. I also applaud ANTM’s producers for including the issue through Miller’s interviews on the show.
That said, while it is great for ANTM to raise awareness about domestic/intimate partner/family violence and abuse, the show could provide an even greater service. With links on their website or a brief mention after an episode, they could help link victims to resources, inspire people to advocate for violence prevention or encourage people to learn more. It wouldn’t take much effort to take this extra step that could be very helpful.
- Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences (info about physical examples below)
Approximately, 29% of women and 10% of men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one measured impact related to these or other forms of violence in that relationship (Black et al., 2011).
1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (Black et al., 2011).
Not sure what is included in domestic violence or intimate partner violence? You may be surprised to know that it includes emotional, economic and psychological abuse (as Miller mentioned above). U.S. Department of Justice, Domestic Violence
- The National Domestic Violence HOTLINE, Get Help. Get Involved. Stay Safe.
- Women’s Shelters, A nationwide directory of shelters for women
- Family Violence Prevention Program, Kaiser Permanente, an example of a community-oriented program involving community advocacy group, and law enforcement agencies and other partners
- Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, New York State, a state-level example of community resources and information
- Preventing intimate partner and sexual violence against women; taking action and generating evidence, World Health Organization