'America's Next Top Model' Continues to Spawn More Modeling Shows
High fashion magazines are still – in 2007, no less – being criticized for not accurately representing the true racial and ethnic diversity and age range of their readers' population. And although many would argue modeling just requires a certain body type, much like certain sports or dance, there are still the critiques who contend the homogeneous super-skinny look favored by editorial fashion is a restrictive idea of beauty.

On television, though, since Tyra Banks introduced the hit series America's Next Top Model, it's getting to the point that you can't swing a hair dryer without hitting yet another modeling show, including some that seek to portray a different look than the one featured in Vogue or Elle.

Now, as seems to happen every few weeks lately, there is yet another new modeling show in the works with another slice of the demographic pie represented.

America's Next Top Model, of course, started the modeling show craze, and Tyra does make an effort to cast models from different ethnic and racial backgrounds and of varying body types. Her model hopefuls also tend to skew a little older than most new models are when first starting out. However, this might be more a factor of restricting the show's liability by only casting those who are over the age of eighteen, rather than representing a desire on Tyra's part to open up the high-fashion modeling world to older models.

For older models, though, there is the show, 35 and Beyond Super Model Search. If you're a little outside the plus-size range that Tyra is willing to accept for America's Next Top Model (and “plus-size” Sarah from the next Cycle is reported to be a size 8, so that definition is literally shrinking), it's more precisely a beauty pageant than a modeling show, but there is Monique's F.A.T. Chance. If you're a guy, Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel, which will throw men into the mix.

And if you legitimately have the face, the figure and the fierceness to actually make it in the real high-fashion model world? There's A Model Life, and if you get signed to an agency, maybe you'll be featured on The Agency.

If you've actually got what it takes to be a real model, but also feel a burning desire to have your brains as well as your beauty featured on a nationally-televised reality television show, finally, finally, there is a show for you.

VH1 has announced that on October 7, 9pm Eastern, they will air the premiere America's Most Smartest Model. Fourteen models – male and female – will compete in challenges that will test their brains and require modeling hotness. The prize is $100,000 and the somewhat dubious honor of the title of America's Most Smartest Model. It does not have quite the same ring as America's Next Top Model, does it?

No doubt during the time this article was written, another network programming executive had the bright idea to air America's Second-Best Left-Handed Brunette Model with a Lateral Lisp, or its equivalent, to fill some open primetime slot and BuddyTV will keep you updated once that premiere is announced.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Reality TV World
(Image courtesy of CW)