ANTM’s Ghetto Cousin – Model Latina
S: I just visited the family in sunny San Diego and had the opportunity to catch up on one of my favorite shows – Model Latina. I lovingly refer to this show as America’s Next Top Model’s ghetto fabulous cousin.
I can’t watch this in the Bay Area because we don’t get SiTv, which is a channel for Latino Americanos. It features Latinos, but it is mostly in English. The shows are really meant for a young audience, probably teenagers and 20 somethings. My mother doesn’t really care for the channel. That could be because she’s older, or perhaps because she immigrated to to the States and still considers herself to be “Mexican” and not “Latina.” The identity issues of Latinos in America are abound in my household alone, but that is not the point of this post. I just want more people to watch Model Latina so they can have more seasons!! Here is a clip from the first season that might entice you:
Just like America’s Next Top Model, the seasons get better budgets as they go along. But the first season is really funny because the “house” is an apartment in LA and they get sponsored by companies like Payless (which is ummm a great company by the way if anyone from Payless is reading this.)
Anyway, one of my favorite aspects of this show is that it highlights how hard many Latinas have it when they are trying to get into the modeling world, mostly because of their body types. But these women are gorgeous! And the contract they are competing for is mostly for print modeling since most of them aren’t super model tall (not that all Latinas are short – I’m 5’10”). So even print modeling has a specific body type they’re going after, and many women of color don’t fall into that type.
Another interesting aspect of this show is that the girls get along and become friends much faster than I’ve ever seen on ANTM. I’m attributing this to the fact that these girls are very similar – they are all Latina and are all interested in modeling, and have had to deal with the discrimination that it comes with. In the second season when Jai Rodriguez of Queer Eye for the Staight Guy joins the show as a judge, he tells some of the girls that they always have to contend with stereotypes of Latinas. The example he gives is that Latina actresses have to fight against being cast as “Prostitute #2.” The modeling world is apparently not that different.
But either way the show is really great. And I definitely had my favorites to win in both seasons. Both were eliminated very close to the end. If you have SiTV – please watch!!