Australia’s Next Top Model returned to our screens last night, and EUGH I have missed this show so much.
Yes, it’s depressing AF that the upper age limit to audition is 23, meaning that I will never be able to achieve my dream of being a really short, funny-looking-but-not-in-a-good-way model with a non-ideal body type.
But I don’t let that get to me.
Because, you guys, this show isn’t just about being young and really, really, incredibly good looking – it’s about personality and being brave and staying true to yourself. It’s all about speaking your mind.
That’s why Pauline Hanson won the first season. Obviously.
This first episode had so many great moments that we’ve decided to put them all in the one place, just for you.
So even if you didn’t have the pleasure of watching it, you can feel like you were really there.
1. A lot of yelling. And hugs.
The contestants met each other in a large concrete hall in front of a TV screen, and obviously yelled a lot because this is all very exciting.
They hugged each other, while clearly thinking “f**k you, you’re so pretty,” to an even greater extent than most girls do anyway.
Kassidy, who is 19 and makes me feel short, stumpy and unaccomplished all at once, reflected, “When I saw the other girls for the first time, I was like: ‘Oh my god what have I gotten myself into?'”
Mmm yes. Stunning women on a modelling show. How very strange.
But when the judges' voices started coming out of goddamn NO WHERE the
girls women really got excited.
The TV screen showed them a montage of all the past winners, and then BOOM our three judges, Jennifer Hawkins, Megan Gale and Alex Perry, strutted out.
They explained the very complex scoring system, much to everyone's confusion, and then it was time to launch straight into the competition with a runway show.
2. The runway show.
Oh, oh! Just when we thought all the professionally-beautiful-people had been revealed, the Stenmark twins and Cheyenne from last season meet the contestants backstage.
They're going to mentor the women on how to be more beautiful/how to get better at walking.
There's drama because one girl (God I hate calling grown women 'girls'), is trying to wear a shoe that WON'T FIT. Her foot is TOO WIDE, people. This is terrible.
One girl does an awkward wink. It's the funniest thing to happen this episode.
The contestants walk. Aleyna walked the best. Summer walked the worst. Osher Gunsberg is a celebrity guest because he's scouting for The Bachelor.
Only half that sentence is true.
3. The photo shoot.
They've been beautiful while walking, but now it's time for the girls to be beautiful while posing.
Fellow attractive person Cheyenne tells the contestants they'll be posing with Montana Cox, winner of a previous season of Top Model.
This is very intense because Montana is totally a professional. Cheyenne is doing that thing models do where they wear the jacket resting on their shoulders but not actually on their shoulders.
It frustrates me.
Some of the girls struggle.
Belinda, who is 18, gets tense in front of the camera, as does 19-year-old Summer (I will keep repeating these people's ages until everyone understands how young they are.)
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Aleyna, who was also excellent on the runway, manages to look like a seasoned model.
4. The judgement.
The contestants are judged NOT ONLY on how beautiful they are, and NOT ONLY on how well they can walk, and NOT ONLY on how good they looked in the photoshoot, but...oh, no. Wait that's it.
But it's completely legitimate because there are scores. You get a physical number to correspond with how good you look. So it's mathematical, really.
Aleyna gets 34.5/50, which frankly seems quite low considering she was inarguably brilliant at everything this week.
Another contestant, Daisy, gets much harsher feedback. Alex tells her, "It's very easy for you to look like a total b****," which is a lovely thing to say to a 19-year-old girl on national television. Really. Lovely.
She explains she has "resting b****face syndrome," which Alex actually takes seriously, saying she has to learn to "tone it down a bit."
Ultimately Sofie is eliminated, but not before the most dramatic moment of the episode.
5. Megan Gale breaks down.
When Jordan stood in front of the panel, she shared a heartbreaking story with the judges. She said she had been previously criticised for her "thick thighs", which really compromised her confidence.
But it was Megan Gale's emotional reaction that surprised everyone, as she shared she too had been told she was 'too big' for modelling.
"It took me... oh I'm getting emotional," she said. "I couldn't work for like, five six years because everyone told me... it's like I'm looking at myself. It's bizarre."
Listen to Laura Brodnik and Jessie Stephens interview former Australia's Next Top Model winner Demelza.
Jennifer Hawkins and Alex Perry tried to comfort a visibly upset Gale.
But the 41-year-old model got up and hugged Jordan, telling her not to feel the pressure to thin down and conform to the industry mold.
I mean, as raw and heartbreaking as Megan Gale's story was, there's a bit of irony here.
Yes, you'll stand up in front of judges every week and literally be scored on your ability to be beautiful. Yes, your body/physical appearance is your currency.
Yes, if you make it as a model the tabloids will obsess over your weight and shape. But don't feel pressured to look a certain way. Seriously.
Okay, I know I'm sounding snarky. But by the time this show ends, my self-esteem is kinda battling.
Why am I so short? Why am I so funny looking? Why am I so...old? I probably shouldn't watch this show.
But anyway, I'll be tuning in next Tuesday night at 7.30!