tash & cody

4. Cover Girls

Being on the cover of a magazine is a big accomplishment for a model. After all, who could forget Eugena’s Playboy cover?

Or McKey’s cover shoot for Vogue Knitting?

That’s why the ANTM girls get genuinely excited when they learn that they’ll be shooting a cover for Paper Magazine. “Only a superstar gets the cover of Paper,” Drew tells us. (Rita’s been on the cover twice, how hard it can be?)

Drew means what he says about superstars, though. And if you’re wondering, “The Top Model contestants aren’t superstars, so how come they get to be on the cover?” that’s because they actually won’t.

Drew, acting as if he hasn’t just got the girls’ hopes up, clarifies that for “the winner of America’s Next Top Model, this cover will be published and viewed by the world on PaperMag.com.”

The disappointment is pretty plain to see on the contestants’ faces and I can’t believe the editors don’t edit around it like they normally would.

That ain’t a cover, Drew. Call me old-fashioned, but a cover has to, well, COVER something. Otherwise it’s just another photo on a website.

It may be on the “world wide web,” but it’s not as if the world visits PaperMag.com. Unless there’s some new Kim Kardashian ass shots on their way, more people will definitely see these photos on this tv show than they will at that website.

Speaking of disappointments, Mickey Boardman is back to “help” out.

Still not a cover, Mickey! Mickey’s like the gay best friend you never wanted but keeps showing up anyway. In obscenely sparkly shirts, no less.

Courtney swears she’s going to do great at this shoot because beauty shots are her forté. Cody isn’t so convinced, though.

While the finished product is definitely intriguing, the exaggerated cheek indentations, strong eyebrows, and pouted lips read kinda Zoolander to me:  

CoryAnne’s “cover” gets a similar movie reference when Drew compares it to a Tim Burton character. There is something super Helena Bonham Carter about her here.

Drew also think she looks old. “Elderly” is a little cruel, but to be honest, when I look at CoryAnne, I tend to see 30 rather than 19.

Fortunately for CoryAnne, the other judges love her shot because they think she’s finally giving some “attitude,” which is the one thing that’s been missing from her modeling.

Hold up. The judges think CoryAnne doesn’t have enough attitude? They clearly need to see some footage from the house. Remember how she started the episode complaining that India is dull?

Oh, honey. If I had my window open during that scene, I bet I could have heard America collectively laughing at her for that. CoryAnne’s so boring that I had to take a nap just thinking about her.

Speaking of India, she wears a giant Koosh ball and is stunning per usual. Looking at the shot, though, before Law can even mention it, I said to myself, “Whoa, she really looks like Gigi Hadid there.”

Ashley doesn’t think that’s a problem because India can “make this work for [her.]” I’m not entirely sure how… unless India’s looking to get into the celebrity impersonation game. Like, she could definitely get paid five figures to shoot porn in a darkened room that would later get labeled “Gigi Hadid Leaked Sex Tape.”

Rita also isn’t too concerned about India’s Gigi-ness, explaining that when she started getting famous, everyone compared her look to other celebrities. That, or they were just so unfamiliar with Rita that they started guessing vaguely famous people’s names that they’ve heard mentioned before in the hopes that they might accidentally guess right.

No one has more trouble at the shoot than Tash. She wants to use her cover to “save the children.”

This results in a lot of awkward hand posing, which Drew repeatedly discourages her from doing to no avail.

He reminds her that they just want her to be herself, but that’s a difficult instruction for someone who doesn’t think of herself as a “herself” but as a twin.

Tash’s photo is clearly the worst. Law is the only judge to attempt to compliment the photo and he totally bungles it up in a way that would seem pretty damn racist if it weren’t coming from a fellow black person.

Strike that, I still think it’s racist. 

Moving on, Ashley says one of her challenges in the modeling industry was learning to restrain her poses and just be natural.

Ah, so THAT’S why Rita was asked to be on the panel. She may not be a model, but she sure knows how to stand there.

You know who else is good at doing nothing? This week’s best photo winner Cody. She just goes on set, looks straight into the camera, and the judges love it. I mean, it’s no National Geographic cover, but I suppose Paper Magazine would be honored to put it on its cover website.

5 Funniest Moments of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 23 Ep. 11

2. Filling the Tyra Void

The question we kept asking ourselves coming into this cycle was, “What does a post-Tyra Banks Top Model look like?”

It’s probably too soon to say anything conclusively, but man was it jarring the way we were introduced to the model house. Where were the Tyra photographs, Tyra curtains, and Tyra catchphrases slathered on the walls? We didn’t even get a proper tour (i.e. girls running around screaming about how great their pad is) of the place!

Is this a conscious effort to be less tacky, or did they hire the new panel so last minute that they didn’t get a chance to make pillows with Rita’s face on them? It just doesn’t feel like home without narcissistic decor.

Also, there’s no more TyraMail. Now the message from the host is known as a “RitAlert,” which is a probably a better name than my suggestion: Ora-spondence. Despite what the name would indicate, there’s nothing urgent about a low-quality, low-energy video selfie filmed from a cellphone. I wonder if the models’ literacy skills are so questionable that they had to ditch having the girls take turns reading text off a screen.

While there are some minor format differences, thus far I’m pleasantly surprised at the subtle Tyra touches Rita possesses. We discussed last week how when Rita heard a sob story, she had to one-up it with one of her own. Apparently, interrupting other people’s back stories with personal details from her own life is a pattern for Tyra Rita.

For example, at panel, Rita asks if Cody grew up living in the shadow of her twin, Tash. Cody cries and nods affirmatively. Rita boasts that she could read the twins’ body language to determine that proclamation, even though you can totally see her reading off some producers’ notes on the table. I appreciate that she’s trying to stunt like she’s Miss Cleo or something.

I’d be interested in hearing how Cody got relegated to beta twin, but we don’t have time for that story because Rita wants to inform everyone that she grew up in the shadow of her older sister, too. At the risk of pulling a Miss Cleo myself, I’d guess that’s why Rita is such an attention whore as an adult. (An attention whore who I like so far, mind you, but an attention whore nonetheless.)

The best part of this scene is that Law wants to cap off the discussion with an emotional moment by asking Tash to hug her sister. Tash doesn’t budge initially so he commands her a second time to give the hug. The judges talk about how beautiful the hug is despite that they literally forced them to do it.

“Cody, this is the time for you,” Rita says. Not long after, she awards Cody “best photo” to complete the storyline even though - REAL TALK - Tash has a much better photo. But it’s not about who actually has the better photo, it’s about Rita sticking it to her bitch older sister who hogged too much of their parents’ love.

In addition to injecting herself into the winner’s story, Rita manages to make the loser’s story about her, too. Like many a Top Model girl, Justine said she had a difficult childhood, which is evident from these family photos of her family strangling each other and making Justine wear a basket on her head.

Rita can’t get over how young 18-year-old Justine is. (That’s another difference between Rita and Tyra. Rita acts like 18 is a distant memory to her despite being in her mid-20s while Tyra would imply that 18 was, like, yesterday.) Though it’s barely relevant, Rita says:

Such humble beginnings! Can you believe THEE Rita Ora ever had to work at a mall? (Yes.) When Rita eliminates Justine a little later, Justine is so overcome with crying hysteria that she drops to the ground. Rita comforts Justine by once again talking about herself.

Yeah, we heard you the first time. The point Rita is trying to make is that Justine is so young, she still has time to improve her modeling skills. Whatever. Real models get their starts much younger than eighteen; Justine is already behind the curve!

Let’s not even talk about how a bunch of the girls on this cycle are older than Rita. What hope do they have starting a modeling career now?

That’s why telling 27-year-old Cody that this is her time is pretty disingenuous if she thinks a modeling career awaits her. Selling sneakers is respectable, Rita. Selling bogus dreams borders on cruel.  

4 Funniest Moments from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 23 Ep. 2

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5. Twin-staken Identity

Bahahahahahaha. They sure played those twins, huh?

ANTM may have undergone a “revamp,” but rest assured that they haven’t changed the tried-and-true format of using makeovers to cripple the models with insecurity. They were straight up messing with Tash and Cody’s heads with their style assignments.

The twins look alike, but they have some key personality differences. Tash is the more typically feminine twin who enjoys behaving girly. Meanwhile, Cody is the tomboy who prefers a more androgynous aesthetic.

So the stylists come up with two makeover looks to complement these traits. One look is a long, flowing weave to enhance femininity, while the other is a harsh, squared cut that leans masculine. Perfect!

Oh, but there’s a catch. Tash the feminine twin gets the more masculine look and Cody the androgynous twin gets the girly weave.  

There’s no need to feel bad for the twins because the women on this show get makeovers they hate all the time, however, let’s at least acknowledge that the show is being unnecessarily mean in this particular case.

The argument the hosts use for giving Tash and Cody their looks is that they’re meant to enhance their brands. Except how in the hell would Tash’s brand be tomboy and Cody’s brand be feminine when it runs counter to their personalities?

You can’t even argue that they chose the makeovers based on what suited each girl’s face/body best because they look the same. It makes literally no sense that they couldn’t swap the makeovers to the twin for whom it made more sense. But, you know, if you wanted a show that made sense, you would have quit watching Top Model years ago!

Courtney, who the twins treated inconsiderately when she was sick, privately gets a kick out of the makeover fiasco, chalking it up to karma. Well, technically, she doesn’t call it karma, then immediately calls it karma.

This is an inexplicable Top Model confessional standby, going back to Cycle 14’s Alasia who said, “I ain’t gonna say I grew up in the hood, but I grew up in the hood.”

Cody mostly takes her makeover in stride, even though she “look[s] like a dude in a damned wig.” Those are her words, not mine, but I also don’t disagree. She tells the judges she’ll wind up rocking long hair better than Tash can, which is hardly the kind of boasting I’d expect to hear from the beta twin, but I suppose it is Cody’s time!  

As for Tash, she has a meltdown. At the salon, she locks herself in a bathroom and starts passive aggressively talking to herself loudly enough for everyone to hear that she’s a girly girl seductress who likes to flirt and wear skirts!

Tash is so upset she’s crying from her temple! Her facial expressions aren’t very model-y, but they are pretty hilarious. 

Ashley Graham finally goes over to Tash to calm her down, basically reminding her that working models change their hair all the time so Tash just needs to suck it up and realize this look isn’t permanent.

Wait, is Ashley allowed to say that? That’s certainly an unspoken truth about ANTM makeovers, but on a show with the usual narrative of “This terrible look is your brand that will make you famous,” it seems a little too honest.

Speaking of honest, it gets even better at panel when Rita compliments Tash’s Grace Jones-esque makeover saying it takes her from “here to here”:

Notice how that’s primarily a lateral movement. Usually when you’re talking about someone elevating her look, you’d say she went from here and then put another hand much higher to indicate some distance. Rita’s gesture is more like “we sent you out to left field… hopefully you can find some modeling gigs in this other plane.” Good luck, Tash! 

5 Funniest Moments from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 23 Ep. 3

YATTED!!! List of Tash's tattoos :)

#1 Chinese symbol for “Twin” on back of neck

#2 Small heart on shoulder

#3 Small red heart on wrist

#4 Large key on hand next to thumb

#5 “Find your dreams” written large on wrist

#6 “Free as a bird…” on collar bone

#7 Scripture verse “Before i formed you in the womb i knew you. Before you were born, i set you apart.Jeremiah 1:5 on rib cage

#8 Dad’s bday in roman numerals IX.X.MCMLXIV

I have 2 more i wanna add to the list.. then im done! lol

Watch on tashleexstyleme.tumblr.com

Another clip from our fashion video mash-up!
Tash & Cody x FVNCY CLOWN

🎬: @fvncyclwn
🎵 : @kaliuchis

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