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'Top Model'-'CSI' mashup sparks outrage

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Are you offended by this photo? What about this one? Or this one?

Those pictures, taken from Wednesday night’s edition of America’s Next Top Model (during which the contestants posed as murder victims), have at least one feminist group up in arms. “Violence against women is such a reality in our society that I certainly don’t need the entertainment industry making light of it and making entertainment out of it,” Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, told the New York Daily News on Friday.

Now, I consider myself a feminist (having five sisters will have that effect on a boy), and while I get where Ossorio is coming from, I can’t say I share her outrage. For starters, the shoot was centered on model-on-model violence, which pretty much pushes the concept into absurd territory. Secondly, if this were America’s Next Top Actress, would we be offended if the hopefuls had to compete for the role of a slasher-movie victim (to say nothing of Frightened Inmate #2)? And, perhaps most important, anything that gets the contestants away from high-concept setups like Week 1’s “social issues” shoot is a good thing. Seriously, watching adult women struggle to grasp the meaning of terms like “anti-fur” and “pro-choice” — now that’s worth getting outraged about.

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