For weeks I’ve been asking to see footage ofsomeone on this show teaching the girlssomething about modeling. And last night my prayers were answered with four little words: ”Think pain, but beauty.” Tyra’s tutorial on posing with pain is, by far, my favorite segment in America’s Next Top Model history. (To quote EW.com’s Top Doll blog contestantExplorita, ”It’s true, y’all.”)
After Tyra and her uniformly dressed army of ”ladies in red” invaded a dance studio, they first practiced the three-second rule of runway. Let me try to break this down for you: When you get to the end of the runway, you pause for three seconds. Photographers can snap photos of the clothing, and you can ”work your fierceness.” (I pity the first coworker I spy walking down the hallway today, because I will be yelling, ”Fierceness! Fierceness!” in his or her direction.)
Once the girls mastered the art of pausing, Tyra walked them across the floor and faked an ankle injury, which, of course, resulted in some light moaning. Her awesomely bad acting skills, however, had a purpose — she was revealing the supermodel’s greatest secret: When in doubt, pose with pain. If you don’t know what to do with yourself in front of the camera, ”Think pain, but beauty.” As the girls stood in a straight line and mimicked her (if you still have it on your DVR, just press pause at random moments and enjoy), she broke the pain poses down further:
The Headache Put one palm on your forehead and one palm on the back of your skull. And moan.
The I Just Can’t Take You Anymore Place one palm on each temple. Screaming is optional. (But I totally did when I actually spent a minute of my life rewinding to determine the difference between this pose and the Headache.)
The Heartache Hunch your shoulders inward and put a hand on your chest. If you’re Fatima, look like you lost your puppy.
The Menstrual Pain Hunch your shoulders inward and place both hands on your uterus or one on each ovary. (As Tyra noted, the girls excelled at this one.)
The Ah, I Sprained My Ankle This appears to give the model the most freedom. You can stand, sit, or flail on the floor as long as you have at last one hand touching an ankle.
Once the girls had practiced these poses, Tyra tested them one by one. Anya had to model shoulder pain. Stacy-Ann had burning inner thighs. Whitney had windburned lips. Aimee had fingers slammed in a door (though frankly, I was seeing more of a My Twistie Is Pulling Too Tightly on My Ponytail face). Fatima’s weave tracks were killing her. Dominique’s calves were aching from a run. Claire was an actress whose neck was throbbing because she’d just shot a scene in which she’d been strangled. Katarzyna’s quads were weak because she’d been doing stripper squats. And Lauren, in what was Tyra’s most inspired pain scenario, had sore palms from playing patty-cake with kids all day. What? I’m not sure anyone could’ve pulled that off, but Lauren’s pose, said Tyra, looked like an addict begging for money.
Anya won this pose-off challenge, and her prize was a timeless nude photo shoot with noted fashion photographer (and judge) Nigel Barker. Did anyone else think this, too, was going to be a lesson? Like, maybe you shouldn’t trust a photographer who says everything will be covered up? Please. The CW needed to blur some part of her body in nearly every frame, and I’m pretty sure the TV camera was capturing whatever Nigel’s did. It was like we were watching Christina Aguilera pose for Playboy.
The legitimate photo shoot this week took all nine girls to Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, where each one had to embody a different genre of music. I think we can all agree with the judges that Whitney’s grunge photo was the best — she really does have the most expressive face, even if this week I totally wanted to slap it (more on that later). But I refuse to believe that Lauren’s photo said ”pop.” Just because she was wearing a Xenafied, skirted version of Britney Spears’ ”Oops!…I Did It Again” red jumpsuit doesn’t mean she embodied Britty. Her eyes needed to be seductive but flirty, not so serious. (And I don’t care how punk you think you are, Lauren, you’ve heard a Britney Spears song somewhere.)
NEXT: My little pony