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The Musings of CatsAndCatsAndCats
Plus-size? Please.
Heya, goons.

Up until this point, I have paid no attention to any Top Model franchise. I thought it was vapid, hacky reality schlock of the lowest common denominator. But now Asia's Next Top Model has hit, and I'm waiting on every new episode with bated breath, because a friend of a friend is representing Malaysia on it!

As much as I'm happy for her and want her to succeed (and hey, she's lasted all three episodes so far, so she must be doing alright!), I see a darker undercurrent to this. As stated in her official biography on the AsiaNTM, she has the least modeling experience out of any of the contestants and wants to make a statement about healthy-sized models being the ideal role model. My heart sank when I read that. I honestly thought she'd get eliminated the first episode. Unfortunately, by the standards of the industry, she's plus-size. She's 5'6" and 120 lb. No idea what size that is, but that hardly sounds plus-size to me. (And yeah, I know about the industry's ridiculous standards, but I really do question them when someone who is 120 lb. is plus-size.)

Thankfully, no bullying about it seems to be happening in the AsiaNTM house (side note: the girls on that show seem to be a lot friendlier with each other than on ANTM - one more reason to watch it). But I'm still worried - a lot of commentators on this sort of thing seem to be saying that her curvy figure really hurts her chances of winning. That disgusts me, quite honestly. Not to say the other girls on the show aren't beautiful, because they are. But they're all the typical model beauty, tall, skinny, chiseled-looking. I honestly cannot tell the difference between some of them, hardly. Next to them, Melissa looks unique and different. She said she doesn't even wear makeup except for prom or photoshoots, and she carries herself differently from all the others. I respect that, whereas inside my head, I just keep shouting at the others, "EAT SOME FOOD, JEEZ".

I've been told by my very fashion-conscious sister that she'd like to have my dimensions. Uh, no. I'm 6'4" and 150 lb., and built like a pencil. I grew fast enough while my muscles grew slow enough that I had bad back trouble for a while, and I still have some nasty stretch marks on my back. I can hardly buy clothes in Malaysia, and either have to get them tailored or buy them from the UK. I have an insane appetite and need to eat a lot of food just to fuel my growth properly. Because I didn't do much sport until recently, I was a damn weakling. That's what goes with having a skinny figure. You don't want it.

For the record, Melissa has posted a very nice vlog about her experience on the first episode (when she was in the bottom two, yikes!) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygfDNsrioug&feature=plcp She's very honest about it. For those who don't feel like clicking the link, she said she didn't feel beautiful growing up because she didn't look conventionally "model" pretty. She was intimidated when she got onto the show, not only for the normal reasons, but because she didn't look like the other girls. But then she said, "does that make everyone else ugly?", and just gave it her best shot. Bravo. I think this is a message a lot of young girls could look up to, and it makes me sad to see someone being picked on (online, at least) for not meeting the conventional standards of beauty.

So, you go, Melissa Th'ng. You are beautiful. Please win this thing and make the statement you want to make.

Awesome Song of the Now: Ten, "Black Hearted Woman"
An incredibly 80's rocker that somehow got released in 2000. But that's not a bad thing, not at all. 80's rock, you see, means awesome shredding solos, arena-flattening choruses and a real melodic alchemy you just can't find these days, and "Black Hearted Woman" has all of these. It may be a song out of time, but it's got a heck of a tune on it and stands up splendidly to repeat listenings. Oh, and Don Airey is involved, which can only be a good thing. (Not to mention, my sig is a quote from their song "Endless Symphony".)

An arrow from the water
A serpent rips my mind
Into the black river of Death
With a slash across my heart

My last sight a white swan
Behind the swan a starless sky
Under the sky a coal black river
Reflected a bone white moon
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