March 08, 2012

Watchman exits America's Next Top Model

Mariah Watchman Makes Early Exit From America’s Next Top ModelOn Wednesday night, Mariah Watchman, who grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, became the second contestant eliminated on America’s Next Top Model. The modeling assignment for the episode was an Addams Family-themed shoot with celebrity judge Kris Jenner and her daughters Kendall and Kylie. When the judges—Jenner, PR guru Kelly Cutrone, and photographer Nigel Barker— and host Tyra Banks reviewed the “best shots” from the photo session, it was clear that they felt Watchman’s was not strong, although several models seemed to be in danger of elimination.

Although winning the show would, undoubtedly, have been a nice bullet point on her resume, Watchman is hardly a newbie, and will resume her already-successful modeling career. She has been modeling professionally for five years—since she was 15—and is signed to the prestigious Wilhelmina agency.
Also, Adrienne Keene reports an interesting development in her Native Appropriations blog:

Update on ANTM: Mariah's gone, but Nigel might have learned something

A fan tweeted to Nigel Barker, one of the show's judges, about how stereotypical it was to dress a Native model as Pocahontas. Barker acted like he didn't know what she was talking about and said ATNM was responsible only for giving Watchman a shot.

That's a typical response from an ignorant white man, but then Barker (or someone) deleted his tweets. Covering up his racial insensitivity and protecting him from further embarrassment? Quite possibly.

Also worth noting is that Kris Jenner, mother of the Kardashian sisters, is one of the judges. The whole clan has had problems with Native stereotyping before.

As a judge, Jenner may not have had anything to do with Watchman's dressing as Pocahontas. But you can bet she didn't stand up and say it was wrong when she learned of it.

For a previous ANTM contretemps, see "Next Top Models" in Blackface and "Think Native" on America's Next Top Model.

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