Canada's Next Top...Racist?
...unless you're vying for your fifteen minutes of fame on a reality TV show.
"Canada's Next Top Model" premiered last month to mixed reviews. Despite its disparagingly low production values and pool of budding "high fashion" models that have as much potential as the American version (which is to say: not a lot), "CNTM" still manages to bring on the drama. That's to be expected of any show that forces ten long-legged strangers to live together and compete against each other.
Unlike "America's Next Top Model," the show strives to be interactive by having each model wanna-be post on Yahoo!'s version of MySpace, Yahoo! 360 (not coincidentally, the show's "official" and scant website is also hosted on Yahoo! Canada). The blog entries themselves are not particularly interesting or enlightening, but the comments left on each of the girls' blogs can be quite eye-opening.
The most controversial contestant, by far, is British Columbia's Sisi -- who proclaimed in the very first episode that she was probably going to be a big trouble-maker in the competition. By the second episode, Sisi was cruelly mocking Dawn, a meek contestant who was gorgeous but was also unfortunately scared of her own shadow, and called everyone around her "boring." Obviously, none of the other girls really took to Sisi...but then again, Sisi never took to the other girls, either. In the fourth episode, Sisi faked being sick to get out of an intense surprise work-out (which some might recall has shades of "ANTM" written all over it), and then in a totally WTF? move, told the trainer (and eventual guest judge) that she had been faking her illness. When the girls went out for a night on the town, Sisi chose to talk to random strangers instead of hanging out with the other contestants...which was actually quite amusing, if only to highlight Sisi's total lack of interest in getting to know the other girls.
Let's take a look at the eeeeevil trouble-maker:
Did I forget to mention that Sisi is Asian? Well, she is. Sisi's the only Asian contestant in this season's "CNTM," and it hasn't gone unnoticed in her blog comments. Sisi's blog has the most comments out of any of the other girls. Let's see the stats: Sisi's 1st entry - 64 comments / Tenika's first entry - 30 comments / Brandi's first entry - 49 comments / Andrea's first entry - 48 comments; Sisi's second entry - 84 comments / Tenika's second entry - 22 comments / Brandi's second entry - 34 comments / Andrea's second entry - 46 comments.
The amount of comments isn't surprising, since Sisi is obviously made out to be the bitch of the season. What is surprising, though, is the amount of animosity geared towards her ethnicity, which is both astounding and disgusting. To retain the spirit of Canada Day, let's assume that everyone writing these comments is eight years old and has lived in a cave all their lives.
"I don't like you at all. I live in Vancouver and there are a hell of a lot better looking Asian girls here, not that I think you guys are pretty at all, personally I'm sick of this 'representing for the Asian race', go back to wherever you came from because you were NOT born in Canada and represent there. You should have been kicked off already. You think you take down all those girls one by one? GOOD LUCK, actually I don't wish you any luck at all. GO HOME."
"I thought it was Canada's Next Top Model....its not about representing ASAINS its about representing Canadian women...and I really don't want someone with such a terrible attitude as SISI representing Canadian women.....stop pointing out your race and BLEND with Canadas culture....thats what Canada is all about BLENDING! Its the ppl who constantly have to point out there race expecting special treatment for it, that are the true racists in this country. HEATHER IS A TRUE HOME GROWN CANADIAN!!!!!!!!"
To recap this eloquent post:
Racist person who just won't blend in, dammit
"Nobody hates SISI because she is asn, they just hate her because she is very mean and condescending. If it were radio broadcast and not TV everyone would hate her (based on what she says about the other girls), even her own kind. I would honestly say that most asn ppl I know(which is half of my family) are very quiet and respectful ppl."
I was all set to accept this simple colour-blind scenario, but I know "my kind" doesn't like condescension. Alas, I'm too quiet and respectful to voice what I really think of this post.
"I luv asian girls, but "honger" style is wack!!! Dressing like a clown is not cool, funky, etc! Not hating but "honger style" is wack!! I'm doing y'all fobs a favor, that style is the biggest fashion faux pas of this century! Sisi don't take it the wrong way, I'd still hit it though.......lololol"
I'm sure Sisi is relieved to know that despite hating her style, you would still do her.
"Your oval-face shape is giving me creeps. You are a complete disgrace to the Chinese enthicity, and as a Chinese I'm actually saying that."
I must have missed the International Chinese Bulletin announcing Sisi's term as world representative for Chinese people. And yes, oval faces are creepy.
Once in a while, a poster will inject some Canadian history into his post to teach us all a valuable lesson:
"Sorry if Canada was founded by white people, its the truth, RESPECT them and their values cause if they didn't make this country the way it is today, our families would not have wanted to immigrate here."
"I'm not asian, but if I were I would be embarassed to have you representing the asian race of Canada. Cause you really are a horrible representitive. Oh and lets learn how to speak English so that someone can understand you."
Is it wrong that I'm secretly glad this person isn't Asian?
"You type better than you speak ENGLISH, oh sorry, i mean ENGRISH."
And this concludes our lesson about ignorance and prejudice in Canada.
It's appalling to know that one measly reality show contestant can bring so much anger and hatred out of the woodwork. Frankly, Sisi is not the nicest person out there, but no one deserves this type of loathing, the kind that is purely based on ethnic make-up. Let's not forget what makes our country great. This Canada Day, go hug your neighbours and tell them they're beautiful.