Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A very Top Model Sabbath

It’s finally happened. We have infiltrated America’s Next Top Model. And, to be honest, I’m a little disappointed.

Before I go on, I think a confession is in order. Apart from being the current campus and Heebonics editor, I’m also a huge reality show junky. And not even a high-end junky. If these shows were drugs, I’d be the one sniffing glue.

Which is why I’ve watched almost every cycle of Top Model. And, last week, while watching the premiere episode of cycle 15, I met Esther, the first distinguishably Jewish contestant I’ve ever seen on the show. Which isn’t to say that she’s the only Jewish contestant, just the only one I remember.

Born in Jerusalem and sporting a very hefty bust, Esther shrieked and strutted her way towards the judges’ table during the interview session of the show. The first thing she discussed was her birthplace, which she deemed “exciting.” A beaming Tyra agreed. Then Esther, a modern Orthodox Jew, explained that she follows the Sabbath.

“From Friday night sundown to Saturday night, we can’t use electricity. So, like, no computers or cell phones or tv or cars,” she said.

And I thought, “Cool. A model who realizes there are more important things than fame and fashion contracts and fancy clothes.”

It didn’t take long for Esther to burst my bubble.

According to Tyra, models on the show must work everyday, regardless of their religious affiliation. And in mere seconds, Esther swallowed her words and agreed.

Later, in a personal interview, the model explained that “I’m at a point in my life where I’m figuring things out. I’m going to try to do as much as I can religious-wise, but I did kind of draw my line in the sand when I auditioned for this.”

Which got me thinking. What other lines in the sand have these models drawn? At what point does your 15 minutes of fame trump tradition, values and morals?

Ok, maybe I’m reading a bit too much into this. But it would have been nice to see Esther attempt to have a ‘Top Model Sabbath.’ Just for entertainment purposes.

Check out the clip. Or just watch the show obsessively. Like me.

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