'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Someone Has an Eating Disorder & It Ain't Pretty

Sona Charaipotra
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America's Next Top Model
Emaciated Anamaria got sent packing.
Lots of drama on the season 15 opener of America's Next Top Model.

Since it's been around so long, Tyra Banks and her fashion-forward crew had to do something to up the stakes this go-round.

So, uh, can we say stunt casting anyone?

Sure, they're amping up the prizes -- including the usual CoverGirl cosmetics contract and representation -- but this year they're also including a spread in Italian Vogue, which is big-time for professional posers. And then there's that fabulous house on the beach in Venice, California, where the girls will spend their time catfighting in between shoots and go-sees.

So the sharp producers at ANTM knew it would all be about the casting -- and they played this hand very wisely. 

Two to watch this season will be sisters Terra and Chris, from Arlington, New York. It'll be interesting to see the dynamic between the pair -- can we expect sibling revelry or rivalry? As one of the girls said, it's nice to have that built-in support through this challenge -- but the competition will no doubt put some strain on the sisters' relationship.

The second stunt? Anamaria, a bitchy string bean of a woman from Queens who thought she had it all in the bag -- and put down every other contestant in her path, saying they just weren't up to par.

But the other girls in the house knew Anamaria was in trouble when they caught a glimpse of her 5' 10", 110-lb. frame. Sure, some girls really do naturally have that body -- but Anamaria clearly didn't. She admitted as much, declaring that she was on a "no-calorie" diet and that some women have to work to maintain their figures.

Sure Anamaria. But all you saw was ribs and bones, with nary an ounce of muscle or fat. Turns out all her bravado was masking some deep body issues. She was emaciated! It was painful to look at her -- especially during this week's shoot, which, I must say, was just inspired.

Tyra's crew has done some out-there shoots -- in fact, I'd venture to say that Lady Gaga got her meat dress idea straight from last season's Top Model. But this one was actually meaningful. Disney star Demi Lovato came on to talk to the girls about bullying and the effect it has -- even on the beautiful people. So each girl chose the word that affected her the most in her youth: Tyra's was her big forehead, for example. And then they co-opted it. The word was written all over the girls' bodies -- along with a word they chose to replace it. For small-town girl Kayla, it was Queer, replaced by free. She came out recently, and it was not an easy experience, as the tears evidenced.

She wasn't the only one crying. One of the sisters, Terra, had some trouble with the shoot -- and thought she might be sent packing. And she almost was. She and Anamaria formed the bottom two, while the challenge winner was Ana, a 6' 2" woman who has always been taunted as a giant. Her empowering word? Amazon.

But hey, the drama is just beginning, and you know they've gotta keep both sisters Terra and Chris around as long as possible. So Anamaria, with her body issues, was sent home.

Now, I have to say, I'm pretty sure Tyra and the crew cast Anamaria specifically so they could send her home. During casting, they make you rock a swim suit, so there's no way they didn't know what she looked like -- how dramatic her eating issues were -- before she made it to the finals. They were making a pointed statement of what a healthy skinny is, versus a clearly disturbing skinny. Not sure how to feel about that. I give them props for bringing the eating disorder thing to light in an interesting way. But it's also weird that they put this girl who certainly has problems through that on national TV. Maybe seeing herself like that will make her get some help? One can only hope.

Do you think Anamaria's body issue-led dismissal was pre-planned? Do you think both sisters will stick around for a while?

 

Image via CWtv


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