''America's Next Top Model'': Weighty issues
I am only going to say this once. Y'all need to back off my girl Toccara! I know she's heavier than the rest of the contestants, but Miss T is undeniably gorgeous and confident, and she has more personality in her pinkie toe than Cassie, Ann, and Nicole put together. And while sample sizes, bitchy stylists, and readers accustomed to stick-thin mannequins in their glossies are formidable obstacles, if there's one woman who can inspire change in the fashion industry, it's Toccara.
But it's not going to be easy. As demonstrated by the truly hateful stylist Michelle, who reduced Toccara to tears, and Janice Dickinson, who declared that Toccara needed to lose 150 pounds, nasty weight discrimination is definitely alive and well in modeling. (Props to Tyra for pointing out that if Toccara actually followed through with Dickinson's suggestion, she would weigh 30 pounds.) But while Janice was just being her usual tactless self, Michelle seemed to go out of her way to make Toccara feel bad about her weight, dressing her in an unflattering Home Depot-esque outfit, sticking her with a pin, and snottily commenting that Toccara doesn't ''understand how this modeling thing works.'' Meow! Note to Michelle: God help you if someone ever chose to meanly judge your utterly ho-hum looks someday. And to quote guest designer Nicole Miller, you ain't exactly a size 2 either.
Some of the other girls grappled with weight issues as well. Norelle, who weighs a whopping 118 pounds, lamented her poochy stomach: ''I would like it to be a little more ab-by and I still have a little bit of flabby!'' Meanwhile, low-carb Cassie was humiliated when designer Marc Bouwer measured her thighs and told her he prefers ''a smaller hip.'' We're sure this will do wonders for her supposed eating disorder.
Luckily the girls had a chance to work off their tensions by getting trashed back at the apartment and jumping into the Jacuzzi in their bikinis. But the merriment was short-lived, as they gathered for the elimination session. Now, is it just me, or is Tyra looking stranger and stranger with each episode? This time, her inexplicably red hair was teased into a bouffant, and she wore a bizarre leopard-print contraption that was better suited to a deranged fashion victim than the Top Model ringleader. Since Tyra isn't getting sent home no matter what her sartorial blunders, it was Cassie who ended up packing her bags although Janice started a heated debate over whether Toccara should be the one to go. Step off, people!
What do you think? Can Toccara really make it in high fashion? Did Cassie deserve to go? And has Janice overstayed her welcome?