America’s Next Top Model? The Short, Awkward One, Natch

But at least she can read the commercials.

Last Updated: November 19, 2009 @ 7:33 AM

Last night’s finale of “America’s Next Top Model" was actually kind of a nail-biter. (Except, of course, for you hand models out there.)  

The competition came down to Nicole, the awkward redhead from Colorado, and Laura, the sweet Southern Belle. (By the way, not to brag, but they comprised two thirds of my team in my “ANTM” fantasy league!)

As you know, the prizes include a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl, as well as representation and a cover shoot for Seventeen magazine. There is also the possibility of becoming the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question once you fade into obscurity. (And don’t forget multiple appearances on the “Tyra” show!)

Speaking of Tyra, does anyone else feel like this show has become less of a modeling competition and more of a manifesto on the future of girls’ self esteem? The very fact that the models were 5’7” and under, this cycle just goes to show that Tyra is trying to “make all girls feel beautiful.” I mean, if I wanted to cry, I’d watch “Hoarders.” (Seriously, ya’ll, that show is deep!)

This cycle seemed to go beyond looks, though. When all the models are physically deformed, i.e., “short” — you have to judge them on their other disabilities. (God forbid you judge the models on their looks!)

Nicole’s challenge is — well how do I put this? It’s that she has no personality. She is socially awkward and the other models were suspicious of her from day one, often crossing into Mean Girl territory.

I couldn’t really blame them. Half of the time she seems high and the other half she seems to be on another planet.  

Her saving grace though? She takes damn good pictures. Oh, and she’s a redhead. (OK, so maybe I’m biased.) I have to admit that her personality grew on me. She is a self-professed dork who says she’d like to make new friends but can never think of what to say to people. Hmmm, sounds like the kind of issue that a lot of adolescent girls deal with.I smell relatability (and money)!

As for Laura, she has the face of an angel and the accent of a truck-stop waitress (or a cow castrator, which, incidentally, she actually is). Like Nicole, her photos almost seemed to portray a different person altogether, one who was confident and sexy. And, unlike Nicole, she actually has a good runway walk.

Laura’s fatal flaw (or redeeming quality, depending on how you look at it) is that she’s dyslexic. And poor. And heavily accented. Did I mention that she castrates cows? Again, dyslexia is an issue that affects the self esteem of many a girl. Marketing gold! (But, honestly, does a model really need too no how to reed real good?)

These girls were pretty equally matched, with different strengths. Laura gave lots of personality when shooting the Cover Girl commercial, but Nicole could actually read the copy for the commerical. I think that the winner of Cycle 13 really came down to what Tyra felt was the biggest social issue facing tweens.

I mean, now that her TZone Foundation no longer has a camp, she has to figure out some way to spread her message.

I thought for sure it would be Laura and her dyslexia, since they made such a big deal out of it when shooting the commercial. But it looks like Nicole’s social awkwardness prevailed. After all, there isn’t a girl out there who’s never felt left out.

Clearly, being America’s Next Top Model is kind of a big deal. Being America’s Next Top Petite Model? Well, that should probably be a much smaller deal (pun intended), but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how much LashBlast mascara Nicole’s ad ends up selling.