Friday, September 25, 2009


I really appreciate a good model. I've done a few posts on ANTM past cycles and my friends usually tell me that I do a good job critiquing photos. I think it comes down to something I've called "BAM Factor" - yes I know that's incredibly cheesey but it's the only way I can describe it. In my most humble opinion, a model has done a great job with a photo/ad/cover when I feel like I've been shot looking at it. It's something I've noticed where my head will literally whip back ever so slightly because I'm amazed at what I'm seeing and I'll continue to stare and try to find that flaw in the photo. If after a minute or two I cannot, then damn, wham, bam (hehe), thank you ma'am!

I'm not saying this BAM factor is hard to come by, many girls on ANTM and CNTM have accomplished this but a truly great model will continually dish out BAM photos throughout her career - the nearly extinct species of model referred to as a 'Supermodel'. I'm sorry to say but they are a dying breed - very few models can pull such a wide range of emotions, marketability, and style.

There are three traits/abilities I think all models, in order to transform into that semi-mythical 'Supermodel', have to master:
  1. Close-up face shot. This is usually just dumb luck - yes yes yes yes, models don't have to be pretty - but most are. Most supermodels are STUNNING even without photoshot and airbrushing and hours behind the make-up chair. It's not about your face being beautiful, it's about your face being marketable - I would assume in order to be successful in modeling you'd have to get over that people are not looking at you but the work behind you and thinking that's you.
  2. Chameleon ability. People will get bored of your pretty face. It, along with you, has to change. But that change can't be permanent, it has to happen and then quickly change into something else. I find that most Supermodels have mastered the art of mimicry.
  3. Ability to sell the product. All models are selling you something even when they're not. A Supermodel has to be able to sell the product but also herself. After I'm done looking at the face and body, I stare at the picture longer looking (whether it's intentional or not) at the product she's selling - clothes, electronics, make-up, jewelry. All Supermodels have that one ad that shot them to stardom.

Let's take a look at, oh I don't know, the queen of all models, Linda Evangelista:

Her close up is flawless. She has full control over every aspect of her face - her jawline, her mouth, her teeth, her nose (which is a little crooked but that doesn't matter here), her eyes and ending at her eyebrows. Can't tell they're the same person can you? The body language, those fucking legs, the expression on her face - all completely different from the previous photo and yet still just as stunning. Total BAM factor here. It's just an amazing picture.

You may not think this fair because it's goddamn Italian Vogue but you better believe they sold that issue of the magazine. It's just a stunning photo! She's covered up, her face is not entirely visible and yet it's just full of BAM factor. You can't help but look at it and start scanning the photo. You see she's sitting cross-legged, the eyebrow you can see is raised ever so slightly, and the exaggerated posture stops looking so exaggerated and more regal over time.

Up next and no, I didn't pick Chanel Iman because she was recently on ANTM, I picked her because I fell in love with her ever since this iconic issue of Vogue came out:

Just stare at this photo for a minute or two. Those fucking lips - damn! The smallest curl of the right side of her mouth. The shape of her eyes. You can even tell she's crossing her arms in front of her chest and that makes the entire face-shot something different, doesn't it?Yes her face is all scrunched up but it's still different enough that she doesn't look like the woman above and yet is just as pleasant to look at. She really does look like she's singing!

I want that dress. Why? I have no idea. I'm not gonna wear it but the look on her face, the way she's twirling it, the little bit of ankle we're seeing, the graceful way her hand is clutching the dress without looking gnarled - it all comes together really nicely. BAM!

And lastly, lookie here, another Canadian gem, Coco Rocha. Let's take a look at the close-up:
Flawless. What about the Chameleon ability?
Done! She kinda looks like Linda Evangelista here, no?
BAM! Even though you can't see her face, it's the body language and her ability to utilize the garment that's important. Her legs look beautiful, it's very demure, and the clothing looks terrific.
I think I posted this to make a point - the age of supermodels or, and I can't believe I'm going to say this, top models *shudder* are over. VERY few women can pull off everything that is needed in order to be super at modeling (get it?). I'm just appreciating those rare gems when I see them.

No comments: