Monday, December 6, 2010

America's Next Top Relatable Model: Ann Ward/ Bullying Sucks: It Will Get Better

I never thought I'd be writing a post like this as it exposes one of my "secret shames."  You may be more familiar with the term closet geek, but I am the opposite of that, I suppose I'm a closet girly girl...sort of. I do like to dress up and play around with make-up, hair and nails but when it comes to media related things such as chick flicks, girly shows, womens magazines and "Britney Spearsesque" music I tend to be less open in sharing these things. I guess most of the reason is because most of my friends are guys who don't really care to talk outside games, geekery, sexy babes and sports. I guess this blog is a good place to release that girly which I won't refer to as girly build-up anymore 'cause that just sounds gross lol.

So I'm coming out of the girly girl closet hahaha
So I haven't followed America's Next Top Model closely for quite some time. I watched the first two or so seasons and eventually lost interest which was probably due to some bitchiness or cattiness among the contestants or general bad feelings I got when I watched the show.  I then checked in again when one season featured shorter models, but never really followed all the way through.  This season though, Tyra Banks kicked it up 10 notches by offering some huge prizes, which included:

1) A contract with IMG Models, one of the top international modeling management companies in the world.
2) A fashion spread in Vogue Italia and an additional spread and cover of Beauty in Vogue.
3) A $100,000 contract with Cover Girl Cosmetics.
4) And some new found confidence!

It's time to get serious because the stakes are high!
So my closet girliness was intrigued and tuned in to watch the entire season of America's Next Top Model Cycle 15. I was hooked mostly because I was rooting for 19 year old, Ann Ward from Dallas, Texas, who caught my interest immediately. For me she was completely relatable. I once was her; completely shy, bullied in high school, lacked confidence, and was uniquely awkward. Apparently Ann Ward caused some controversy before the season even aired, which I didn't read about until after the season was over. A promo for ANTM had featured Tyra commenting on Ann's small waist. People from all over were flaming Tyra for promoting unhealthy bodies, which was not the case and Tyra defended her case by stating, "As a leader in celebrating and promoting healthy body image, I must admit that I regrettably didn’t see this clip before it was released to the public. But on behalf of the Top Model team, these were not the intentions, and we truly apologize for any confusion, anger or disappointment it may have caused." I guess all that complained didn't watch the "KISS MY FAT ASS!!" Tyra show episode.

Ann Ward had been teased and bullied for being thin and being blessed with a height of 6'2".  It never mattered what any of those bullies said to Ann, because she truly came out on top.  She was the first in ANTM history to receive top photo 5 times consecutively and by the end of the competition was announced the winner of ANTM cycle 15.  This was the first time I was actually overjoyed about an ANTM winner. Ann is very talented, beautiful and has an amazing future ahead of her! (Side note: I also read that Ann plays video games which makes me love her even more!)

Ann Ward's photo from the Matthew Rolston photo shoot
I know how it is to be bullied for being thin from experience and some may think it's not as bad as being bullied for being overweight but in the end bullying is bullying no matter what, where and who does it. I was bullied and teased for a lot of different things and of course this includes things I couldn't change about myself, (like being short or Asian.  How messed up is that?)  My peers were feeding me a lot of negativity and I had grown to believe that there was something horribly wrong with me. I was a thin girl growing up, but it wasn't unhealthy; it was a mixture of my parents genes, a healthy diet, my youths metabolism and a mixture of physical education. I was naturally thin, but it didn't stop girls from accusing me for being bulimic or anorexic.  For me the bullying started in elementary school; I got my first taste of how nasty girls can be, which is not far off from the movie "Mean Girls."

The lamest creation of an evil teenage girl is the 3-way call phone trap...
So I got bullied and teased by boys and girls, some I knew and some I didn't even know at all.  End of elementary and all throughout high school I was pretty insecure with myself, but it wasn't all bad.  A lot of good came from that experience.  I was able to channel all that teenage angst creatively (as seen below.)  I saw the world with different eyes and experienced it in a way that made me who I am today, so for that I am thankful.

Look what I made mom!  Me at 17 once again haha.
I attended college in the fall after high school graduation. It was a new beginning for me as I was moving to a whole new city and could gain a brand new perspective.  I knew I couldn't think so negatively about myself anymore and started transforming all of the negative thoughts into positive ones.  I started to enjoy myself more and worried less of what others thought.  I learned a whole heck of a lot during those years, met some amazingly awesome people who I consider the best people on this planet, learned to love and believe in myself and also found great love at the same time :).  I gradually transformed into someone with higher self-esteem and confidence.  It really is true when they say "It will get better."  Even though that's the message/slogan for the gay rights/anti-suicide campaign, it applies to all aspects of bullying.  I have my family and close friends to thank for being there and supporting me during my young years when I was bullied.  To anyone who is a subject to bullying, don't be afraid to talk to someone about it.  I can wholeheartedly will get better and that's a promise!


  1. It really is true. You and I, having been bullied, often by the same people, can now look back and realize that the bullies are probably just the same as they were in high school... Still jocks, still hanging around the exact same high school crowd, just like when we went to that lame Nanaimo bar and it seemed like EVERYONE we knew from high school was there! AND they were still just as snotty towards us!

    But alas, we are now awesome, and making something of ourselves. We got OUT of Nanaimo, saw what was out there, and are going to end up way more successful!

    So that's what I say too, kids who are bullied! Wait it out because one day, you'll be making way more successful than your bullies! you may even be their boss one day!

  2. Making way more money* OR Be way more successful*! Haha... oops.