At every opportunity, supermodel Heidi Klum emphasizes how important diversity is to her in her model show. The personality award presented in the final is intended to underscore this. However, it quickly becomes clear that it is still mainly about age, height and body shape.
It takes six minutes for Heidi Klum (48) to hand over the microphone. The model mom is out of breath after performing the song “Chai Tea with Heidi” with husband Tom Kaulitz. It’s Thursday evening, the big TV finale of “Germany’s Next Top Model” on ProSieben has begun.
Candidate Sophie, who has built a reputation as a chatterbox and bundle of nerves during her participation in the casting show, temporarily takes over the moderation. It’s a moment that has never existed before in “Germany’s Next Top Model”. One of many.
Because “GNTM” has changed radically, at least that’s what the viewers have been suggesting for weeks. Personality and diversity should now be the focus, a sign should be set. For the first time, women over 30 are also involved in “GNTM”, one of them, 50-year-old Martina, is in the final that evening.
Not everyone likes that, as model mom Klum knows. “But I have to disappoint the critics: We’re going to continue as before.” Because: “Beautiful women come in all colors and sizes”. What the 48-year-old says seems flat, super happy and fake. Even if she’s right, of course: Beautiful women come in all colors and sizes.
Only “GNTM” misunderstood something. The fact that this year not only “Best Agers” are part of the cast, but also small and fuller women, is all well and good. However, constantly addressing these characteristics, using them for permanent advertising, has a nasty side effect. It reduces the candidates to their body, age and weight.
A video that is recorded at the halfway point in the final fits into this picture. “I can’t think of anything better than celebrating my models with their different personalities,” says Klum. You can see some of the candidates who do not correspond to the classic “model type”: Lena, Noella, Barbara, Lieselotte. But the clip is hardly about personality. Age, height and body shape are in the foreground.
The rest of the finale is also disappointing. There is probably hardly a word that comes up as often as “diversity”, but in the end there is little to be recognized. With less than an hour to go, it is clear that either the blond young woman with long hair (Luca), the blond young woman with short hair (Lou-Anne) or the blond older woman (Martina) will win.
The latter – unsurprisingly for most viewers – is the first to leave the field. 18-year-old Lou-Anne, Martina’s daughter, eventually wins the competition.
There are definitely “GNTM” viewers who are happy that participants like Martina have come so far. That they are now also part of the repertoire of a talent show that has long propagated questionable ideals of beauty. And there may be viewers who can ignore the aggressive, ongoing diversity self-promotion.
For many others, real diversity at GNTM has not really arrived, just like the supposed personality motto. Are the candidates no more than their weight, their height, their age? Where’s the supposedly all-important focus on personality when it counts? In the end, “Germany’s Next Top Model” did not live up to its own standards in the final either.
The original of this post “Heidi Klum celebrates diversity – but the GNTM finale is revealing” comes from Bunte.de.