What Does Success Look Like?
Vulture compiled a list of the most successful graduates of Tyra Banks’s televised charm school, America’s Next Top Model. None has come close to dethroning Tyra herself; though most are, as you’d expect, tall and skinny and photogenic, they continue to do better on TV — the medium in which they broke through — than on the runway. First place finishers don’t seem to do better in life, ultimately, than their also-rans. Witness the top two, according to Vulture:
2. YaYa DaCosta (2nd Place, Cycle 3)
Post-ANTM: Small roles in Ugly Betty and All My Children, TRON: Legacy, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and The Kids Are Alright; Garnier Fructis campaign; playing Whitney Houston in the upcoming Lifetime biopic I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story
Power Points: YaYa’s photo critiques usually boiled down to her looking too much like a dancer. Opinionated but not a mean girl, she finished second behind Eva Pigford (the mean girl). YaYa won the war, though, spinning her silver medal into respectable acting gigs, including a potential breakthrough part playing Whitney Houston in a TV biopic. Tyra approves. Bobbi Kristina does not.
1. Analeigh Tipton (3rd Place, Cycle 11)
Post-ANTM: Recurring role on Hung; roles in The Green Hornet, Crazy Stupid Love, Warm Bodies, and Lucy; starring in ABC’s Manhattan Love Story this fall
Power Points: Analeigh — an adorable, figure-skating fan favorite — had a part in a Ryan Gosling movie. We repeat: She had a part in a Ryan Gosling movie, playing Steve Carrell’s kid’s babysitter. Her upcoming lead role in the primetime rom-com, Manhattan Love Story, secures her spot in the Top Model Hall of Fame.
It’s a good reminder that success doesn’t always look like the way we expect it to. So, btw, is this piece in Slate about an overachieving mom who freaks out about her developmentally-delayed daughter — both abstractly and sometimes at her daughter herself. If the essay weren’t candidly introspective about the mom’s faults, it would be a total hate-read. (Frankly, though I am also sympathetic, it still kind of is.)