2. The Anti-Fur Activist (Cycle 8 ep. 2)

Generally, it’s hard to muster up much interest in each cycle’s first boot as we barely get a chance to know them, with one notable exception: Cycle 8’s Kathleen. It is with great sorrow that we lose Kathleen so soon because the girl is pure entertainment. Unfortunately, Kathleen’s downfall comes because, as extremely likable as she is, she is equally as dumb. And yes, I mean that as both a compliment to her personality and a swipe at her intelligence.   

The first photo shoot requires each model to represent a political stance. When Mr. Jay tells Kathleen she’s anti-fur, she giggles nervously, and we soon find out why: she doesn’t understand what that means. In wardrobe, Kathleen asks whether she should look at the fur and go, “Oooo, I hate fur.” She also can’t connect with the stance: “Actually, I really do like fur, it makes you look hot.” Given the fur ball growing out of her head, I suppose that’s no surprise. 

Once on set, Kathleen’s posing does nothing to suggest she’s an activist. Nigel’s instructions to make her look more passionate are met with a “What does that mean?” and a continued blank glare. Perhaps her deer in headlights facial expressions are meant to portray the helpless animal, but giving Kathleen credit for having a thought, let alone a creative one, is being too generous. 

At judging panel, Tyra asks for Kathleen’s take on wearing fur. Prepare your brain for some articulate opinions:

  • “I believe that if the animal is alive, you shouldn’t kill it to make a fur coat or anything. But if it’s already dead, you could take the skin off and just make a coat.”
  • “How would it already be dead?” asks Tyra.
  • “Cuz animals fight each other in the jungle, right? In the woods… Animals die, like people die naturally sometimes, right?”  

Twiggy explains that, unfortunately, that’s not how the fur industry works, but perhaps Kathleen has stumbled onto something. In her stupidity, she might have invented a socially conscious line of furs. “My shawl is made from a mink that died of natural causes. And this coat is the product of several foxes who were killed in an epic jungle battle.”

Nigel tells Kathleen that she “didn’t completely understand the concept,” even though suggesting that she understands it even a little bit is pretty kind. Does Kathleen defend herself? Nope, her response is as honest as can be: “I know, right? I didn’t.” She’s not just pleading ignorance, she’s pleading utter stupidity. Tyra tells Kathleen that she needs to ask when she doesn’t understand something, and this time Kathleen not only fails to defend herself, she practically prosecutes herself, saying, “I feel like he explained it to me so much, [Mr. Jay] and Nigel, and I’m like, I don’t want to seem slow like I wasn’t catching on.” Miss J can’t help but respond with a, “Wellllllll…” that is pure comedy.

During deliberation, Twiggy says, “I do worry about Kathleen. You kind of want to take Kathleen home and look after her.” “I don’t!” responds Miss J. He’s having a lot of fun at Kathleen’s expense, and it’s hard to blame him.

In the end, all of the judges decide that they don’t have the patience to nurture an idiot like Kathleen, sending her home first. Alas, even the most drastic makeover wouldn’t help them discover a functioning brain under all of that hair. While previous seasons have proven that you don’t have to be a genius to become a Top Model, apparently there is a minimal intelligence requirement as well.

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