All Shapes, Sizes and Colours

As people, we are always searching for that elusive concept of beauty. By the use of mass media we have almost narrowed our horizons to a very particular type of beauty when there are millions of types out there!

Mariah Watchman is the first Native American model to make it through to the world renowned televised competition, America’s Next Top Model.

’m just going to work hard and keep this tunnel vision of being the first Native (American) super model,” Watchman said.

Her recent adventure on the America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion was another accomplishment in her career where she met fashion icon Tyra Banks and People’s Revolution founder Kelly Cutrone.

“Everything was just amazing; I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Ever since the time I very first auditioned, I knew that it was my goal … my passion. It was really important to me to be the first Native American to make it on the show; first tribal enrolled member, and that was always my mission,” Watchman, 20, said. “I ended up getting eliminated on the second episode and it was really hard at the time. I was kind of in a sense, not embarrassed, but because I’m such a competitive person in everything that I do, to be eliminated second, that was something I didn’t expect. But I still did it to the best of my abilities; at least getting to make the top seven in the whole United States, and then on top of that being the first Native to ever make it.”

Watchman is enrolled with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla near Pendleton, Ore. She was born in Missoula, Mont. and that’s also where she auditioned for America’s Next Top Model during the nationwide casting call on June 29, 2011.

“I had the same chances thousands of other girls did … I had to make it through a couple of rounds, video submissions … It was a long process, but I finally made it to the final casting call in L.A. I actually had to keep it under wraps for a long time,” She said. “The whole experience all together was just amazing. I would never change it. I was happy that even though I had gotten eliminated second that I felt like I did a really good job of representing Native Americans … Being the first Native I felt like I had this big weight on my shoulders …”

Watchman’s final photo shoot challenge was to pose as a toddler with another model.  Kris Jenner and her youngest daughters Kendall and Kylie of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” were the celebrity guests and models for the shoot.

“I am proud that she maintained her cultural values while on a reality TV show… and most importantly, for returning to her reservation community on the Umatilla Indian Reservation to address all of her supporters – even on elimination night!” Lindsey Watchman, Mariah’s father said. “That is courage, but also pride, humility, respect and gratefulness towards all those whom help raise this young Indian woman.”


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