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Australia’s Next Top Model – Clare Not So Posh After All


Clare Venema the stunning 16 year old on this year’s season of Australia’s Next Top Model, has been stereotyped on the show as a “prissy princess”.

In this week’s NW Magazine she reveals she is more working class then she has been portrayed on the show.

The article states:

Debating champ, school leader, fussy eater – Top Model contestant Clare Venema has made a name for herself as the “prissy princess” of this year’s competition.

But the stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth, with Clare revealing to NW  that her mother was homeless as a teen (for reasons she doesn’t know), while her dad is a rail employee who’s worked hard to provide for his family.

“My parents have worked for everything – my dad’s a train driver and my mum was homeless at my age,” tells Clare. “So they’ve had to drag themselves up from the gutter to get  me and my sister a good education,”

Clare feels she’s been unfairly typecast as stuck-up by both the show’s producers and the other contestants.

“I think you kind of get stereotyped from day one, and it’s really hard to break that,” says Clare. “It does get really frustrating when I get called a prissy princess, because I know that isn’t me.

“And it’s really bad when people have expectations of you and you feel like you need to rise to their expectations of you. It’s a really tough thing to break.”

The portrayal of Clare as uptight has led to bullying at the hands of fellow contestant Cassi Van Den Dungen, with growing tension between the two eventually resulting in the infamous “shower scene”, in which Cassi barged into the bathroom as Clare was showering and verbally and physically threatened her.

While Cassi was later reprimanded and sent to anger-management counselling over the nasty confrontation, Clare admits she’s never told Cassi about her family history.

“Cassi didn’t really know all of that,” says Clare. “And after the whole shower incident I just tried to distance myself from her as much as possible, so I didn’t really get a chance to tell her about where I come from and everything. So she had the stereotype of me that she wanted to have and she just clung on to that for dear life.”

The 16-year-old’s well-modulated accent has also made her the target of teasing from some of the other aspiring models, but the Adelaide student says her voice is just the result of getting a scholarship to a private school, St Peters Girls.

“I know that I do have a manner of speaking well,” says Clare, “but it’s because I’ve been lucky enough to have a good education.

“And that’s only because I’ve worked hard and I’ve got a full scholarship to go to a good school. If that makes me a prissy princess, then I’ll wear that badge of honour.”

It would appear on ANTM if you show half a brain or an inclination to study you are going to be portrayed as stuck up as Alamela Rowen was in last years show. This is not great role modelling by the show’s producers, since a high proportion of their audience is younger girls.

I also found this story from last year where it shows Clare has has modelled in Milan. I think she will go close to winning this year’s series.


1 Injera { 05.26.09 at 6:11 pm }

Yay for Clare. She does come across as so self-possessed and I’m sure that drives Cassi nuts. I’m hoping that her use of the past tense when talking about Cassi – that she didn’t get a chance to really talk to her after the shower scene – means that Cassi’s going soon. Fingers crossed! If tonight’s ANTM is a non-elimination, I’ll… do something destructive.

2 CG { 05.27.09 at 10:57 am }

Apparently the curriculum at the “prestigious” St. Peters Girls school doesn’t include lessons in grammar: “So they’ve had to drag themselves up from the gutter TO GET ME AN MY SISTER a good education”. Yikes.

3 Reality Raver { 05.27.09 at 11:30 am }

CG – that could have been a typo of mine. Something I am notorious for. Unfortunately I get plenty of distractions when I am writing and miss things. However in episode one she did use the word nutritionalist.
I like Clare but I am a bit concerned that she describes herself as a fussy eater. Which to me is code for eating disorder.

Injera – I think Cassi will be around for awhile as she is such good reality TV.

4 Brain Collins { 05.28.09 at 11:29 am }

Nah, I heard that the whole ‘fussy eater’ thing came from her being a vegetarian. Pretty sure thats been taken out of context. I don’t see how being a vegetarian translates to being a fussy eater!

5 lupe { 07.08.09 at 12:09 am }

“Me and my sister” is the correct grammar for that sentence.

“So they’ve had to drag themselves up from the gutter to get (my sister and) I a good education”-. If you took away the parantheses in that sentence it would be syntactically illogical. (“So they’ve had to drag themselves up from the gutter to get I a good education.” Whereas this makes more sense, “So they’ve had to drag themselves up from the gutter to get me (and my sister) a good education.” Take away the parentheses and it makes sense, no?)

“My sister and I” would be correct if it were phrased differently. The sentence may have been awkwardly phrased but it’s otherwise correct.

It’s a common grammatical mix-up, but a good rule of thumb is to take away the other person and see if the sentence makes sense.

6 Olivia Brown { 10.29.10 at 5:59 am }

She was so professional throughout the entire series, and she really deserves to be a successful model!

7 jv { 12.24.10 at 7:00 pm }

clare was great…i really like her seen the 1st time i saw her in the competition…and she really deserves to be a successful model..,than cassi..

8 jp { 12.25.10 at 10:27 am }

well , clare is a good model .. so professional and so well spoken ,, unlike the other girl’s she’s got the most achievments .. well , i guess she’ll go too far after that competition ,, she’d be better in the final to , not cassi .. models know everything about modelling . from the catwalking dow to the photoshoots .. well even though she has good photos but it did’nt impress me well .

9 Angel Ellysan { 07.15.12 at 11:59 am }

i like clare so much i hate cassie so much :((