Encouraging Model Behavior, as in Cindy and Iman

Apparently, Candyland and Monopoly aren't sexy enough for today's kids. In toy stores now, I kid you not, is a board game aimed at preteens that's called Model's World (RoundHill Productions, $29.95).

The object of the game, which is packaged in a bubble-gum-pink makeup bag, is to correctly answer enough questions about beauty, health, travel, fashion and etiquette to fill a photo portfolio.

For example, "What does 'putting on your face' mean?" (Hint: It does not mean mastering the Esther Canadas pout.) Another question: "Why is it important to drink milk?" (Hint: not because it tastes just as good going down as it does coming up.)

The game was conceived by ex-model Lynda Hill, who started her own modeling agency in Toronto in 1981. She said she believes "a huge majority" of young girls dream of a career on the catwalk.

"I wanted people to understand there's more to modeling than just the body," she said. "Most successful models are very good entrepreneurs. They are independent, self-employed people. They are self-motivated, have great social skills and know math. It's not necessarily the gorgeous girls who make it; it's the girls with drive."

Oh please. The three rules of fashion modeling? Appearance, appearance, appearance. Do we really want a game teaching our girls that this is the life they should aspire to? How come we don't have board games like Senator's World, Doctor's World or Journalist's World? Let's give girls something real to dream about.

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While I'm on the subject of games . . . it's amazing that Kevin Bacon of all people has been immortalized in a parlor game. The Kevin Bacon Game challenges players to link an actor to Bacon through a movie in which they have both appeared.

An item in Wireless Flash about New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell's book, "The Tipping Point" (Little, Brown; $24.95), confirmed my suspicion that there are actors far better suited for this exercise.

Gladwell cites a study by University of Virginia computer scientist Brett Tjaden that found actors are typically 2.8312 steps from Bacon, which makes him 669th in a "connectedness" ranking of actors.

Gene Hackman and Donald Sutherland ranked in the top 15 on the "connectedness" scale--Hackman has 65 credits and Sutherland 74 credits--and the No. 1 most-connected actor is Rod Steiger.

The reason, Gladwell writes, is Steiger's range.

"He's been in 38 dramas, 12 crime pictures and comedies, 11 thrillers, eight action films, seven westerns, six war movies, four documentaries, three horror flicks, two sci-fi films, a musical and more."

We probably won't be playing the Rod Steiger Game at a party any time soon. (Somehow, it's just not as sexy as the Kevin Bacon Game.) Besides, my current favorite game is Celebrity. It's similar to charades, except players have to imitate famous people.

I do a mean Kate Moss.

Booth Moore can be reached at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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