Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Magical Makeovers vs. Individual Beauty: Which Package Do You Favor?

Make over, makeovers, how do I look, what to wear, fashion thoughts, beauty, makeover

Confession: I’m addicted to makeover shows. Not just the popular ones like "How Do I Look?" and "What Not to Wear," I also watch the Maury episodes like "From Trashy to Classy" - which are pretty trashy themselves. But lately I’ve been kind of bored with the repetitive message of these shows.

Will a new dress and a little lipgloss really make these people’s lives better?

While I agree the occasional physical transformation can help you move beyond a certain stage in your life, the transformations on TV seem to eliminate the person’s individuality.

Make over, makeovers, how do I look, what to wear, fashion thoughts, beauty,

"Each one of us is only as beautiful, as deserving of the life we crave, as we believe ourselves to be. No matter what we wear, that is a fact that doesn’t change simply by slipping into a nicer pair of shoes."

The shows go beyond fixing the skimpy skirts, saggy pants and work-appropriate mistakes. At the end of it, the person seems less of who they are and more of who other’s want her to be. They still have the same issues, same doubts, same heart – just different packaging.

But should this packaging be more deserving of the life the person craves because it’s more socially accepted? No, but society tends to favor those who are more socially (and visually) pleasing. Makeover shows seem to reinforce the idea that you have to fit in so you don’t miss out on opportunities in life – which is funny when you think of how many times we’re told to "think outside of the box."

Make over, makeovers, how do I look, what to wear, fashion thoughts, beauty,

Sometimes I feel that this "box" is made out of the same socially acceptable tops, skirts, shoes and styles. What we don’t see in this "box" is self-love, self-acceptance. We don’t see people who think that they’re beautiful just the way they are. We don’t see people who believe in themselves. I think that’s why the "box" always requires therapy.

But this argument is made over and over in the fashion and entertainment industry: those who believe themselves to be beautiful vs. those others believe are beautiful, those who want to be themselves vs. those who support a consistent standard of beauty. Does anyone fall in the middle? Does it matter when it’s all about money in the end? Drastic makeovers pull in ratings and telling people that they’re beautiful won’t sell makeup or clothes.

Yet, with all this said and done, why am I still a makeover show junkie? Why do I still help these shows with their ratings? Maybe it’s the guilty pleasure of yelling at the TV when I disagree with the makeover.

Pics via WeHeartIt


Elisa B said...

MAybe you like those shows because they satisfy the every woman's desire: being appreciated by everyone! That's a thing we all think, and secretly want! That's the weak point that those shows touch and that's why they're so popular! I actually don't watch them because there are not in my country in these times, but I'd probably watch them if there were some! We always want to change, to look better, to be accepted by everyone and to be admired. I think that's the point! But I do support self makeovers, because I think alike: if someone else decides what's best for you, that ia surely not the way to go.

StyleMeBAD said...

Dont harp on yourself for it, tv is made to entertain and trashy tv does that! I watch a few shows that i disagree with the message behind but find so damn entertaining.

And to comment on your post, you can put someone in nice clothes but if they still arent happy with the person inside those stylish duds it wont matter. Sure a great outfit can perk up your mood but its only temporary. You need to feel good about yourself and that can only come from within, clothes or no clothes. Its up to you to change and make moves to grow and make yourself happy.

BTW I LOVEEE make over shows too!

Bohemian Chick said...

Great post - I totally agree. I used to watch "What not to Wear" but had mixed feelings over whether what they were doing was always good. I like having funkiness in my style (look at my eyeshadow on

Also maybe you can answer a question - are you a member of IFB? I've been thinking of joining but I thought I might have to have my own domain instead of blogger.

Rika said...

I've always been waiting to see a make over show that takes the unique elements to a person's style (even if it might be hideous in its current form) and guides them towards making their own flattering signature style that is still individual, with out assaulting the eyes of others. Like keep parts of the person's style that they are drawn to, but do it in a way that changes the viewer's response to it from "WTF!? I can't look away!" to "Wow, why hasn't anyone else thought to wear it that way?"

Say she's wearing pleather tights two sizes too small with a worn out shirt with skulls on it and a hoodie with poorly done diy cutouts and knock off pink Uggs.. Instead of putting her in khakis or a simple sun dress, you put her in well fitting pair of dark skinny jeans with a loose t shirt, a quality statement piece of costume jewelry with a skull and drapey chains on it, and bright pink leather flats.

Yes, its still taking some one and cleansing their style to make it more socially acceptable.. but I think to a degree there are benefits to dressing in a manner the general public finds appropriate. While I wouldn't choose fitting in at the absolute expense of individual style, I also wouldn't choose uniqueness at the expense of making innocent bystanders want to stab their eyes out. ;)

Bohemian Chick said...

I like Rika's ideas.

Style Geek said...

@BTC ~ Ditto on Rika :-D