What Not to Wear

My oldest daughter (age 6) is my little fashionista. She is always constructing her own fashion magazines, she likes fashion games, and sometimes she puts some rather interesting fashions on her body. So when she came across a commercial for TLC’s “What Not to Wear” a few months ago, I wasn’t too surprised that she immediately asked me to record some episodes. However, I was more than a little reticent about doing so. She is already very lookist, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted her watching a show that might encourage her to be more judgmental of people based on how they looked.

After watching a few episodes, though, I was pleasantly surprised by the show. Yes, each episode does find the hosts Clinton Kelly and Stacey London ambushing some unsuspecting person and letting them know that their loved ones think they dress terribly. And they do make fun of some of the unflattering or just plain strange outfits that people have in their closets. However, they never attack the person themselves.

I worried that the show would be about trying to make people trendy or expect everyone to have super-model bodies. That’s not what the show is about at all. It’s about helping people, mostly women, find clothing that fits and flatters them, that is consistent with their age and stage in life, and that will make them feel better about themselves and show their inner and outer beauty.

And it’s amazing to watch the physical and emotional transformations. These are real women, and they treat them with respect and dignity and sometimes a little tough love. You have young women who are having a hard time transitioning from high school and college clothing to professional and adult clothing. You have women who are so busy taking care of their families that they’ve neglected to take care of themselves (I can relate). You have people who have given up on themselves thinking they could never be beautiful. Stacey and Clinton (along with hair stylist Nick Arrojo and make-up artist Carmindy) walk them through wardrobe changes that build confidence and self-esteem.

Three things that I like about the show:

  1. They emphasize dressing for the body you have now, not the one you wish that you had.
  2. They hate it when people wear pajama bottoms in public.
  3. They are very sensitive to the emotional turmoil some of these people go through as they start to move outside their comfort zone and sometimes to look at themselves positively for the first time.

While part of me wishes that someone would nominate me for the show (I could totally handle a $5000 shopping spree in New York City if it weren’t for the nursing baby), I don’t see it happening. In the meantime, I’ve been watching episodes and reading the companion book which has tips for dressing a variety of body types. Lord knows, that I need all of the help that I can get. I’ve never cared about looking trendy, but I would like to have clothes that fit better and look less sloppy than the ones I’ve worn most of my life.

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One Comment on “What Not to Wear”

  1. Laura Witten Says:

    I absolutely love What Not to Wear! I record it every Friday night and sometimes even watch it live (very rare indeed). I’ll nominate you if you’ll nominate me once I’m done losing weight 😉 Or just coerce your husband into nominating you since he has easier access to your closet than I.

    Its not about the before and after shots on this show. Its about helping these ladies, and the occasional man, show off the body God gave them and dress to hide the “imperfections”. The emotional journys involved are the most interesting part, imho.


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