I love a good makeover show as much as anyone. Seeing girls or older women who have no clue about fashion and style and who really want to learn, and see them benefit from others’ expertise, is a lovely thing. Sometimes it results in a whole new lease of life and improved self esteem which is a great thing.
But lately something has been irking me that I’d like to get off my chest: some shows, particularly “How Do I Look” decide that alternative culture is not valid and that ladies with alternative/goth/punk/rock fashion senses need a good smack upside the head.
Occasionally this is true. For every well put together rock chick there may well be another girl who just looks, well, trashy. But often I see people who already have a strong sense of self, being pressured to give up their old clothes, hairstyles etc…in order to please well-meaning siblings and friends who want to ‘vanilla’ them down. Know what I mean?
Often it is in the guise of “but this isn’t helping you in your career/finding a boyfriend/meeting other moms”. I do actually applaud it when some hopelessly naff or super slutty-dressing gals are shown how they appear to others. Sometimes their looks are genuinely putting people off from getting to know them.
But I get super annoyed when the host or a friend will say something like: “she was attracting the wrong type,” and inferring that anyone who has tattoos, long hair, piercings, etc must be a loser. (I have actually heard them stereotyping alternative guys this way on a show). Some of these guys are losers, like a percentage in any demographic, but how about finding her a nice guy who happens to already share her worldview, sense of style and taste in music? But NOOOOOO, we have to find her a nice average joe with a neat haircut, who wears chinos and listens to jazz. (And natch, she has to keep her vanilla looks in order to keep the boy). Hell, even the Millionaire Matchmaker goes out of her way to find someone with stuff in common!
It is also generally assumed that to get ahead in their chosen field, or be liked, that they have to dress in a reasonably narrow way. In some professions, and with some people, this is the case. But times have moved on, and now tattoos are becoming more and more common and accepted, as well as coloured hair and various other personal grooming choices. Perhaps it is like people in the 50′s who wanted to keep everything ‘nice’ and couldn’t bear to see the sixties swingers donning very different fashions and hairstyles (for that, of course, just represented the sinful ways of the new decade).
It might surprise Jeannie and the producers of the show to know that there are many of us who dress creatively, be it punk one day, goth the next, vintage another day and high fashion when we feel like it, and that none of our looks particularly slows us down in our enjoyment of life or what we want to achieve. Furthermore, we also have successful, highly paid jobs, scads of variously different, well-adjusted friends, and extremely happy marriages to amazing guys who love us to death, who also have successful careers, and who happen to have long hair, piercings and tattoos!!
Maybe it’s just me. What do YOU think? What really gets up YOUR nose when it comes to these make-over shows who make under gothic and other alternative chicks? Do they make unfair assumptions?