With the hubby off training, I am no longer subjected to sitting through recorded episodes of bizarre post-apocalypse shows on the SciFi channel. I've slowly started to find some new favorites (Duck Dynasty, where have you been all my life?!?) and "What Not to Wear" sparked my interest.
Who doesn't love shopping with a free gift card? It also got me thinking.
Is this show helping women understand what styles are best for their body type or forcing the current fashion trends on women who otherwise were happy?
While watching there is frequently one area of each woman's body that they are uncomfortable with, which drives most of their wardrobe to conceal it or accentuate another area. I enjoy watching the hosts give encouragement and attempt to increase each persons self esteem by telling them they are beautiful...but even more so AFTER the full makeover is complete. This almost makes me feel like telling the participants "there is a beautiful woman inside" is only validated after her clothes, hair, and make-up is to everyone else's standard of beauty.
I do understand that changing one's outside appearance can drastically affect one's mood and level of confidence. If so, more power to ya! I just continue to wonder if it sends the wrong message.
I fully admit that I have a biased point of view.
During High School, I attended Seminary (early morning scripture study) which started at 0600, Monday-Friday. This did two things: started my day off on the right path, and made for one seriously tired teenager. My mother didn't wear make-up, and my older sister was 5 years older and wasn't around to give me beauty tips. Armed with teenage hormones and all the joys of high school, I decided that EVERY second I could spare would be devoted to sleep. This meant going to bed with a wet head of hair, never wearing make-up and throwing on whatever pair of jeans/t-shirt combo was clean.
The part of my body I loathed in HS, due to rumors and hateful comments from jealous girls, is the part of my body that I finally embraced as an adult. Having a large rack gets attention, wanted or not, so I focused on concealment and baggy t-shirts for quite a few years. I finally embraced the girls after HS, and stopped being embarrassed that I was a girl.
Even though my clothing changed, I still don't wear make up. The only real exception was HS formals, my wedding day, and Military Balls. The older I get, the more freckles grace my cheeks and slowly taking over my face, but I LOVE them! They've taken over my nose & cheeks, and have started to spread upwards around my eyebrows. If I wore traditional make-up to "even out" my skin tone, it would cover my freckles, and I'm bad at applying eye make-up.
When I talk about make-up people often say, "but you don't HAVE to wear make-up." The reality is I don't WANT to, so I don't. Why do I need to conform my face so it is visibly appealing for someone else, when I am happy with how it looks now. When most people wear make-up everyday, it is extremely noticeable when they don't. I am not saying it's bad to wear make-up, just that it isn't bad to be all natural either.
It took many years (almost 25) for me to be comfortable with my body, and who I was as a person. So, if two people walked up to me and said I dress poorly and look like a homeless person, I'd have to force myself to refrain from punching them in the throat. There is aspects of my body that I hate (saddlebags should ONLY be on a horse), but I am happy with who I am as a person regardless of what I wear or if I'm wearing make-up.
I've come to the conclusion that there are good aspects to the show. When these woman gain self-confidence and embrace themselves as beautiful, everybody wins. That being said, if they go back to wearing tie-dyed t-shirts and camo pants and are happy, then let your freak flag fly girl!