“What Not to Wear” is one of my favorite television shows. I’m not sure what it is I like so much – maybe the idea of having a ton of money to spend on clothes, or the fun banter between the hosts. Whatever it is, I try hard not to miss the new episodes that air every Friday night on TLC. Older episodes air every afternoon, but I tend to miss those.
The show is hosted by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, two stylists from New York. Each week, they surprise a fashion victim that has been nominated by loving, yet concerned, friends and family. The victim has been secretly filmed for the last two weeks, and Stacy and Clinton have seen the tape and know what this person needs in order to look their best. They make their victim an offer – fly out to New York, go shopping by certain rules, and spend $5,000 of the show’s money doing it. But there is a catch – they have to give Stacy and Clinton all their old clothes (which are donated to charity). Most of the time, the victims say yes.
Once the person arrives in New York, they show Clinton and Stacy their clothes. These two hosts are hilarious as they point out why certain pieces of clothing aren’t appropriate for that person’s lifestyle or workplace. Then they help that person choose clothing that is more suited to them, and then with the help of Nick on hair and Carmindy on make-up, they make a difference in the overall appearance, and not just the clothing.
You know what, I just figured out why I like the show so much. It’s not just about clothes. Once a person has gone through the week with Clinton and Stacy, they come away with a greater sense of their own self-worth. Women who thought they were too fat to look good in anything realize that with the right cut of jacket, they look stunning. I’ve seen participants cry when they realize that they are beautiful, that they don’t have to hide themselves in shame but that they can feel confident regardless of their size or their height. It’s a makeover for the soul as well as the body.
I do suggest that this is a mommy show. I’m sure you already figured that out, just from the premise, but sometimes language is used and from time to time, the victim was nominated because they habitually wore revealing clothing. Clinton and Stacy cover them up and teach them how to be attractive without showing too much, but at least there in the beginning, there’s a little more flesh than I’d really want my younger children to see. I do let my eleven-year-old daughter watch it with me, though. It’s a good show for moms and daughters to see together, to learn how honoring our bodies helps us to honor ourselves, and to learn that modesty isn’t as restrictive as some might think.