Thursday, September 18, 2008

reality [show] check.

Extreme Makeover, What Not to Wear, The Swan, even The Biggest Loser (since the realization that it was less "becoming healthier" and more "doing whatever it takes").  You know the names.  These are the names of reality TV shows that all share a similar bottom line: "Don't like yourself?  We don't either.  Let us help you fix it."  Now, that may seem a bit Extreme, but let's be honest; one of the above titles even encourages rebuilding your entire body via plastic (and other such) surgeries.  These are the ideas that women (and men) are filling their heads with, whether it's for some prime-time amusement, or to get the feeling that someone else is living their reality dream.  (I know.. the irony.)  Let's not forget the children of these men and women that are plopped in front of the TV while their parents' think it's just mindless entertainment during dinner.  Psssssst!  Hey, parents!  Your kids are ingesting this crap!

Nonsense aside, there's a fairly newer reality TV show brought about by our favorite after-school-special channel, Lifetime.  How To Look Good Naked, hosted by Carson Kressley (of Queer-Eye), puts a new spin on makeovers.
I watched this show for the first time, yesterday, slightly skeptical about the fact that it would be anything different than all the others: "it's a bad cut for you, your clothes are too shlumpy, you're clearly not cool."  I was pleasantly surprised.  For one, the makeover almost comes as an afterthought in the show; it's more of a gift to liven things up (and what woman doesn't want a free makeover?) after all is said and done.

The show starts off with a woman telling her story about how she's lost her confidence, she feels ugly, she feels worthless, in one way or another.  There are tears, as there are in an unfortunate number of stories where women must confront how they actually feel about themselves.  Then, where you'd expect the host to have a team of makeover artists and fashion experts pop out of the bushes and yell, "LET'S FIX YOU!," Carson had her strip down to her underwear, and pointed out everything amazing about her.  Then, he had her stand in a line up of women that range from sizes lower than her to sizes larger than her and have her pick out the one who she thought she looked like.  They always seem to shoot too high, don't they?  Already, you could start to see her attitude change.

By the end of the show, she was struttin' the runway in rockin' langerie and her pre-teen daughter was telling her how proud of her she was.  Okay, so the way I worded that may have taken away from the point I'm trying to make, but it really was a beautiful thing.  She even looked 10 times more amazing, because you could see the confidence she was carrying.  It was probably the most incredible esteem-transformation I've ever seen in an hour (or, if you include all the time it took to film it, 12 or so hours?).

It's sad that only one woman can be on the show at a time.  They should make it into a group situation.  Like.. America's Next Top Healthy Model.  I know, nerdy and cheesy; I get like that sometimes.

If only it were so easy for those of use who have transformed a disease to look like we just don't like ourselves naked.. or clothed.. or.. at all..  At least there's a way to start.  Baby steps, right?

No comments: