The outer limits of cable channels are just that. As I flipped to a show in which two perky and loudly dressed ladies sat in an RV, I marveled at what I was paying for. They sat smugly watching a video of some poor unsuspecting fellow who needed a "makeover". I had to think the setting was in homage to Extreme Home Makeover, but nothing else was. They giggled, these middle aged ladies, over the man's 80's haircut and 70s clothes. They gasped at his audacity to dresss comfortably. They couldn't wait to get their hands on him (no it wasn't that kind of channel) in order to fix him up like the altruistic good Samaritans they saw themselves to be.
Like the car shows and house shows and What Not To Wear, we learn over and over that you are not fashionable unless you get professional help. On cable tv.
Even the Morning Shows have it--although one calls it "Ambush Makeover". That one is even more humiliating. Some camera follows a fashion guru around New York City until they spot some prey. They rush over, shine a light into the eyes of the fahion faux pas, and like a deer in the headlights, the stunned victim is stopped in her tracks. She is then hypnotized by the aura of Mr. I Can Solve All Your Problems with a New Hairstyle and is led meekly to the land of Conformity. Okay, so usually the ambushed do look better with a little makeup, but then so do the deceased with a few tricks of the funeral director.
What made us cross the line from self improvement to nominating or choosing others that WE think need improvement? If someone wants help, sure, film her/him as she/he trades a soul for some superficial cosmetic change. But why do we let others do ambush makeovers and insist that people have to toss their whole wardrobe out to get a brand new one (and accept the accompanying insults as something they deserve)?
How is it that our culture asks that we all tolerate each other and let everyone do their own thing and yet we have to wear the right thing? Would clothing stores go out of business if we wore what we wanted instead of what they wanted (which changes every year)?
Fashionistas, beware. Think about the consequences. If Ambush Makeovers are the growing and most acceptable form of judging one another, imagine the future.
Bands of Fashion Police storming the runway in Paris because the new stuff is too different from the already accepted style. Dragging the high heeled designer out to change into normal clothes and making the models get Kate Gosselin haircuts.
Outraged little old ladies flooding onto America's Next Top Model (with Ashton Kutcher holding the camera) in order to school Tyra about a "decent" fashion shoot.
Ambush makeovers of Donald Trump, Stacy and Clinton, all the Housewives of Atlanta and Project Runway winners.
And finally, picture men in torn t-shirts and pickup trucks, laughing at the ladies sitting in RVs, and out of the goodness of their hearts, driving those ladies to NYC so that they can have the honor of being ambushed on national tv for their own makeover.
Fair is fair.
Admit it, you'd watch those shows, wouldn't you? Imagine, a makeover on a runway on a makeover show. A fashionable revenge on the fashionable. There's no limit to what we'll watch. Especially if it's the latest fashion.
Causes Teryl Cartwright Supports
United Methodist Committee on Relief, American Red Cross, Heifer Project, American Cancer Society, Doctors without Borders