“I don’t know WHERE she got this, but it simply HAS to go!”These words, spoken in an annoying nasal twang, dragged me out of TV-induced hypnosis and back to full awareness yesterday evening. My head was pointed at the television, but my brain had retired hurt after a long day of meetings and my eyes were just following the interesting colours as they danced on the screen. The speaker was supposed to be some sort of fashion guru and was sniping at someone else’s wardrobe. I managed to dislodge myself from the couch and make a hasty exit before the inevitable makeover sequence began in earnest. I’m not exactly the best person to argue about fashion, because I wear pretty much the same corporate drone gear every day, but the whole concept of the makeover gives me a serious cramp. I find them about as irritating as that awful advert which has the message, “Your friends will ignore you unless you use our shampoo”.
The basic premise of the makeover – i.e. that some self-appointed ‘expert’ in a frilly shirt and a frightening hairdo has a magical insight into what is best for a complete stranger – is distasteful enough on its own. The implication that the person under scrutiny couldn’t possibly know what they actually like, compounds the unpleasantness. The fact that there are people insecure enough to volunteer to be made over is just the last nail in the coffin. If they were just in it for the free clothes, it would be okay, but they genuinely appear to think it will be a life-changing experience. Of course it always ends badly, because the new wardrobe is either insultingly similar to the old, or hilariously different. This means that the expression on the face of the the makovee (if I may suggest an alternative word for ‘victim’) is either “why bother?” or “please kill me now”, when the ‘new look’ is revealed. I don’t feel much sympathy, though – after all, it’s largely a self-inflicted wound.