Try My Life

I was watching Try My Life on Style last night at the gym. This episode involved two sisters trading roles, one of whom was in high school, cute, blonde, makeup-wearing and more athletic and social. The older sister worked as a pharmacy tech and did a lot of volunteer work--she was heavy and less outgoing than the younger sister. She had beautiful curly hair--the cut wasn't great but she didn't strike me as the kind of person to put a lot of time into her hair, and she still had beautiful, shiny corkscrew curls with very little frizz. Her mom had the same hair but darker.

Well, of course they decided they needed to do a makeover on the older sis. This was in preparation for a date as they also made her ask out a guy that she had had a crush on. The whole thing was just painful. The "stylist" (whom I would not let within a 10-foot radius of my closet) put her in these weird, ill-fitting clothes, and the guy she asked out didn't seem to be into her in a "dating" kind of way, though he did agree to go on the date and they seemed to have a good time.

As a bigger girl myself and a shy, introverted person--though I've been married for 8+ years and am thankfully no longer a 20-year-old navigating the dating scene--I wanted to cry over the whole thing where the younger sis and all her friends acted condescending and falsely perky and pretended that there was no reason he wouldn't want to date the older sis. I'm sure they were trying to help, but of course she was not stupid and knew that there were a lot of reasons he might not want to date her and had to go through with it anyway. There is a lot of risk of rejection for anyone asking someone on a date, but for a shy fat girl it's a nightmare. Who knows, I could be wrong and maybe they're dating and happy now. Or, even if he wasn't interested, maybe it helped her come out of her shell and was a good thing in the long run. But I'm not optimistic based on what I saw.

But I guess the key thing from our standpoint is that OF COURSE they straightened her hair. And it's not even like they had Nick Arrojo on hand to actually do a good job. It looked OK but was chin length and not great for a round face in the first place, and had the frizzy look of curly hair that's been straightened. I can only hope the cut works out OK with her hair curly, because I would kill for hair like hers and I would hate if they ruined it. It's probably crazy poodle hair now given how much it's going to shrink up when it's curly. And it'll take her years to grow it out. Boo. Poor girl.
2b/2c/3a
Back on CG (OK, I'm a little indecisive).
pw: curls
Currently using: Whole Foods 365 Herbal Mint Conditioner (co-wash), MOP Mixed Greens Conditioner, Paul Mitchell Lite Detangler, CK, ISO Bouncy Creme. Gave up on plopping due to tangles/"stickiness" and now I just comb through products and diffuse. It looks basically as good and dries a lot faster (I wasn't getting good clumps from plopping anyway). Still wish I were a lot curlier!
The poor thing...Why do these shows always ruin people with their makeovers??? The only consistently good makeover show ever in existence is WNTW, and the others just tear down self esteem.
OMG, LOOK!!

...It's a siggie.
The poor thing...Why do these shows always ruin people with their makeovers??? The only consistently good makeover show ever in existence is WNTW, and the others just tear down self esteem.
Originally Posted by wild_sasparilla
Are you kidding? WNTW is self-esteem promoting? Your family, friends, and co-workers conspire to embarrass you on national TV, your boss makes disparaging remarks about you, your mother publicly rifles through your closet. They force you to watch a video of the most unflattering clips they could find about you while the hosts (sometimes with your "friends" help) toss out insulting remarks.

While you're still an emotional puddle, they offer you $5000 in return for any dignity and stylistic autonomy you have left. Then they whisk you off to an unfamiliar place where they further insult your taste. They send you on a shopping mission, then swoop in to "save" you from your own (still horrendous, apparently) taste--like a mom snatching a hot pink fedora off a toddlers head.

Have you noticed how many women beg Nick to "leave some length, just a little length, please don't take too much off, my husband likes it this long"? Does he ever listen? He always takes off several (and often many) inches. These women know what they want, and they know it's not a high-maintenance streaked bob. They know that, but they've had any confidence they ever had in their own taste swept away from them.

Afterwards, they're sent back to the "friends," who all oo and aw over how much better they look.

Seriously, if this ever happened to you, would you ever trust anyone again?
Are you kidding? WNTW is self-esteem promoting?
Aww... I really like WNTW! I'm sure there is an exception or two but I personally have never seen Nick cut someone's hair short when they don't consent to it first. Yes, he is pretty persuasive and so people probably feel a little railroaded, but he never actually lies to them or tricks them into cutting it, and they almost always end up liking it. I agree with wild_sasparilla--it is sort of a feel-good show for me in that the makeover-ees always seem so happy and confident in the end.

I have a fairly sensitive "mean-dar" and Clinton and Stacy very rarely strike me as mean. They tease a lot but they actually seem to me to have a fairly good sense of when to back off of somebody and how much ribbing the person will be comfortable with. Also, the person does at least get the option of turning down the $5000 before watching the secret footage or going through any of that.

WRT Nick, I feel like half the time when women have long hair that they are afraid to cut, a lot of times they say it's because their husbands will be upset. But most of the time the husbands seem to love the new cut. I would hazard a guess that some of these women have an overly inflated view of how much men love long hair for its own sake. You can have long hair that is stylish instead of being waist-length and shapeless, but most of the makeover-ees have either lanky blonde hair that they think is "sexy" or their "crowning glory," or '80s big hair, and I am rarely that sorry to see it go. Just my opinion.

Now if the criticism is that Nick gives everyone either the same razored bob or the same layered shoulder-length cut, I would have to agree with that. I know there's only so much you can do but sometimes I do get bored with his cuts.

I do love when there is a curly girl on there because he will so often leave it curly and he does a great job with curly hair. I also saw an episode last week where he didn't touch this woman's hair at all because she had nicely formed dreadlocks that she felt strongly about keeping. He complimented her on them, gave her some stuff for cleaning in between washes, and sent her on her way. It was cool. Not that the dude doesn't get a little relaxer-happy a lot of the time, but it was a nice moment.
2b/2c/3a
Back on CG (OK, I'm a little indecisive).
pw: curls
Currently using: Whole Foods 365 Herbal Mint Conditioner (co-wash), MOP Mixed Greens Conditioner, Paul Mitchell Lite Detangler, CK, ISO Bouncy Creme. Gave up on plopping due to tangles/"stickiness" and now I just comb through products and diffuse. It looks basically as good and dries a lot faster (I wasn't getting good clumps from plopping anyway). Still wish I were a lot curlier!
Well, I am a big fan of WNTW and would LOVE to volunteer myself for a makeover! I'm always surprised when people say how mean Stacey and Clinton are, I've never seen them go beyond some good-natured teasing (and their "fashion victim" usually gives it right back). What I really like about the show is that they work with what you've got (no one is told to go on a diet, get cosmetic surgery, etc.) and Nick almost always lets curly hair be curly and doesn't radically change hair color (unless it's back to natural). Fan of the show or not, you've got to admit everyone looks a lot better "after" with just some relatively simple changes in hair/makup and clothing. Their biggest battle with me would probably be getting me out of my sneakers and into those pointy-toed high heels they seem to favor.
As a bigger girl myself and a shy, introverted person--though I've been married for 8+ years and am thankfully no longer a 20-year-old navigating the dating scene--I wanted to cry over the whole thing where the younger sis and all her friends acted condescending and falsely perky and pretended that there was no reason he wouldn't want to date the older sis. I'm sure they were trying to help, but of course she was not stupid and knew that there were a lot of reasons he might not want to date her and had to go through with it anyway. There is a lot of risk of rejection for anyone asking someone on a date, but for a shy fat girl it's a nightmare. Who knows, I could be wrong and maybe they're dating and happy now. Or, even if he wasn't interested, maybe it helped her come out of her shell and was a good thing in the long run. But I'm not optimistic based on what I saw.
Originally Posted by spacedcowgirl
I know exactly what you mean. People who are naturally outgoing just don't understand what it's like. I can't just ask someone out. I can't just brush it off when I get rejected. I have a ton of insecurities and it's not easy for me to ignore them like that. Ugh, if I were that girl I would have burst into tears after the cameras left.

I also agree with you on WNTW, spacedcowgirl. Sometimes you need a slight push out of your comfort zone with regard to hair and clothing (I hope this "out of your comfort zone" thing didn't just contradict my previous paragraph). Clinton & Stacey can be a bit snarky, but they also really do pile on the compliments--"check out this hot booty!", "you have a perfect hourglass figure!", "your complexion is gorgeous!", etc. I've never not seen them take the time to compliment the subject on his/her physical traits.
2c/3a
Love: Burt's Bees Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Conditioner, Boots, BRHG
Yes, Dumbelina, I also feel that Stacy and Clinton tend to build people up rather than tear them down. It sounds dumb, but they have actually inspired me to make some changes in how I dress and so forth.
2b/2c/3a
Back on CG (OK, I'm a little indecisive).
pw: curls
Currently using: Whole Foods 365 Herbal Mint Conditioner (co-wash), MOP Mixed Greens Conditioner, Paul Mitchell Lite Detangler, CK, ISO Bouncy Creme. Gave up on plopping due to tangles/"stickiness" and now I just comb through products and diffuse. It looks basically as good and dries a lot faster (I wasn't getting good clumps from plopping anyway). Still wish I were a lot curlier!
Okay, this post has totally been guanoed, but I thought all of you could benefit from my $0.02 regarding a reality show. There will be a test at the end.

WNTW is my guilty pleasure show (unless you consider all TV to be a guilty pleasure...I have a love/hate relationship with it). I feel like I'm losing my sanity if I watch more than two episodes in one sitting, and I can *never* understand what Clinton and Stacey wear. Clinton seems to be inspired by Ellen Degeneres' wardrobe (from what I've seen of her show), except he always wears loafers without socks (what the heck??) instead of sneakers. Those clothes look great on Ellen and clearly reflect her personal style, but look pretty goofy on a guy.

That said, I like the show because they *don't* make people wear styles that are mainstream but don't reflect the guests' tastes. The guests are mainly people who got stuck in their adolescent idea of what looks sexy; dress inappropriately for a given occasion (too casual or too conservative); and/or have body image issues (wear clothes that are too tight just to be a size lower; wear clothes that are too big and plain in order to hide their figure). Some even say that they felt they didn't deserve to wear nice clothes. Since the people on the show start out wearing clothes that make them look plain, unprofessional, or generally ridiculous, I don't think it's so bad to offer them a makeover.
and...triple post!
Aw, I like the way Clinton dresses! Though I definitely see what you mean about Ellen--it's totally true. I like his argyle sweaters and button-up shirts. For crazy wardrobes, I just don't understand Carson from Queer Eye. Based on what he wears, I would never let him dress me.
2c/3a
Love: Burt's Bees Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Conditioner, Boots, BRHG
Really? I loooove what Carson wears! (Okay, okay, I watch this show too sometimes...but I mute commercials!) Of course the outfits are idiosyncratic and not appropriate for every day normal wear. But if you're presenting yourself as a very queeny fashion expert, they're perfect. I love the way they bring together patterns and colors that match unexpectedly. And they're well tailored for his frame (unlike Clinton, whose sweaters just emphasize his slightly pudgy, very un-toned form). I think Carson's outfits really suit him.

No pun intended, I swear to God.
I agree w/ Dumbalina about Carson. He wears outfits that don't match, and I don't care for his choices for the "fashion victim." Stacy and Clinton sometimes wear out-there outfits as well, but they usually do a good job of bringing out the best in the makeoveree. Also, I love Nick! He does a good job of picking hairstyles that suit the person and his/her lifestyle and hair type. He also is the only person that I've seen cut curly hair damp, and it looks great and not super short when it dries. Well that's just my .02
What bugs me mostly about Carson is that his style is reflected too much in what he chooses for the straight guy. Instead of looking at each straight guy's particular fashion choices and adapting them to a more grown-up/sophisticated/put-together look, it seems like he just gives them a toned-down version of his own style. I think for one guy he got a black t-shirt that had a silver skull and crossbones on it; when I was watching it, I thought it seemed way too flashy and out-there for the particular guy.

That being said, Carson is definitely my second favorite one personality-wise (I love Ted!). He can be snarky and funny at the same time, whereas Thom's snarkiness just comes off as mean-spirited and conceited.

I love 99% of Stacey's wardrobe. Someday I want long hair, gorgeous fitted dresses, and a pair of stilettos for every day of the year.
2c/3a
Love: Burt's Bees Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Conditioner, Boots, BRHG
That's true. Carson works for Ralph Lauren, so he's definitely promoting that style, if not always that line. Tom looks a *lot* like a teacher I had in high school who was very meek and boring, so he always cracks me up.

Maybe we need a TV thread!
I hate the makeovers on Oprah. All curly heads are straightened and then they put these women in clothes that seem way too fancy for their every day lives. They usually look good, but I always think that there is no way they are going to keep up the look. Oprah needs to get her stylists to give an average woman a look she can keep up on her own within her budget.

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