• Alyssa Chen

You Are What You Wear

Updated: Apr 29

Are you one of the 2.6M viewers of the BBC show Your Are What You Wear?


This new fashion makeover series are hosted by a squad of five stylists. They meet volunteers who are feeling a bit down about their appearance- usually because of something that has happened in their personal lives.  The team help people to dress and work with their wardrobes in new ways in order to help boost their self-esteem and stride into a happier life.



Who Does Not Like Makeover Shows?!


Reality TV Makeover Shows are nothing new. They rise since early 2000s. I can still remember how astonished I was when seeing my very first Makeover TV Show Fashion Emergency the first time. TV Stylists transformed the looks of the featured guests by showing them how to dress, wear make-up and taking them to salon for a new hairstyle. Each episode ended with the guest showing as a new person with a more stylish look and happy smile, which kind of comforted me too. I have been always suspected that might be the first seed leading me toward this journey as a Stylist & Image Consultant today.


Obviously this Before and After approach is way too powerful, which makes  reality TV makeover shows become all the rage in the past 20 years. There was a long period of time that these shows only hinged on the idea how a woman could conquer the world by making herself look beautiful in public’s opinion. Therefore, for entertainment purpose, we watched people judging the featured men’s and women’s looks by mean words. Plastic surgery even became a popular solution to achieve an extreme makeover, even though this can never solve one’s real issue such as insecurity, lacking confidence and self-esteem. The idea these shows promote happen to proves the stereotype a lot of people would have toward the fashion industry- shallow, snobbish and hypocritical.   Quite a few featured guests in the show even expressed how they suffered from depression and some other emotion issues many years after participating the TV shows.


Image: Snog Marry Avoid
Image: Snog Marry Avoid
Image: Snog Marry Avoid

Makeover Can be a Self-Discovery


It is very sad to see how fashion can be abused to force people compromising themselves to the mainstream aesthetic standard.

To me, appearance makeover can lead to a deep self-discovery. Through my work, I learn to see the best assets of each person, understand the areas- and why- those give them anxiety. Then I help people discover their personal style and dress with confidence to celebrate what makes them special. On this journey, I realize how powerful fashion can be as a mean to help people. That’s why I am quite happy to see the emergence of Queer Eye on Netflix in 2018, followed by You Are What You Wear on BBC earlier this year. The hosts/stylists in these two show more love and acceptance to the featured guests. The shows disclose more personal issues behind these guests, and encourage confidence and self-love. Moreover, in Queer Eye, thanks to the different background of the hosts, they promote a healthier lifestyle- both physically and mentally!


If you have extra time at home during this pandemic period, watching these shows could be good to kill time and get inspired on  your style. Or get professional help to look and feel fantastic being always the shortcut.



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