There was a time when I was totally obsessed with TCL’s What not to Wear. Where philosophically I don’t like the idea of “making someone over”. I guess it’s the artist rebelling in me but there is something about “changing” someone’s “style” (which sometimes happens with the people who are less conventional) that doesn’t sit well with me- however refinement if fine. What was most interesting to me about What not to Wear was how hosts Clinton Kelly and Stacy London worked to do just that, refine the subject’s look, concentrating on giving them tips on pairings, and flattering tailoring, and cuts. This I could get into, after all I am always struggling to find a trouser or skirt that works for my hips/thighs/waist ratio. Since we as a society are so used to a “make over” subject being a dowdy “ideal” rather then a real hot mess (like putting a pair of nerdy glassed on a beautiful actress to make her “read” frumpy) the result is more just a bump up. We never really learn how to dress body types that fall out of the “norm” or creates style challenges.
Everyone knows how the fashion industry feels about the female body, or the lack there of so whenever the styling pair was faced with a curvy or plus sized woman something in me would tense. It was those episodes that had me rapt, primarily because I was concerned about what Clinton and Stacy, who’s “charm”as a team comes in the form comments that range from witty to caustic, would say behind the woman’s back. I was pleasantly surprised, they were always gracious and tactful, never commenting on the size of the woman’s body but focusing on the cut and fit of the garment(s) she was wearing. In fact if a woman had a tiny waist and full hips they encouraged her to play it up by belting shirts and dresses, if she was top heavy, with great legs, they found her shorter hemlines, and never would they seek to tent her figure. I would always exhale a sigh of relief. I always wondered how they did it, well I found an article with an interview with Stacy London talking about size verses style:
Hosted by Sparkpeople.com
Stacy London Promotes Looking Good At Any Size
Stacy London, co-host of TLC’s show “What Not To Wear” is known for being critical of people’s choices when it comes to fashion. She’s even brutal at times when it comes to what’s wrong with your wardrobe. But even though she might make negative comments about the shirt you’re wearing, she will never comment on your size or tell you that you need to lose a few pounds.
London says her job is to accentuate the positive aspects of a person’s figure and help them embrace their curves–not to make them feel bad because they don’t wear a size 4. She doesn’t feel that it’s her job to question the health of the show’s makeover candidates, but rather to help them see how a new scarf or pair of pants can take the focus off of those “trouble spots”.
London knows what it’s like to struggle with weight and fitting into the right clothes. She admitted that she’s dealt with weight problems for a lot of her life, so she knows where many of these people are coming from. She thinks that learning to dress with style can make you feel good about yourself, regardless of the number on the scale. And if you feel good, that might give you the motivation to make changes in other areas of your life–like diet and exercise.
For more on this topic on My Body My Image check out:
Body Hero Fluvia Lacerda- my Body was not meant to be hidden