Saturday, December 1, 2007

Judged by a jury of our peers

Lucinda was 41 years old and had recently escaped a hellish marriage. She had been forced to move, with her two children, into a shelter. She looked like life had chewed her up and spit her out. Then Style by Jury got their hands on her.

By the end of one week, Lucinda was a new woman. She’d had her teeth capped, her eyes lasered, her hair tamed, and she’d been poured into a svelte little cocktail dress. She was all smiles when the jury delivered their final verdict. She declared herself filled with newfound confidence.

So, what exactly is the message? Is it a wonderful blessing that this woman, so good-hearted and downtrodden, has been given a new lease on life through her renovated appearance? Sure, I guess so. But what about the thousands of other hard-luck cases, who don’t have the good fortune to be chosen for a makeover show?

If society is under-appreciating so many good-hearted people just because they can’t afford artificial teeth, I submit that makeover shows are not the solution. I propose filming a TV show that interviews and appreciates good-hearted people just as they are. I would call it Hidden Treasures, and it would have just as many inspiring and heart-warming moments as What Not to Wear. Yeah, yeah, I know. In my dreams. When pigs fly.

I gave myself a makeover within the past year. I cut off my mop of frizzy hair and went for a sleek, short look. I learned how to wear makeup. I got rid of my thrift-store wardrobe and bought good clothes that fit. And people did start treating me differently. Some women at work who used to not have the time of day for me suddenly got all chummy.

But that didn’t feel like a victory. The people who decided to start being friendly with me just because I looked “cool” weren’t people I wanted to be friends with anyway. My new look gives me a psychological advantage, but not in a heartwarming way. The bottom line: it gives me more influence with shallow people.

Beyond basic hygiene and some evidence of personal pride, appearances are over-rated. Give me a brilliant, funny person with funky teeth and glasses any day of the week. [/end rant]


R.E.H. said...

Those make-over shows are over and done with for the participants the day they come back home, I think.

As soon as professional help in maintaining those "stunning" looks are no more, they will start to fall back to their old self again - even if it takes a little time.

I too recently decided to change my appearance, and I have also noticed the difference in how I'm being treated by people.

kate said...

It is kind of sad to realise how much value our society places on looks (and youth ... but that's for another day).

Sparkling Red said...

I do have some mixed feelings about this issue, because I think there is value to appreciating aesthetics. I guess the problems arise when physical beauty is decreed to be the most important thing about a person. That's just wrong.