If you knew me in person, you’d know that I’m about as far away from a fashionista as you can get. I hate shopping, skirts and the color pink and yet I’ve been harboring a years-long secret love affair with TLC’s What Not to Wear, one of television’s most well-known fashion programs. But I refuse to keep my love in the dark any longer.
With the show’s tenth and final season having just kicked off at the beginning of August, I’ve gone into full-blown mourning. For ten years, I watched hosts Clinton Kelly and Stacy London take some seriously fashion-challenged individuals (mostly women – men didn’t have the same remarkable quality) and turn them into seriously awe-worthy fashion players.
But let me be clear about something. I never liked What Not to Wear for its fashion advice. I never watched it for its $5,000 shopping sprees or guests who seriously believed tie-dyed long johns were at the height of fashion. I watch it for the changes in self-confidence that almost every What Not to Wear participant receives at the end of her transformation. I watch it because Stacy and Clinton encouraged women to find clothes that fit their bodies and make them feel beautiful, not to change their bodies to fit the clothes. And I love it because it makes people come out of their shells and show the world how awesome they truly are.
Do I think that What Not to Wear should end at Season 10? Probably. Nothing can last forever and eventually the show will dry up, so it should stop before it reaches that point. But do I want to see it end? No way. I think that now, more than ever, the world needs something like What Not to Wear. Something that goes against magazine covers and Hollywood expectations that tell women “Skinny is beautiful,” but instead says “People are beautiful, whether they’re a size 6 or 16.”
So here’s to you, What Not to Wear. Here’s to the laughs, tears and face palms you and I have shared. Here’s to the people you’ve helped, the lives you’ve changed and the belief you’ve given me that one day, even I might come out of my shell. I’ll watch your reruns until TLC stops playing them.