A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is a contest, and there's some unsportsmanlike behavior -- which the cameras tend to linger on. But you can also take away positive messages about working hard and being creative.
Positive Role Models
While the contestants certainly aren't uniformly well behaved or nice to each other, they all try very hard to win and demonstrate resourcefulness and creativity as they do so.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Models are seen being fitted in outfits that can be very skimpy (including lingerie).
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Occasional profanity such as "hell" or references to sex.
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Products & Purchases
Sponsors' products are mentioned frequently. Sponsors have included TRESemme, Garnier, Bluefly.com, Piper Lime, Macy's, and Elle and Marie Claire magazines.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Designers are seen drinking and smoking cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this popular reality contest includes scenes in which models are fitted into skimpy clothes. Designers drink and smoke and use mild profanity like "hell." The contestants are all motivated and creative, but they can also be two-faced and gossipy about their fellow competitors. Instead of focusing on the creative process, the show tends to highlight prima donna personalities and unprofessional behavior.
Is It Any Good?
Watching the designers create their pieces in incredibly short amounts of time with small budgets -- and usually in the midst of hysteria a-- is awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, Project Runway doesn't really linger on the design process (sketching, selecting fabric and materials, cutting, pinning, measuring, sewing, detailing). Instead, the cameras tend to focus on the drama between the contestants' over-achieving, arrogant personalities as the designers scramble to finish their challenges (and cut each other down). Then viewers watch as the competitors' unique designs are displayed on the super-thin bodies of aspiring models. Is this what we want teens to be thinking is real?
It's easy to get sucked into this admittedly addictive show. For kids serious about design, it offers a peek into the nasty side of the fashion industry -- what's behind the glitz and glitter and bling. But beware: This show is a very slippery slope and hard to turn off once you start.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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