What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this likable reality show will entertain budding fashionistas, but those who aren't bitten by the fashion bug may be yawning throughout the show. There's little here to flag for viewers of any age. Some of Shareen's interactions with her work staff are uncomfortable, but otherwise the reality show drama is kept to a minimum. Some mixed messages about body acceptance.
What's the story?
For the past seven years, vintage fashion lover Shareen Mitchell has hand-selected and re-made thrifted clothing for her mix of clients, first in Los Angeles and now in New York's Chelsea district. This half-hour reality series follows Mitchell, her husband JD Cullum, and her staff as they attempt to outfit their clients in fabulous, vintage style. This self-taught \ designer caters exclusively to female clients, for whom she and her staff handpick dresses and clothing in a "no boys allowed" warehouse. A variety of women are featured in the show, from brides-to-be to army wives. Along the way viewers learn a lot more about fashion, including terms such as passemanterie as well as how to turn boas into fabulous tutus.
Is it any good?
This show is a smidgen of eco fashion fun -- but those who lack the clothes horse gene might do best watching something else. But for frugal fashionistas and eco-minded aspiring clothing designers, this show may just make it onto the must-watch list. Shareen says that she wants to "endow women with a greater sense of their own esteem," which isn't a message you often here in the world of fashion. Indeed, Shareen's mission does seem to provide her clients with clothes that best highlight their bodies, curves and all. Unfortunately, there's a fair amount of body griping on display from the clients themselves, who complain about back fat, the need for Spanx, and not having flat stomachs. For this reason, parents may want to confront these attitudes when discussing the show with kids.
DRESSCUE ME lacks the high drama of the Real Housewives franchise, which is both a positive and a drawback. Producers seem to be trying to force drama out of interactions between Shareen and her staff, and this ends up feeling forced. The absence of cat-fighting and other typical reality show fare is actually what makes the show appealing -- especially for teens.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about body image. Shareen is positive about her clients' bodies, but her clients nitpick about their body features. How does this challenge or reinforce media messages about women's bodies? Why do you think the women talk about their bodies this way? Do boys or men talk about their bodies in similar ways? What could these women say about their bodies that is positive?
Families can talk about how emotional conflict is portrayed in reality television. Do you think the producers try to make scenes more dramatic than they really are? Why would the director do this?
Families can talk about how Shareen is portrayed on the show. Do you think she is a good role model? Is she a strong woman? Do you think that she is too harsh in her treatment of her staff? If she were a male boss would you think the same thing?