Making Over America with Trinny and Susannah

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Making Over America with Trinny and Susannah TV Poster Image
Original What Not to Wear girls take on the U.S.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Yes, this is a makeover show, but the overall message is that anyone can look good and that looking your best can give you an emotional lift to be the best you can be. The two hostesses are very validating of a woman's size as she is, rather than promoting unhealthy or unrealistic body image.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hostesss are firm but kind and supportive. They sometimes challenge a subject to the point of tears, but it's more because they're pushing her into uncomfortable territory than beacause they're being mean.


Some talk about makeover subjects feeling "sexy," in the sense of feeling attractive and good about themselves. Several shots of women in bras and panties, but it's more about finding a sense of comfort in one's own skin (as well as the right foundation garments) than about sexuality.


The ladies curse a bit; words like "boobs" and "ass" are audible (often used as body part slang), while stronger choices, like "s--t," are bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Susannah does like a nip; in at least one scene she's shown looking for a drink and not finding one. But she's never drunk, nor is there much talking about drinking, and none about smoking or drugs.

What parents need to know

Parent need to know that, for a makeover show, this series has an impressively positive message about being able to look and feel good no matter who you are (or what your size). While the hostesses are prone to a bit of salty language (the strongest words are bleeped), overall the content is pretty mild. Expect to see a good bit of undressing and underwear -- but it's not sexual in nature.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byjesuschrist August 21, 2009
sorry, but the women cursed in front of the cheerleading little ones, and though bleeped for the tv viewers, what about the lil girls being there in person?
o,... Continue reading

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What's the story?

MAKING OVER AMERICA hostesses Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine were the stars of the original British series What Not to Wear -- a makeover show bent on helping women look their best. Now they're doing the same kind of thing here in America, spending time with their subjects, going through their closet, and finally shopping with -- and showing off -- the "new woman" to her family and friends.

Is it any good?

The makeover process is an emotional one, but Trinny and Susannah are very gentle, albeit firm. The show could so easily be about consumption and letting "things" define us, as so many of these shows are. But the two women have found the right balance between recognizing the boost that looking your best can give you and recognizing that it's not just your body, but also your life that you're expressing when you dress.

And, of course, it's just plain fun to see how clothes can change the look of the same body. As makeover series go, this is a positive, generally affirming choice.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether shows like this one impact viewers' body image. Do you think makeover shows in general promote appearance over other values? How does this one do on that front?

  • How real are reality shows? How can producers use editing and re-enactments to change viewers' perception of what happened when? Why might they do that?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

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