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Making Over America with Trinny and Susannah
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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?