TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Stylista TV Poster Image
Reality show tells teens that image is everything.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

One of the assistants competing for the prize is noticeably overweight, and her outward confidence about "being different" in the fashion world seems shaky. A few of the other contestants are admirable, but just as many are shallow, catty, and conspiratorial. The show also has no qualms stressing that "first impressions are important" and that fashion magazines like Elle are in the business of making people "want things" like expensive purses, designer shoes, and other of-the-moment trends.


Unless you consider bad fashion a violent crime, the coast is clear.


The hopefuls nickname one of their competitors "Boobs" due to her love of cleavage-baring clothing. Her breasts become a running joke.


Mild expletives like "damn" and "crap," plus stronger language like "s--t" and "f--k," which are bleeped.


Specific brands mentioned include both high-end lines like Chanel and budget stores like H&M. Elle magazine is also a prominent -- and obvious -- product tie-in. Contestants are vying for an editorial position at the magazine, and most of the action takes place inside the Elle offices.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking by legal adults, but it's pretty rare.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the biggest concerns in this reality competition series are an obsessive focus on fashionable brands and an overall message that says style trumps substance. Looks are essentially everything, and the show practically serves as a running commercial for Elle magazine; contestants are competing for a paid position there, and they're also being judged by the magazine's top brass. There's some mild swearing, too, plus occasional social drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byJulie P November 13, 2008

I Had Such Hopes for This

Tyra Banks, Inc. couldn't make this one interesting enough. It was a great idea, but pretty much a piece of cr#p. It could be educational to watch with y... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 24, 2010

but slob

you are stupitititty off your identity and get a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lazy but!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaty0 March 24, 2009


The drama-seeking obnoxious people are pretty much the only type on this show. Skip it!

What's the story?

With an eye on a paid editorial gig at Elle magazine and a package of other cushy prizes (including a paid lease on a Manhattan apartment and a sizable clothing allowance at H&M), 11 young fashionistas and fashionistos compete for the ultimate title of STYLISTA on this reality show executive produced by Tyra Banks. Standing in as the Miranda Priestly-esque judge (with a nod to The Devil Wears Prada) is Elle Fashion News Director Anne Slowey, who decides who to cut each week with help from Elle creative director Joe Zee.

Is it any good?

The show's premise was clearly inspired by Prada (which itself was inspired by Lauren Weisberger's best-selling book). And, much like both the book and movie, Stylista sounds exciting, glamorous, and chic. But after an initial rush of exhilaration, the show reveals itself to be a lot like so much other fashion-centric reality fare, with the same assortment of eccentric "characters" who are trying to make their dreams come true -- and are willing to do just about anything to make them happen. As for how much the show plays up Slowey's persona to make her look like an impossible-to-please ice queen? Well, no one but a real Elle staffer could say for sure.

The most interesting aspect of Stylista is that it offers audiences a look at the business of selling style. To that end, the show doesn't hide the fact that fashion magazines like Elle have considerable influence over the way we dress and, in turn, the things we buy. Quite the opposite: Stylista seems to relish that power with unabashed glee.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's opening statement about the influence of fashion magazines like Elle: "They have the power to make you want things like the new 'It' bag, the hottest must-have shoes, or the latest designs off the runway." Do you agree with that assessment? Have you ever thought about print publications having "power" over their readers? And, if they do, is the inverse true as well? Are we, as readers, power-less? What other messages does this show send? How does it make you feel about yourself and your own style?

TV details

  • Premiere date: November 1, 2008
  • Cast: Anne Slowey
  • Network: CW
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: October 6, 2020

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