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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this makeover series -- in which a trio of transgender fashionistas transform a woman's look -- involves a fair amount of discussion of the trangender experience, including some brief, though frequent, conversations about the process of gender transformation. The show creates parallels between some of the experiences of the transgender community with some of the personal experiences people go through when trying to look and feel better about themselves. While much of the focus is on looking good on the outside, it also contains positive messages about being comfortable in one's own skin. The show contains some occasional strong language (like the word “bitch”), and some mild references to looking and feeling sexy. Alcoholic beverages are visible at social functions.
What's the story?
TRANSFORM ME is a reality series featuring three transgender fashionistas helping women transform themselves both inside and out. Each episode features Laverne Cox, Jamie Clayton, and Nina Poon helping a woman who is uncomfortable in her own skin become the confident and attractive person she’s always wanted to be. As the trio guides her through a head-to-toe makeover, they share some of the wisdom they gained while undergoing their own personal gender transformations in order to help her find the courage to transform her attitude about herself.
Is it any good?
Like most makeover shows, it offers lots of fashion advice and makeup tips designed to help young women look better, and therefore feel better, about themselves. But what sets this show apart is its use of the transgender community’s experience to offer some deeper insight about what transforming oneself really entails. It sends the message that it is important for a person’s looks to reflect who they really are on the outside. It also notes that in order to do so, people must have the courage to really face their insecurities and be comfortable with who they are.
The show contains some mildly campy moments, but the messages it sends about self-awareness, and improving one’s self-esteem are all very positive. It also contains information about the transgender community, and offers some insight into the emotional journey that people go through when undergoing gender transformations. Overall, it is an upbeat and fun reminder that in order to make yourself look beautiful on the outside, you should really start by transforming who you are within.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what being transgender really means. What is the difference between being gay and being transgender? What are some of the stereotypes associated with transgender people? Do the hosts of this show reinforce or undermine these stereotypes? Where can people go to get more information about the transgender community?