Each episode of “What I Hate About Me” features one woman who volunteers the top 10 things she “can’t stand” about herself. Hosted by the willowy and perky (“Clean House” ) actress, Lisa Arch, the show offers “experts” who help the makeover subject make the changes necessary to make to solve the dilemma or problem.
I gathered a small group of friends to watch the preview show of What I Hate About Me. Some felt the very title was a negative. Shouldn’t we be focusing on what someone likes about herself, and downplay her supposed faults. But ok…we went with it.
In this debut show, a very tall young woman with the unusual name, Anbar, dealsl not only with her height, but also some serious, and some trite, personal image issues. I am not quite sure why Anbar was picked, but clearly, no one forced her into it. This gets a thumbs up from me, since I hate to see nice people squirm as the makeover team tries to convince the victim that change is good, and that they know what changes are best.
The program appears to be a makeover show in the “Queer Eye” genrie. But the ground-breaking “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” show featured quick, physical or image fixes, and focused little on life enhancement. This show seems to want to strive for more depth, but that’s a complex goal, and there is just 60 minutes to fix 10 “hates” in one whirlwind day. Your eally can’t do very much in a fedw minutes when you have to present, discuss, and deal with each topic. Also, some of the issues brought up were serious, and some, just silly. On the segment featuring Anbar, other than the fact that Anbar couldn’t get “cute” clothes that fit 6’+ frame, she didn’t really seem to need an image makeover at all. Anbar’s more interesting and serious “hates” included a chronic dermatological condition, and horredously unhealthy eating habits. But these are not things that can be fixed with powder and paint, or in a day. Other “issues” seemed contrived and out of place, such as Anbar’s inability to write a nice thank you note, or her frustration with not being able to add “color” to a bland, rental apartment.
Real change doesn’t come with a quick fix, administered by an “expert.” But still, we all liked the concept of the show. I just think it tries to do too much, too fast. The format would work better if the show followed more than one woman per show over a period of weeks, as in “The Biggest Loser” or “Ruby” or the like. My group of unofficial reviewers wanted to love Anbar. We wanted her to emerge from the hour, smiling, confident, and really hopeful about her future. But at the big reveal to family and friends (the classic way to end a makeover show) we just didn’t believe that Anbar had been transformed, any more than buying a new outfit on her own, would do.
Another downer is host Lisa Arch. She’s attractive, but she didn’t seem at all qualified to be a “guide” and give the makeover subject emotional support, or even a bit more perspective as they went through the various issues on tap for the episode. In fact, She seemed ill at ease when Anbar, at one point, became emotional. Lisa isn’t an advice columnist, a life or career expert, or even an image consultant or stylist, so we felt she added little to Anbar’s supposed transformation process. The show would benefit from the services of a bona-fide advice or lifestyle expert, especially one that has image consultant/beauty/fashion expertise). Actually, those are my qualifications)!! In this show, celebrity hair stylist Ted Gibson (who I have met on a number of occasions- a really nice man!) seemed better suited to the task of dealing with Anbar’s transformation, than did Lisa Arch. My feeling is that if you’re going to do a serious makeover show, don’t “Hollywood-ize” it. A pretty actress as the host is actually a detriment, since the focus is supposed to be on the beauty of the makeover subject. Lisa’s tall and lean body and glamorous looks, are actually, competition. More useful would be someone who could lend a hand to the makeover subject when things get a bit “bumpy,” and whose looks wouldn’t compete with the woman who is being made over. How disappointing to go through a makeover only to be upstaged by the host!
The show has promise, although I hope they will make some changes. The Style Network has tons of great shows (including: How Do I Look?) that are not only fun to watch, but that can help you make some improvements in how you look and feel, too. It is one of my favorite channels and I admit…I watch at least one thing on The Style Network every single day!!!
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