It’s a cliché to say so,but it is every girls dream come true to be transformed from an ordinary wallflower into a blooming rose. Perhaps the next best thing to getting a makeover for oneself is to watch somebody else get it we love being involved in other peoples lives and we all love happy endings. Its no wonder then,that international makeover shows like Style Her Famous,Undress and Cover Shot have been such hits.
Indian channels havent been slow in cashing in on the trend. The list of Indian makeover shows includes UTV Bindass Blue Carpet,MTVs Teen Divas and i.Superstar. Heather Gupta,UTV head,explains this popularity in terms of the one factor that accounts for the popularity of all reality shows voyeuristic involvement. Any makeover show is bound to make for very compulsive viewing because the viewer gets completely involved with the life of the person on the screen.
It also works on another levelthey are like lessons in style for the viewers.
Even within makeover shows there are variations. There are straightforward ones like Blue Carpet and Cover Shot where a persons wardrobe and personal appearance are overhauled. Then there are the pageant-styled shows like Teen Divas where grooming and personality development are in focus. The third kind which includes Style Her Famous and i.Superstar helps people become like their favourite celebrities.
Perhaps the primary reason for the popularity of these shows is that the participants are ordinary folks,plagued by such mundane problems like limp hair,cellulite and oversized clothes. Project Runway could be called a makeover show as girls transform themselves into supermodel material. But its not easy to identify with them as theyre all reed-thin and most seem to have perfect bone structure and great skin and hair, says viewer Vidya Srinivas,Whereas on something like Cover Shot,I see a pear-shaped woman look incredibly beautiful,despite her flaws,and I feel like I can do it too.
For the ones wielding the miracle wands,the experience of participating on such a show can be life-changing as well. Gupta says,It feels great when you see how positive and confident they become. And to make sure that the effects are lasting,we teach them how to achieve the look. Our work is truly successful only then.
But what about accusations that such shows perpetuate the notion that looking good is all it takes to feeling good? Chaitali Das holds no truck with people who tell her that she must change the colour of her hair to be happy. To expect me to
get my hair styled every few weeks is stupid. It wastes time and money,besides perpetuating the notion that beauty is all-important.
But one cannot deny the fact that the average person does like being prettified. Rashpal Kaur,who went on Blue Carpet is one such. She went on the show with her hair tied tightly in a bun and returned with her flowing locks,highlighted with streaks of gold and blow-dried into perfect curls. She says,The best part is my new-found confidence. I feel like I can do anything,now that I look and feel so good.
May her tribe increase.