Thanks, but I Don’t Want a Makeover

 was chain-watching old episodes of Trinny and Susannah Undress the Nation this weekend. For the uninitiated, the show is about two posh women who teach the not-so-posh ones how to dress. First they go through their wardrobe casually flinging away anything they find remotely revolting, which is pretty much the entire wardrobe. Then they admonish the poor guinea pig for always dressing in denims. And finally they get on with the makeover (the most cringe worthy part in my opinion). A change of hair colour, a tight dress to show off ‘those beautiful breasts’, a pair of heels – everything alien and uncomfortable to someone not used to dressing up. The episode is wrapped up with a final scene with the new and improved version of the woman, trussed up like a turkey, ready to be served for sacrifice.

Was she really so hideous that her entire personality had to be wiped clean? Is it so terrible to hide behind a pair of baggy jeans and geeky glasses?

I like to travel alone and when I do, I enjoy looking my worst. I went for a couple of days to Goa and loved my big Bermuda shorts and tees. They liberated and protected me. And this whole pressure of showing off your best bits can get a bit annoying. I may have great legs but I may not be comfortable in a miniskirt. Ditto for someone who has great breasts but may not want to wear a low cut top.

In the past the word makeover was used lightly. A slash of red lipstick, a new haircut, a new dress. Easy stuff. These days it means being a shadow of your old self. Just a look at the Instagram handles of popular blogs, shows women with perfect skins drowning their faces in makeup. They cover imperfections, contour features, bake the makeup (so it lasts longer), highlight cheeks, plump lips, add lash extensions, beef up brows, shape the lids…and I haven’t even started on the hair yet. Oh and of course Kylie Jenner, the poster child of makeovers is now telling us how to contour our ears.

I think Cosmopolitan editor Nandini Bhalla hit the nail on the head in her November edit note. This is after she tried the entire contour, bake, highlight routine. “My transformation had turned into a trap. Instead of enjoying make-up, I had begun to rely on it. And that changed everything because I no longer felt comfortable in my skin. I thought of an article I’d read about wives who never let their husbands see them without make-up, and celebrities who make headlines if they dare to step outside the house without their ‘game face’ on.” Like any intelligent woman she called off the ‘transformation’ in two weeks.

My advice would be not to begin in the first place. Personally, my look has changed drastically over the years. But it was because of years of yoga, confidence because of age, and the exposure thanks to my current job. But if anyone offered me a makeover today I would say no thanks. How about a make-under instead?

Oh and before I forget, here’s a mind numbing episode of the aforementioned series:

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