One Thousand Words On Giving Up My “Fear The Gopher” T-shirt

I have always wanted to be on TLC’s “What Not To Wear.”

In case you’re not familiar, people nominate a friend or family member to the show because the dress poorly.

A camera crew then follows the nominee around for a while, filming them when they don’t know it, in order to show the audience how awful their clothes really are.

Then the nominee is surprised in a public place by two fashion experts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, who offer them $5000 to buy a new wardrobe.

Of course, there are strings attached. The person has to follow Stacy and Clinton’s “rules” when purchasing their new clothes.

After the nominee agrees, there are several steps they have to take before being sent out to shop, kind of like a game show.

First, they make them watch their “secret footage.” Most of the people don’t think they look badly, even after watching a video of themselves at the Laundromat wearing skin tight leopard print pants and a baseball jersey.

What gets me about this secret footage segment is that they always have one segment where the person is talking to the camera. I suppose the camera crew stops them on the street or in the mall and say they are making a documentary or doing a news story about fashion to get them to talk about their clothes.

But how often is the average person stopped by a camera crew? It would make me immediately suspicious, but these people are oblivious.

Next they make the person put on three of their favorite outfits, not all at once, and stand inside a 360 degree mirror.

You can not hide in a 360 degree mirror. And yet people still insist that they look ok, good even, in their hideous clothes.

After the mirror, Stacy and Clinton show the person a new look, on a mannequin. If the person has modeled a floor length floral prairie skirt and sequined tank top as their work clothes, they’ll show them trousers and a shirt that are more appropriate.

People keep up the fight in this portion of the show. They look at the mannequin like she is wearing Lady Gaga’s meat dress. They wrinkle up their noses, they pick one tiny speck out of a print shirt and complain that they don’t like that color.

Lastly, and for some reason this is the most traumatic, they take all the person’s old clothes and dump them in a symbolically large metal trash can.

I tend to lose interest in the show after this point. They send the person out shopping alone, but watch them on a camera. The person screws up, ignores the rules, has a melt down or all three, while Stacy and Clinton make snide comments about their choices.

Then on the second day of shopping, the experts swoop in, help the person find great clothes and save the day.

After the shopping, they get their hair and makeup done, and my interest in the show is revived.

Eight times of our ten, the person will have long hair and absolutely insist that the professional stylist (my hair dresser calls them hair artists, but I can’t bring myself to do that) is not going to cut it. Not even an inch.

If I was sitting in front of someone who normally gets $500 a haircut, they can do whatever the frick they please to my head.

It’s just hair. It will grow back.

But adult women start boo hooing over the idea that someone is going to cut off their inappropriately long, unhealthy looking hair.

After that they survive the hair cut, they get their makeup done by this flawlessly beautiful make up expert whose skin would make a supermodel jealous.

At the end, the person models three of their new outfits for Stacy and Clinton, proclaim how their lives have been changed and return home for a big reveal to the people who nominated them.

And they all live happily ever after.

I make fun, but I still think it would be great to be on the show.

Of course the $5000 wardrobe is certainly appealing, but it’s more than just that. I would love to have someone who knows what they are talking about tell me how to dress for my body.

Surprisingly the show doesn’t only feature skinny, beautiful people. Some of the women are large, some are tall, some are tiny.

They are all women though. I wonder if they ever transform men.

It would be great to have Stacy advise me on how to find a jacket that fits in the shoulders and sleeves. Or get Clinton’s thoughts on straight leg vs. boot cut jeans.

Sometimes when I’m shopping, I’ll look in the mirror and say, “Stacy and Clinton would not approve of this outfit.”

Just practicing.

I wouldn’t be one of those subjects that argues every step of the way, either. Some of them are so whiny that I have to turn the television off.

But I would argue just enough to make the show interesting. Probably about shoes, since I don’t really like high heels with pointy toes and they love them.

And there are a couple of pieces of clothing they would hate that I’d try to keep, including my “Fear the Gopher” t-shirt from grad school and flannel pajama pants printed with penguins wearing winter hats and scarves.

What? It’s not like I wear them in public. Or together.

I’ve actually thought about dressing badly in order to have someone nominate me to show. But I don’t know if I could do it, especially on days when I meet with donors or board members.

I guess I should just hope that they run out of the truly style-less and move on to us average dressers.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep my eyes open for camera crews wanting to interview me about my personal style because I know that means Clinton and Stacy are lurking around somewhere.


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