I have a confession to make: I spend a large portion of my free time watching really crap TV, and just lately I've discovered a show more painful than most... With a title like Snog Marry Avoid, I guess I shouldn't really have been surprised.
What DID surprise me, however, was the amount of Goths putting themselves forward to take part in this cringe-worthy makeover show, wherein the saccharine ex-Atomic Kitten singer Jenny Frost aids 'POD', the robotic Personal Overhaul Device, to turn those who enjoy 'extreme' fake fashion, be it heavy make-up, fake tan, loads of glitter or bling, into 'natural beauties'. (Yes, you CAN be a Goth and have natural beauty... I can do a post on this if you'd like.)
POD does not differentiate between fake-tanned glamour models and bleached-blonde (look who's talking) WAG wannabes, brightly-coloured multi-pierced ravers and Harajuku fashion fans, or us black-clad types, being equally rude to all of them (I'm not sure it's acceptable to call people a freak even if you are a computer, but I might be biased) before a team of BBC stylists turns them into identikit 'normies', often wearing a woolly beret for some reason.
It's interesting to note that POD and the make-under team often refuse to work their magic on Gothy types - I have a suspicion this is because many of the Goths refuse to allow it. However they even manage to rope in some underground celebrities for their show, mainly for the shock factor as far as I can tell, as Nick Painless of The Shanklin Freak Show demonstrates in this clip on the BBC website.
|Biohazard goes face-to-screen with POD|
Source: Google Images
The very dashing fashion student Tommy, with enviable eyebrows and fabulously Gothy hairstyle describes his style as 'putting the 'fun' in 'funeral''. I actually LOVE what this guy wears! A shame we don't get to see POD's reaction... And how about these two fabulous punk ladies?!
Think I'm done yet? Think again. On YouTube we have the lovely Stitches13, well-known in the UK Goth scene, and her ex-boyfriend Carl, submitting to a makeunder. A well-attired cybergoth refuses the makeunder (watch from 03:06), and the BBC even get their hands on Izzi the elf, alt model, Cyberdog girl and aficionado of bright fashion (with the MOST ADORABLE smile ever). And oh my god, they should not have been allowed to do this to Collagen Girl.
And more. Here (Angel Rose, big-haired Goth from LA). Here (Pixie, the Gothic Geisha - although she's not a Goth). And here (more of Stitches13 and Carl at the start, assorted beauty tips from people on the street including several Goths, followed by a Visual Kei fan). And here. Oh, and even here.
I really love watching these clips and seeing all the daring, outlandish and beautiful fashions... but I disagree that POD's idea of natural beauty is always better. It's a shame that the creators of this show can't seem to see that beauty can be about more than looking 'normal' and that having fun with your look is a simple pleasure. In the cases of some of the divas and Barbie girls (I actually quite like her look, it's fun!) the makeunders might be beneficial, because the image they are creating is to make them more attractive to the opposite sex and in some cases more about self-esteem; it's nice for them to realise that they can still be pretty and attractive without four tonnes of slap and false eyelashes. But when people are just experimenting, having fun and enjoying their image - what's wrong with that, why does it need to be changed?