“What Not to Wear” was one of my favorite shows, and I’m very sad that it’s over. I loved the hosts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, and felt a little like I was getting to hang out with them every week while they made someone over. I liked everything about the show, really. They worked with real people, of all ages and sizes. They weren’t just transforming the already stunning among us into fashion goddesses… they were taking real people with real issues and improving their lives. Stacy was the first TV personality who helped me come to terms with the idea that style was not a number… that it had nothing to do with size at all. For a girl who’s spent her whole life struggling with her weight, this was a heady concept. She really helped me learn to “dress the body I had now,” not the body I wish I had. It helped me, genuinely. I’m not a big fan of the term “girl crush,” but in this case I suppose it’s apt. Stacy is smart and funny and attractive without being perfect or plastic. I saw her once, a few years ago, at a public appearance in a mall. We were allowed to ask questions, so I had one ready, more because I just wanted to speak to her than because I cared about the question itself. It paid off; she complimented me on my look, calling it “Modern Bohemian.” I was the only person there whose clothing she complimented. I floated instead of walked for the rest of the day, I was so giddy. Stacy London liked my outfit! I might not have been the prettiest girl at the mall that day, and I certainly wasn’t the thinnest. But regardless, Stacy London had noticed me, and I was elated. I was also relieved she hadn’t seen my feet, since my “Modern Bohemian” ensemble was paired with flip flops. Very Southern Californian, style-wise, but definitely a fashion “don’t” from Stacy’s perspective!
When I found out that “What Not to Wear” was ending, I was devastated. But then I saw a post on Facebook, asking for people to write in and describe the impact the show had on their lives. I wrote in, of course, and was excited but slightly terrified when I got a response from a producer saying they’d like to Skype with me about what I’d written. There were releases to sign and rules to follow, but I did it. Went through their whole process, stomach in knots and with hands shaking so badly they were still shaking 20 minutes after my Skype session was over. They taped me for a grand total of seven minutes… I figured there was little chance I’d make it onto the finale, but I’d had fun trying. I never heard anything after that. I was a bit disappointed but mostly I was just happy to have been brave enough to have given it a shot. I’m not always courageous when it counts.
Anyway, I didn’t watch the finale the night it aired, but of course I recorded it. I went to a Halloween event with Avery the next day, and was stunned when I ran into a friend who told me she’d seen me on the finale. I’d assumed I’d been cut. Surprise! About one minute later I got a text from my mom who had just watched the episode and couldn’t believe I hadn’t told her I was in it. Of course, I hadn’t known. The next 20 minutes at the Halloween event were the longest of my life. All I wanted to do was go home and watch myself on TV. I couldn’t help it!
It was very, very strange forwarding through a show looking for my own face, but I eventually found it. I spoke for only about three seconds… a bit short of my promised 15 minutes of fame, but I’ll take it. They were three seconds spent on the series finale of “What Not to Wear,” one of my favorite shows of all time. I am honored to have been even a small part of that. I eventually watched the whole episode, and found myself crying at the end. I hope Stacy gets her own show someday, because I would hate to live without her weekly dose of fashion advice, not to mention her snarky sense of humor. It was a great show, and she was amazing. Her book is great, too, and goes a long way toward explaining her unique fashion perspective. She gets it, she really does. I loved her and the show. They will be missed.