2/20/2006

The Church of the Holy Makeover


Of all the makeover shows on TV, easily the most ridiculously ageist is TLC's 10 Years Younger. I mean, obviously that's pretty much the whole premise. But still it takes it to dizzying extremes. Looking old--and especially looking older than you are--is not just negligent, it's a sin. I mean, first they take the willing victim--the penitent--and throw 'em in a plexiglass box, and parade 'em in the public square, where they have people gawk at 'em, mock 'em, and finally guess their age. All this while the preening pink-clad fashion priest Mark Montano (pictured above) berates them for their own good and, of course, for their eventual salvation.

It's very medieval.

The show is somewhere between Queer Eye, where makeovers are mainly private affairs and don't include any medical procedures, and the invasive bone-breaking of Extreme Makeover and public "reveal" of The Swan.

All of these makeover shows are quasi-religious to begin with. I once was lost, but now I'm found. So what if it happens to be by a bunch of finnicky queer eyes? But this one is the most overtly quasi-religious I've seen so far. The penitents subject themselves to public humiliation for their sins before they submit themselves to the scheming monks and evil priests who will finally transform them. But in this case it's not eternal life they're aiming for, or even 25 years of omnipotence, like Faust. It's enough to just knock ten years off their looks. Fair enough. I mean we live in an age of diminished expectations.

The host, the aforementioned Mark Montano, is actually less like a preening evil priest than a gay golem in a greased-up pompadour. Saturday I went to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton to see the excellent Edges of Grace exhibition, and with all due respect, Montano reminded me of the "Little Homo" figure in Russell Bile's rather provocative porcelain sculpture, Onward Christian Soldiers (Little Homo, Jesus & Terri Schiavo). You have to admit there is an uncanny resemblance. I mean, were Montano to lose the pompadour, and be covered from head to toe in thick greasy black fur you would not be able to tell the two apart.

The TV makeover craze has certainly been a boon to bitchy fashionistas. But can someone tell me why anyone would go to someone dressed like Montano for advice on what to wear? It's like Carson Kressley on QEFTSG. I lived through the eighties, people. There's nothing the least bit funny about them.

But at least Queer Eye's got some cute queer guys. I mean, Kyan is practically edible. Thom is definitely cute, even when he camps it up. And even Carson, when he's bitchy, is bitchy in a lovable way. But then the show has a different dynamic because it's always guys who are getting the makeovers. The queer crew has got to be on its best behavior.

The crew of 10 Years Younger is lacking somehow, sorry to say. Hairstylist Jenn MacDonald has a dayglo paigeboy that makes her look like Prince Valiant on X. Would you trust this woman with your hair? Then there's dolled-up Damone Roberts, "considered the most gifted artist in the eyebrow business," whose flagship eyebrow salon is in--where else?--Beverly Hills. He's just way too eyebrowcentric for me. Especially with the boys.

For once and for all, there is nothing--REPEAT NOTHING--wrong with male monobrows.

And nowadays even just a little hair at the bridge of your nose is considered a monobrow in bad need of waxing. Leave it alone, bitches. People don't know when to stop. I mean, look at Jason Schwartzman. LEAVE THEM ALONE, JASON.

Even these Nascar bitches are getting in on the trend. Yeah, I'm talking to you, JIMMIE JOHNSON. Do you want to be mistaken for Joan Crawford? LEAVE 'EM ALONE, BITCH.

Separated at birth?

But of the crew of 10 Years Younger the creepiest of them all is the evil Doctor Botox, here. Dr. Guanche is its real name, and it has obviously taken the age-old adage "Physician, treat thyself!" to heart. Again and again and again. Its flesh is eerily flawless, sure, but honestly, who wants to look like a J.C. Penney's shop-window mannequin? Of course it has lost any and all facial expression it may once have had. It's probably 107 years old.

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