TV presenter and British fashion expert Louise Roe is no stranger to retail therapy and looking good. But in her show Plain Jane, beauty isn't only skin deep as she transforms young ladies from the inside out.
When we caught up with Louise we found out whether she was ever a Plain Jane herself (though we find that hard to believe…), what's she really scared of, and her top fashion tips for an instant makeover.
Tell us about this makeover show with a difference…
In a nutshell it’s like watching a romantic comedy movie in an hour. We take a young girl who’s got no self-esteem and build up her confidence within a week by doing all sorts. We do make her over and but I will also challenge and test her with anything that takes her out of her comfort zone, so if she’s afraid of heights we’ll go sky diving. Then at the end she goes on a date with a guy she’s had a crush on for what can be years, and she tells him how she feels.
It’s a life-change for her and it’s amazing to see the change in their confidence and even things like their posture and body language. There’s always tears, it’s always an emotional time, and I’m very proud of the show.
It’s got more depth to it than other makeover shows then?
Yes, and even calling it a makeover show doesn’t quite cover it - essentially it is, but it’s more about a change on the inside than the outside.
Why have you come back for a second season?
Because of the change that it makes, but not just for the girl on the show but also for the feedback I get on twitter. A lot of girls as young as 11 or 12 watch it and have had the courage to either tell someone they fancy them, to believe in themselves, join a team at school, or even tell someone that they’re being bullied, because a lot of the girls we work with have been bullied and have gone into their shell and I’m huge on MTV’s anti-bullying campaign.
Even if it makes a difference to just one person in the whole world watching that episode then it’s worth it.
Did you ever go through an era like that yourself? When you needed your own transformation?
I did. I had the whole awkward braces phase, but I also went through a two-year phase of being bullied, which I wrote about for MTV about how I got through that and how I now use that to help the girls.
And that’s clearly why the show means a lot to you…
Yes. It took a while for me to even talk about it but I thought, you know what, it might help people in the long run if I do.
How do you kick things off when you first meet a girl for the show?
I have very long chats with them, asking a zillion questions to find out what makes them tick. It's a collaborative process; they have to be willing to be vulnerable and honest about things that they perhaps don't like to talk about - fears and dreams.
What would be the fear you’d be forced to confront?
The dark. I hate pitch black!
Tell us about one of the girls we'll be seeing on the show
There's an incredible girl called Sadie who audiences will fall in love with. A real tomboy who’s got no idea how stunning she is, and very academically bright too. It took a long time for her to figure out who she wanted to be and confront that. There were tears on her date-night but it was such an awesome, touching moment too.
And are the date-nights generally successful?
Hugely! You should see the guys' jaws dropping when she walks into the room. The newfound confidence just to look them in the eye and flirt a little is so cool to watch.
Finally, if we wanted a quick fashion transformation what would your simple top tips be?
High heels streamline the body and make you look more confident. Bright colour is so much more passionate and approachable than head-to-toe black. And one-shouldered tops and dresses are a chic, understated way to show just a hint of flesh.
By Rachel Wood
It’s like watching a romantic comedy movie in an hour
True transformation comes from within, so what’s the point in slapping on a load of lippie and setting some curling tongues to your hair when you can’t even look your life-long crush in the eye?
That’s the thinking behind Louise Roe’s show that does a makeover with a difference. Back for a second season, Louise has more Plain Jane lives to change.
Take a look at the trailer, and scroll down for our interview with Louise.