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28th December
2008
written by Steph
The first ever (and likely last) Stylista.  Surprised?  No?  Ok, good.

The first ever (and likely last) Stylista. Surprised? No? Ok, good.

I admit, the title of this post might be overly optimistic – as of now, I am not aware of any talks of their being future seasons of this show, which is probably just as well given that it was not very good. Then again, my go-to guilty pleasure, America’s Next Top Model, has become nigh painful to watch (no longer campy fun, it’s just embarrassing) and it’s unclear when the next season of Project Runway will air, so Stylista was my fashion filler tv show. And so, as I predicted from about the second episode, Johanna wins the dubious title of Stylista. Is anyone surprised? I mean, she was going up against Dyshawn (sp? I don’t really care enough to look it up), who had already been taken to task at least three times for copy errors. And I don’t care what Anne Slowey & co. would have us believe, we all know a junior editor at Elle (or any fashion rag) ain’t gonna be designing the layout or styling the photo shoots, since those positions are held by people like “graphic designers” and “fashion stylists”. Junior editors are primarily going to be performing those menial administrative/secretarial tasks (i.e., getting coffee, picking up Anne’s secretary’s dry cleaning, making photocopies) and copy editing text. So if you’re not a good fact checker, don’t have an eye for details, and are a poor proofreader? You’re not going to be an effective junior editor. Ergo, Johanna had to take the competition, especially when it came down to her and Dyshawn. I’m sure it also didn’t hurt that Johanna was one of the few contestants who was actually capable of comporting herself in a professional manner. She was probably the most intelligent person on the show (though how she mad it through university without figuring out effective study skills for that “memorize 80 people” challenge is beyond me), and when it came down to the final three, she was the only one not to make any egregious errors in her interview with the Elle head honcho.  Who goes into an interview at a magazine and then says that they had never been interested in it prior to their acceptance on a reality show?  And everyone knows you need to ask questions during your interview, in order to express interest in the position in question.  Sometimes you wonder how some people even manage to function on a daily basis.  I maintain that it’s not a deal-breaker on a show like America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, American Idol, or Top Chef to be fairly eccentric (read: insane), because the end job relies on individuals being talented (or you know, attractive). Of course this is only true up to a point, because Naomi Campbell may be gorgeous but talk about high maintenance. However, if your reality show is based on you offering someone a position in an actual company (such as say, The Apprentice), then while it might be good for the show to have dysfunctional and crazy contestants, it is probably not good for your company itself to hire exclusively from a pool of said individuals. At the very least, you probably want to hire the person who will be the least disruptive in the position you’re placing them. With respect to Stylista, Johanna probably best fit this description. I think she could do with a reality check, since the frequent crying and lamenting how she’s given up so much to be there was a bit much. If she’s as talented as she purports to be, then this paired with her conviction that she must be part of fashion should be more than enough to allow her to search for other fashion-related opportunities. I mean, I’m not wrong in stating that as elitist an industry it may be, plenty of people have broken into jobs at Elle through hard work and dedication rather than the now more popular reality-show route. Because I like to be as unproductive as possible when I’m on vacation, I spent some time looking up Johanna’s blog during her pre-Stylista life.  Some of the style tips she discusses are totally reasonable (I fully back her disdain of Crocs), but she certainly has the mentality that skinny is always better and if you aren’t rail thin, then this is a huge character flaw.  Anyone can be thin if you just want it enough, or didn’t you know that?  She rather obnoxiously flaunts her preference for clothing/fashion over food – personally, the idea of having been on a diet since 6th grade is pretty repugnant to me, but I guess everyone has their own priorities.  It’s certainly Johanna’s prerogative to have hers, but the whole “skinny is best!” mentality - while very fashion forward, I guess - misses the idea that, in fact, being neither over nor underweight is ideal.  I may be just shy of 5 feet tall, but I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t wear 90lbs total mass very well at all.  But all of this is beside the point, I really wanted to make, which is simply that the Johanna presented on her blog is far snarkier and cattier than the one we saw on tv, and this is a good thing.  I’m all for people being sassy, but there’s a time and a place for it, and while Dyshawn will likely be slapped with a harassment suit one day (how’d he like the cut of that? 😉 ), Johanna seems to know how to tailor her opinions and comments to the environment so that she can remain professional.  This is critical if you want to work in a professional environment!  Now, if only she can the get the weird, over-reactive crying jags under control, she might have half a chance at succeeding! Anyway, Stylista was pretty terrible, but in a mesmerizing way.  I would probably watch a second season if one were to ever air, but I think the program design could use some tweaking.  Overall, I give this season a great big MEH.

3 Comments

  1. taryn
    12/28/2008

    I have to admit that i stumbled upon Stylista sometime near the start of December, and it was a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. It — and its contestants, for that matter — were so bad that it was good! I was quite happy that Megan made it into the final 3, because she made for some SERIOUSLY good entertainment. But yes, it was a total crap of a show, and i’ve since moved on to all the Project Catwalks that i’ve missed!

  2. stephandtony
    12/29/2008

    Oh, Project Catwalk! I totally forgot that existed – somehow it just doesn’t have the oomph of Project Runway… I think I saw the first season, and part of the second? When Kelly Osbourne took over hosting it? I did think they got some pretty good challenges – I particularly like the one where they go to the vintage clothing factory, pick a bag of clothes, and then they all have to swap! Brilliant!

  3. 12/30/2008

    I do enjoy the picture of Johanna, mostly for the fact that her skin manages to be three different colors (healthy, skin colored arm, green face that somehow manages to transition to gray). I guess jaundice is the new black.

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