She takes women’s style from tragic to magic as host of the Style Network’s ‘How Do I Look?’, but it is Jeannie Mai’s philosophy about fashion that sets the television show apart from the rest.
Jeannie Mai admits make-over shows are huge right now, so much so she’s “kind of sick of them” herself. However, she has reason to be confident that How Do I Look?, televised in Australia on Foxtel, stands out from the crowd.
The program’s unique approach to getting to the core of why women are wearing their husband’s boxers in public (yes, really) combined with Jeannie’s insightful fashion beliefs makes for an interesting learning curve for women.
“How Do I Look? is really about why this woman is dressing this way, who messed with her mind to make her think she is worth less than what she really is,” Jeannie Mai told Australian Women Online over the phone from Los Angeles.
“That’s what pisses me off. That’s what gets me thinking differently about the show… I know that there are other women out there dealing with the same struggles.”
Jeannie uses her psychology of style, “wearapy”, to help women learn more about what fashion can do for them. Wearapy, she explains, is about how style dictates the type of relationship you want to build with the rest of the world. “It is the exclamation of what fashion can do in a therapeutic sense for our bodies and our mind and our soul.”
“Meaning, if you’re feeling down in your life, if you’re going through a job release, a break-up, if you’re down on your finances, what you wear in the textures and the colours can really change the way you present yourself to the rest of the world. The way the rest of the world will react to you will a lot of times fuel you into believing in yourself again,” she said.
“It’s about therapeutically taking an honest invested interest in the morning to say…‘you know what? Today I am walking into the office in bright yellow because I want to say notice me because I do a damn good job for this company’.”
Jeannie’s prayer box is another indication of her thoughtfulness about life and her passion for creating a better world. The prayer box, at Runyon Canyon, a popular hiking spot in Los Angeles, encourages visitors to share their power of prayer with others.
“When I moved to LA, I just found that LA was very symbolic of many people’s lives. There’s so much chaos, so much pressure to kind of feel like you’ve got your own thing going on that you have to have a reset button…some area that allows you to channel your own time of solitude. I put the prayer box out five years ago on top of the hill just to see if there was anybody else that felt the same way, by encouraging them to leave a prayer and take a prayer. Within a week that prayer box was chock full and it was amazing to just see that other people had so much hope and aspiration to prayer for others.”
Jeannie has been hosting How Do I Look? for three years, and puts her success down to her mother’s wise words.
“Ever since I was a little girl my Mum explained to me how there were millions of people in the world. We all have eyes, lips, mouths, arms, we all look the same, but the only thing that will separate us is our fashion.”
And Australia has a special place in Jeannie’s heart. “Tell Australia that I get so many messages and have so many amazing fans out there and I love every single person who really strives to be different and to really be their own fashion-forward diva in their own way. I just love Australia,” she said.
You can follow Jeannie’s blog, I Heart Jeannie Mai at iheartjeanniemai.com and check out all the show details, including some before and after shots, at www.mystyle.com/mystyle/shows/howdoilook/index.jsp.
How Do I Look? has just been nominated for its second Emmy Award and is currently airing in Australia on Foxtel.