When Ridgewood resident Sarah Feldman decided to take the brave step of changing up her look to go with her growing businesses and roles in the community, she didn’t ask for advice from friends and family or stop by a local clothing store — she turned to national TV.
But the show, TLC’s “Love, Lust or Run,” had a larger impact on the 27-year-old and some of its viewers than she ever imagined.
“I was worried. I didn’t know what they would do,” Feldman said.
“I thought they would put me in a boring business suit,” she added.
Feldman had only seen the makeover show, hosted by Stacy London, formerly of the same network’s “What Not to Wear,” once before applying, and thought it would be “funny” to send her footage, but didn’t think she would be “weird enough.”
But her look made the cut, and it made quite the impression on London. When Feldman stepped into the studio with her pink hair and cat coat, London reacted by saying, “I’m confused” and “You look like a sherpa.”
Another of Feldman’s looks, which she described on the June 19 episode as “granny chic meets acid princess raver goth child from the ‘60s,” showed her sporting butterfly wings.
But the busy entrepreneur knew it was time to stop hiding in her clothes, something she felt like she was stuck doing from her adolescence.
As a new member of Community Board 5, she wanted a more appropriate look for her new role, but to also maintain her artistic, creative side, said Feldman, who also runs Ridgewood Social and Ridgewood Market.
The premise of the show, beyond a basic makeover, is to ask people on the street to rate the person’s look and say whether it makes them feel “love,” “lust” or makes them want to “run.”
Though the comments were unflattering, including that she belonged in an “artisan enclave,” and that her look wasn’t appropriate for business, Feldman said she “felt relief” when she heard the comments because she had been hiding for a long time. She was actually more apprehensive about the makeover.
Feldman not only ditched the pink hair, turning into a brunette (she had predicted that the hair stylist would make her blonde), but was also shown by London how to pick out better fitting clothes.
“I look so smart,” Feldman said during the reveal.
Not only did the people on the street now love what she was wearing, but her fiance Neil surprised Feldman by appearing via video to tell her that he loved her new look and to say that she was “still the beautiful girl I fell in love with.”
London also surprised Feldman with a bag — made from her cat coat.
“Everything she was doing beforehand was really about creating a distraction and now she is going to see herself as an asset,” London said.
Since the show, Feldman said she has kept the brown hair and gotten rid of her old clothes.
“I didn’t really think shows like that had an impact,” she said.
Feldman’s appearance also made an impression on some of those watching. She has received letters from girls around the country saying that they can relate to her experience and honesty, and that they “don’t feel alone anymore.” Some even told her they cried during the episode and lauded Feldman’s bravery for going on the show.
“It wasn’t my intention,” she said, “but it was a definite positive.”
- Web series to be filmed in Ridgewood’s Valentino Food Market on Thursday
- Pilot program promoting public transportation launched in CB 5 area
- Imagine a Ridgewood waterfront hotel at Newtown Creek