Today’s Guest Post from Claire Wallace:
I only found out who you are about 6 months ago. As the proud new owner of a Foxtel subscription, I happily stumbled across your program How to Look Good Naked thinking to myself, ‘hmmm, this should be interesting….’
It turns out that I came to the party quite late because the series has been running since 2006. But from that first episode I watched, I was both gobsmacked and delighted at the positive and inspiring message. At its simplest, How to Look Good Naked plucks women from all over the UK who have devastatingly low self esteem and poor body image, and teaches them how to love themselves.
There is no denying that we live in a culture where the fashion, beauty, advertising and many other industries present a depressingly narrow view of desirability. We live in a culture where magazines proclaim “How to love your body!” and “Sexy at any size!” whilst in the same breath, subtly (and not so subtly) suggest why we must aspire to something better. “How to get your best body!” and the diets and workout schedules of models and actresses – do these sound familiar? All this is enough to throw a rational person into a fit of rage complete with steam coming out the ears (in my case at least). But for many of us, feeling that we aren’t good, attractive or desirable enough comes at a high psychological cost.
How to Look Good Naked tells the stories of women who literally cannot bear to look at themselves in a mirror. Women who cry when they see themselves (often for the first time in years) without clothes on. Women who feel that they are disgusting, who are ashamed and embarrassed of their bodies and how they look. The raw emotion of these scenes says a lot about the complexity of body image and how it relates to things like illness, pregnancy, puberty and our relationships with our friends, families and significant others – as well as our relationship with ourselves.
But then our Fairy Gokmother walks in, and with sensitivity, encouragement, and a sense of humour begins to challenge what we see and how we feel about our bodies. The approach is not to ‘fix’ people or the body parts they don’t like. It’s about teaching acceptance and to love our bodies. It’s about unlocking confidence and making the most of what we’ve got. It’s about the fact that we each deserve to feel good about ourselves on the inside and out and that we deserve our own kindness and respect.
Gok, you talk about fabulous bangers*, gorgeous bums, scorching hot hips, lovely tums, beautiful waists, and Amazonian, petite and voluptuous goddesses…. You teach each and every apple, pear, straight up-and-down, petite, top heavy, and hourglass one of us that we are gorgeous, desirable, and worthy of attention in our own way.
This letter is to thank you, and celebrate the amazing stories in which you have played a part. There isn’t much on TV which leaves me feeling warm, fuzzy, and better about myself and the world. But you do. I walk away from the TV feeling kinder towards myself and others, happy that such a positive message is out there, with a smile on my face.
It’s one of the most refreshing things I’ve seen and a ray of hope for the future of body image and self esteem.
So, in short, I LOVE YOU GOK! Thank you for helping us realise that we do, in fact, look good naked. You’re awesome.
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Claire Wallace has written 3 posts.
Claire is a twenty-something living in Sydney’s inner west who balances working in the corporate world with a love of reading, writing, animals, yoga, the beach, travel, food and wine. She constantly struggles with wanting to do too many things at once and is a despicable impulse shopper.