I am not kidding when I say that this television show changed my life. It changed my brain—the way I think about myself—and I think it should be required watching for all women from puberty on. What is this show, you ask? The British series, How To Look Good Naked. Looking around for info on the show, I found that there’s an American version starring Carson Kressley and even a Canadian version of the show. I haven’t watched either but I am so in love with the UK version that I don’t want to know that the others exist.
The basic premise of the show is that one woman hates her body and the adorable host, Gok Wan, has eight weeks to show her that her body isn’t the hideous lump of flesh she thinks it is. There’s the standard makeover show shopping trip and hair and makeup overhaul, but the important thing that this show does that makes it different is that it allows the woman to compare herself on even ground (in nothing but bra and panties) to other real women. The women see how other real women look and they see that they are not alone with their imperfections. They are in good, gorgeous company. This is always the turning point of the show.
On the last episode I watched, the woman on the show, Leanne, hated her legs. She thought they were enormous and wouldn’t ever take off her tights. Even in bed with her husband, she wore tights. The show lined up six women in their bra and panties in order of leg size and had Leanne place herself in the line where she thought she belonged, based on the size of her own thighs. When the measurements were revealed, she had given herself an extra 6 inches in her legs. You could see, as soon as Gok told her, that a change was starting in her mind. Maybe she wasn’t as big as she thought she was. She thought that the women in line around her had skinny legs and so that must mean that she had skinny legs, too.
The women stop crying and slouching and start laughing and standing taller. They stop hating themselves and start to realize that we’re all different and we’re all beautiful, and how sad is it to make yourself miserable wearing thick tights in the summer because you think that your butt is big. Cut up those tights and let’s go dress shopping!
The show doesn’t talk about plastic surgery or weight loss, there is a tiny mention that looking good naked involved drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising to boost confidence and keep you healthy. Otherwise, everyone is gorgeous the way they are, and this is what I love about the show. Lumpy, bumpy, saggy, squat – everyone ends up looking truly fantastic and posing naked for a photo shoot by the end of the show. It’s miraculous, and as a viewer, my confidence is boosted every time I see a real, imperfect woman on the TV screen wearing nothing but a smile and I agree that she DOES look great naked. FINALLY. Real women, real role models. This show makes me want to hug it.
There are six seasons so far; I’m on season two. The first season was great, but the second is even better. Be warned though, the second season has a heavy dose of naked in it, but that’s what makes it awesome. Real people came out to be filmed either naked or in their undies talking to the camera about their bodies. There’s every type of woman from tattooed ladies in their twenties to topless grannies in their sixties and seeing them on this show is like a revelation. Seriously. I know I sound crazy when I talk about this, but watch it. You’ll see what I mean.
I have been watching How To Look Good Naked on Hulu right now but it looks like you can watch the episodes right from the Channel 4 website. Do it, you’ll thank me and “Auntie Gok” later.
This summer I went to the beach and absolutely did not care if the whole world could see my butt. We all have butts and they’re all different and beautiful in their own ways. I stopped buying the long, Bermuda shorts that I hated but thought I had to wear because my thighs aren’t perfect. Now I buy whatever cute shorts I see and I love it! Stop hating yourself, start looking around and realizing that so few of us are the wee, airbrushed models we see every day in the magazines. Start living and enjoying your life. Watching How To Look Good Naked is a good place to start.