Miss Naked Beauty


I’ve written a few times before about the short shrift and unfair attitude towards women on television today. I don’t mean the blatant tits and arse variety, nor even the stereotyping in advertising – I mean the rampant anti-feminism, the hidden objectification, the cultish health programming and obsession with body image.

It was because of all this that Gok Wan was a refreshing face when How to Look Good Naked cropped up on Channel 4 in 2006. For those of you who watch the fashionista shows, and for those of us who watch them because our girlfriends watch them, he was a welcome diversion from the pointed surgery endorsing of Nicky Hambleton-Jones and fraudulent credentials of the shit-nailing Gillian McKeith.

Gok tried to convey a very simple point; that self esteem was the key to looking and feeling good and with a few fashion tips and confidence-boosting exercises anyone could learn to have style. Yes it was wrapped up in lots of fast cuts and faster talk, but when you saw how he was able to transform a mastectomy patient who despised the body that had ‘betrayed her’ or a sobbing forty-year-old who could only look in the mirror and repeat ‘this isn’t how I’m meant to look’, few could deny he had the right message.

It’s a shame that since How to Look Good Naked, though, he’s returned with a succession of bad concepts that seem to imply he’s forgotten the empowering nature of his style is what makes him appealing and instead regressed back into a promoter of all he previously stood against. We’ll ignore Gok’s Fashion Fix because that’s the shit cousin that nobody talks about and instead move onto Miss Naked Beauty, which is currently showing on Channel 4.

It’s a nice idea – find a collection of body-conscious, ‘real’ women and whittle them down until you have a spokesperson for the movement who embodies all that is beautiful and natural about the female sex.

They come in all shapes and sizers – the bum haters, the small-boob apologists, the post-surgeried, the child-sized, the vein-leggers (and one who thinks the curve at the bottom of her spine is ugly, but no-one really knows what she’s talking about). All of them naturally attractive, and most misled about their faults.

Unfortunately they’ve shoe-horned in a needless teams-and-judges element to choose a winner which means that, in-keeping with the current trend for ‘honesty television’, the women go through 50 minutes of self-empowering life lessons only to be ridiculed and insulted by a panel of celebrites for the last 10 – and go home feeling worse than they did before.

The episode last Tuesday started with a task where the women stripped off and had photos taken of their most despised body parts and ended with James Brown of Loaded fame telling two that they were smug, fake and fundamentally unlikable. You know what? If I was a 36 year old cancer survivor who’d had a breast reduction and a hysterectomy and still had the gumption to stand there topless on television, I’d be pretty fucking smug too, you judgemental, teat-suckling wanker.

By the end of the show, very little had been achieved. The women had been built up and knocked down, two had been sent home crying and Debenhams had agreed to put one mannequin in their window as part of a highly patronising and quite clearly nominal war on the highstreet.

The valuable point about self-emancipation that Gok had previously fought for had been streamlined into a pecking order. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to be normal and happy but be aware that you could be better at being normal and happy.

So basically Gok Wan used to be really good, then he went and made a show which stole the concept and the brutality from the Apprentice and applied it to vunerable women instead of thick-skinned businessfolk. Where he used to be a charming and trustworthy host, he is now another beauty-myth peddling pundit claiming self empowering tactics and being as inadvertently offensive as those he once set out to destroy.

Basically, he’s turning into Ben Elton.

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28 Responses to “Miss Naked Beauty”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    I like the fact he calls tits ‘bangers’. It is now acceptable to go up to a lady and shout ‘get yer bangers out’, so long as you say it in camp way, wearing geek chic glasses.

  2. Jane Says Says:

    Geek chic glasses? You mean if he wore a pair of Jack Duckworth glasses he’d get a strike to the chops?

  3. Swineshead Says:

    That’s precisely what I mean, Jane. Even a pair of ‘Ronnie Barkers’ would result in a swift boot to the balls.

  4. Edna Welthorpe Says:

    ‘smug, fake and fundamentally unlikable’. Takes one to know one James, you big nob….

  5. Swineshead Says:

    James Brown was in charge of Jack magazine which I thought was a jolly good publication. I was quite sad when that sank without a trace.

  6. Edna Welthorpe Says:

    Me too. He’s still a nob, though – why did he get involved with that abortion that was Peaches Geldof Edits A Mag And Is A Shit on MTV? (Answer: The Money)

  7. Toothed Varmint Says:

    I wish I could contribute… I had myself a Batman marathon during the weekend. From the first Burton’s Batman to the last Nolan’s one. And played this new Batman Lego game on Wii.
    Thing is, I ‘ve never likeed Batman all that much.
    I positively despise him now.
    Good game, mind.

  8. Swineshead Says:

    I haven’t watched that Peaches crap – I have an aversion to all things Geldolf.

  9. Toothed Varmint Says:

    They don’t really show nakeed laydeez on this programme, do they? Whenever there’s the word “naked” in a TV-programme name – it’s always a lie. They just don’t deliver.
    And this film “Naked” about this angry Manc bloke in London – almost no nudity in it. Liars.

  10. Nick T Says:

    I want Sue Perkins tellingf me I look gorgeous, NOW!

  11. roszs Says:

    This isn’t very relevant, but has anyone else noticed that John Sergeant has the same face as Jo Brand? It’s WEIRD.

  12. Toothed Varmint Says:

    Heh. that’s so true. John Sergeant has way bigger boobs though.

  13. Swineshead Says:

    I watched Sargeant’s new quiz show on Dave… not great.

  14. Napoleon Says:

    Never seen that Gok Thingie’s rubbish, never will. TV for people with bums for brains.

    Now then. I thought you were doing a review of yon crappy zombie telly show?

  15. Quincy Phd Says:

    “This isn’t very relevant, but has anyone else noticed that John Sergeant has the same face as Jo Brand? It’s WEIRD.”

    Absolutely. It’s bizarre, I noticed the exact same thing last night whilst watching his new Dave show. SH is right- not great.

  16. Toothed Varmint Says:

    I haven’t seen this Brooker show yet. Waiting for the review here. That’s trust, that’s what it is.

  17. Napoleon Says:

    The first one was shit. Don’t know about the others, as I’m boycotting E4.

  18. Dave Says:

    I agree with NC on everything.

  19. Napoleon Says:

    You do? So you agree that you’re a disgusting little worm of a man?

  20. Dave Says:


  21. charliemingles Says:

    gok wan= go wank

    I cant imagine im the first to point this out.

    I watched The Hills Have Eyes (2007) last night. Quite enjoyed it.

  22. Nick T Says:

    Frankie Boyle is “in trouble” about a gag about the royal snatch.
    He made the gag originally over a year ago but……

  23. Swineshead Says:

    The remake of Hills Have Eyes is pretty darn good. Apart from the bit with the baby. That made me feel ill.

  24. ugeine Says:

    Good ol’ Frankie. I always want to be snobby about MTW but I always end up along with it.

  25. charliemingles Says:

    what bit with the baby specifically? there were quite a few grisly bits, but I enjoyed it much more than saw, which to me seemed far more sadistic.

    I think those horror movies set in trailer homes/tents etc are always very good as the people are safe and cosy one minute and vulnerable the next.

  26. Dave Says:

    HIGNFY will end 2010, mark my words. MTW needs to die before then for the sake of the BBC. Unless NC thinks it shouldn’t, then it shouldn’t.

  27. Wire Shelving Says:

    i do not like trailer homes because it is not sturdy enough specially when the weather goes bad *’-

  28. camping Says:


    […]Miss Naked Beauty « Watch With Mothers[…]…

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