Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Lurve Gok

(Image from The Sun newspaper.)

Gok Wan is a British fashion consultant who hosts a fabulous TV show called "How to Look Good Naked". He's flamboyant, gay, and I think he's one of the only TV personalities on the air right now who truly loves and accepts women as they are. He helps heavy, often out-of-shape ladies to see how beautiful they really are. Some may think this is a bad idea. Gok doesn't lecture them on their weight, or tell them that if they only got in shape and ate better, their lives and their health would improve immeasurably. Instead, he helps them to love themselves as they are in the here and now.

I totally agree with Gok's approach. I really don't think you can make positive changes in your life if your starting point is self-loathing. "I'm such a fat pig. I've got such ugly legs and bat-wing arms" and on, and on it goes. Self-image is so deeply rooted in one's psyche that no matter how many changes do take place, often the individual doesn't see them and continues to view him or herself as ugly, undeserving and profoundly unworthy. If you haven't transformed your mind and your attitude towards yourself, the physical transformation likely won't last very long and you'll be back where you started: in physically and emotionally bad shape...with a few extra pounds to spare!

It's a fine line to tread. You have to accept yourself as you are today if you want to make a real, long-lasting change.

So, I "lurve" Gok, as they say in Britain. And I lurve him even more, knowing that he was once extremely overweight himself. According to the Wikipedia entry, he lost a huge amount of weight in a short time by crash dieting--which certainly isn't the way I do things. But I lurve him nevertheless because he too has been there and done that and the love and compassion he shows for the women he works with is just so beautiful.


  1. Interesting. In "Thin is the New Happy" Valerie actually has a nude photo shoot to help her get past her poor body image. It is a hilarious chapter that is so profound.

    Thx for sharing!

  2. Hmmmm. I think Gok is a difficult one to be completely positive about. I haven't read the Wiki entry for him but have read articles written by him and many interviews with him. He was filled with self hatred and loathing when he was overweight himself which is why he tries to make women feel better about themselves whatever their size. But he couldn't feel better about himself until he lost the weight. He is VERY thin now.

    I also feel uncomfortable when one of the main methods he uses for overweight women is to encase their whole body in corsetry! I'm not sure that such uncomfortable undergarments are really a practical or comfortable option for everyday life. Being encased in miles of Spandex must be incredibly sweaty and difficult to move in. This is trying to cover up the fat to appear thinner not about accepting lumps and bumps as they are.

    The basic message is good though. He does use a few interesting techniques for showing how out of whack most women's view of their own body is ie telling one woman he had photoshopped her image and could she draw back in what he had changed. She drew her outline as much bigger all over than the image given. In fact all he had done to the picture was to fractionally reduce her height.

    Powerful stuff for the women concerned. But I still worry about where Gok is coming from on all this!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. I haven't heard of him, but after reading Bearfriend's comment I will head over and read about him. I have to say that I wasn't able to start my own journey will a lot of self-love, but that it came in pieces.

    Thanks for posting about this!

  4. I luurve Gok too, though like Bearfriend I am not a fan of too much spandex! But honestly Bear, he doesn't flog the corsetry as much as the terrifying Trinny & Susannah do! I love Gok because he is so exuberant and funny and flamboyant, and I love to see what he's wearing each week - he sometimes looks as if he gets dressed in the dark.

  5. I had never heard of Gok before, but now of course I'll have to look him up and find out more as I am intrigued for sure. I like his overall message. And I have to say that I agree with Diane. Persoanlly I was FULL of self loathing for too many years. The loving and acceptance of myself has come in bits and pieces and through much trial and error. Still working on it actually.

    And now, on to Gok. Thanks so much for posting this! Love the picture too.

  6. Bear Friend,

    Thanks for your take and information on Gok. No one's perfect and I still lurve what he's doing with women, but it is important to cast a critical eye on things. So thanks!

  7. I love Gok too!! I watch it every single week! Sometimes there are slim people on there that don't love their bodies either - we're not all perfect, but we can sure as hell feel it!! I would love to be Gokked! lol

  8. I also love him! He's so honest and manages to get the women feel good about themselves. I especially love the reaction from the public when they put the pictures on the billboards.