“ Channel 4 / Entertainment „
I'm baffled at Gok Wan popularity with women. I haven't seen anything as exploitative and hypocritical towards the female species since Alf Garnett put his feet up than this show! The irritating Wan should be ashamed of himself for being involved in this. In fact they should fire Gok! I'm just stunned those women's groups haven't kicked up about shows like this like those bored and grumpy pensioners did over Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.
The idea of the show (so they say) was to find a 'female ambassador' for women to go around the country to promote normal women and natural beauty. Fair enough. I'm sure there are thousand of complaints women will hope she would pass on to the fashion and beauty industry on their behalf. But the big problem with this show is it's a huge contradiction, telling women they shouldn't aspire to be the thin and sexy like the women in the magazines, yet the show cast and produced by those very people that push that unattainable image. The exotic Co-host Mylene Klass is hardly the average woman. She's very beautiful and pretty much perfect to all men and presumbly what every woman aspires to be - drawing that contrast over the more plane contestants here just feels divisive, contradictory and deliberate.
The opening show saw the lucky women picked from over 10,000 entrants hosed down in a grubby and empty swimming pool to rid them of their make-up and hair do`s so to get down to that 'natural beauty' - yet Gok had more make-up on than Barbara Cartland, Myleene definitely dipping into his cosmetics bag in the commercial break. Goks career is a professional stylist to make women wear the right clothes and make-up. What was the message here Gok? Why weren't the hosts told to jump in the pool to prove with them their point? The tabloids picked up on the pool stunt and compared it to the humiliation of the new arrivals to Auschwitz new arrivals. Clearly no comparison but it did look bad.
After the opening episode of six show run this quickly become an Apprentice style format, the girls put into two teams to battle it out with each other to win the big prize, a mechanism to produce girly bitching of course, which is always great TV. What the girls cleary weren't told when they applied for the show was that it would be this type of format, an exercise in humiliation and self esteem crushing. The girls that did apply were told that it would be a straight forward reality show/beauty pageant....pretty girls getting on telly scenario, not the beauty death camps! If they had asked for more normal women to apply then I suspect this show wouldn't have been made as we just don't really want to see normal and plain people that would have normally applied for this show on telly, why Wagner, Mary and Widdicombe finally ost out to youth and looks.
We aspire to be attractive and slim and so I suppose that's why they wanted that vainer demographic to apply, presumably picked from their photos. And to be fair if you do apply for reality game shows then you deserve all you get. But the message here is all rather contradictory and the show clearly anything but what it says on the tin, the key to that humiliation process.
Once the final fifty were hosed down in that pool they soon realized it wasn't that easy beauty pageant they had hoped for, many in tears, eye-liner running down their faces like sewage coming out of a waste pipe. They were given 15 seconds to decide whether they wanted to jump in the pool and if they didn't then they clearly wouldn't be on telly and the show. Yes it's washing away people's vanity and ego type metaphor but it's also exploitative of the women in the pool in their bra and pants. I just cringed at that scene. But worse was to follow, some of the girls 'illuminated' after that hosing and humiliation, the judging panel deciding they didn't have enough 'natural beauty' to go on. Owww! That happens every week. The hypocrisy of that panel was that it was a one Mica Paris, never seen in public without hair extensions and heavy 'slap', James 'lad mag 'Brown, ironically making his money from selling those FHM girls that are the exact opposite he's judging. The third anf final panel member is a woman with more crow's feet than a snowy country field in a Scottish winter, her normal job to make those very women she's judging feel inadequate and so buy into the fashions industry to keep selling the impossible dream. I cant recall her name.
The second episode saw the girls split into two teams, their job to design a mannequin that represented normal women and then try and persuade two high street stores (including Myleenes M&S) to put it in their window. A size 14 dummy was created and it was clear the stores representatives were pensive to say the least to have to go along with it. This was everything they didn't do in the fashion industry. But in the Harrods window it went. In keeping with these shows the losing team had to lose two girls via the judges - and low and behold they voted off the oldest one and the shortest one (with X Factor sentimental music playing), completely destroying the point of the show yet again. The excuse for them to go was they were 'too noisy' and 'too quiet', respectively, an approach that continued meaning we will be left with the youngest with the best figures, the ones left that look like the very models the show is supposed to be against. In fact the producers have picked contestants based on that elimination process, all manner of sizes and hang-ups. Why else pick someone 4ft, 10! Again, the whole idea of voting girls off the show is cruel and hypocritical. Isn't this rejection women get based on looks, age, and size the whole point of wearing cosmetics and fashions?
The point of this show seems to be to further strip women of their dignity so to make them even more reliant on health and beauty products that were cruelly and deliberately advertised during the shows commercial breaks. Like I said I'm just amazed it wasn't attacked more. No wonder women get 18% less wages than men if they aspire to these programs and outcomes. A TV production company is laughing at you through yet another vulgar camp gay presenter that "knows women", and yet you buy into this bull and believe it?
The reason why models are thin and svelte is because that's what women aspire to be and the whole idea of taking that aspiration away and replacing the models with normal girls would kill the fashion trade stone dead, even though that when the women on the show surveyed women on the streets they said that regular size is exactly want they want to see in the windows, more of that representation in the industry of 'normal women'. But girls, the reason the fashion and beauty industry is so huge is because women want to be glamorous. Seeing a 'large' mannequin in a shop window would surely put normal women off going into a store because they dont want to be that mannequin thye probaly are?. Correct me if I'm wrong. You are a strange lot...
In times of recession lipstick and stilleto sales go up as women use their looks and bodies more to keep a roof over their heads (now is a great time to date guys!) and so the cosmetics industry becomes even more important to them. Men just carry on slogging away to pay for all this vanity of course.
Now I like natural women and their bodies (girls are so sexy without make-up) and guys know all too well that the female species biggest worries in the world are not the bills and boyfriends but what they look like when they get up in the morning with all those imperfections. Having a big bum is far worse than a big mortgage. I try to kiss all their wrinkles and bumps away when they let me but it's not always successful. Women are delicate and they don't need TV like this.
After a hard days work I'm pretty sure the intelligent ciao girls who watched this picked up on how bad this show was and agree with me it was out of order and a contradiction. But it's the girls that don't see that who are the ones that are most likely to believe in this air-head/brushed fantasy world and get messed up by it. You don't get slimming diseases, M.E and food alleges in Africa where TV and reality shows are few and far bewtween.
Gok (a beauty counter make-up artist for Debenhams in Leicester in his early days, apparently) knows this show is really about subtly giving off the message that you DO need beauty products because he wants to show us how plain women can be without them. It would not surprise me if he's bringing out similar products for Christmas to help those girls 'look good', and I'm sure Myleene Klass also has a perfume launch or two lined up for Santa. And you thought Ross and Brand dumbed down TV! I'm just fed up with the way Middle-class TV types exploit less sophisticated people through these reality shows. I maybe way off the mark and missed the point with Gok and womens relationships with him but I wont be watching him again, even though you do get to see bare titties before 9PM!
This aired on Channel 4 on 28th October 2008 at 8:00pm and will continue to every week until Miss Naked Beauty is decided.
This is hosted by the one and only Gok Wan of "How to Look Good Naked", who is accompanied by Myleene Klass of Hear'say fame.
Miss Naked Beauty is the ultimate 21st century beauty contest between 12 "normal" women of all different shapes and sizes. They must undertake different tasks to stay in the game.
The show began where all 12 contestants had to be photographed intimately, framing and zooming in on their least favorite body part. For some women this was a nightmare, and one girl even had a panic attack at the sheer thought of having to get her bum out. Least favorite body parts ranged from one girl who had had a boob reduction and regretted it to another girl who hated the bottom of her back. It goes to show people can be hung up on the smallest of things which other people find gorgeous or don't even notice !!
All in all this activity proved sucessful with the girls feeling a little better about themselves after Gok in his usual way reassured the ladies and pointed out that they werent as bad as they thought.
The next part of the show featured Lisa Rogers who investigates the worrying rise in cosmetic surgery. She met up with Alicia Douvall, the serial boob job addict and well known glamour model come z-lister. She reveals her latest boob job and shows the scars which "should have healed by now" and tells of her plans to have her 15th boob job as soon as possible. UK surgeons will not see her due to the amount of scar tissue she had accumulated, but she has had a surgeon in the US agree to undertake this procedure. The blonde glamour model, who has said in the past that her 12-year-old daughter wants a boob job already, admits that she has spent over £1 million pound on trying to get the perfect pair.
Alicia has severe Body Dymorphia (this is where people think there is something wrong with their body and concentrate on this and can not stop thinking about it) and is a perfect example of someone with this condition. Lisa goes more into this condition, highlighting the reasons why more and more people are suffering due to the surgery boom and the following of celebrities.
The show continues with the girls next task which is to change the size of the British high streets. They meet up with the managers of Debenhams to try and convince them to change their Size 8-10 window models to a more realistic size 14. They are split into two teams - A & B, and sent onto the streets with a curvy Size 14 model which they have to utilise in their own way to gather evidence and points to take into their meeting with Debenhams. They speak to the public, asking opinions, whilst gathering information. They also speak to various clothes shops to ask if they will display their Size 14 model in the window temporarily to see what the public reaction will be. Team B gain the approval of a few independant shops, while Team A sucessfully and shockingly convince Miss Selfridges of Oxford Street to not only display their model but to dress in their own clothing too!!
After much research, the teams finally meet up with Debenhams to give their presentation. Team A choose to have each member of the team to have their say. Debenhams are impressed with this, although they feel a couple of members waffled a little. Team B go for the approach where they use only 3 members of the team to give the speech. Debenhams ask immediately after why they didnt all have a turn. They did not seem impressed with this team but do decide to display these models.
Upon this, the two teams are put in front of a panel of judges including: James Brown - Lads mag dude, Kathryn Fleet - Journalist, Mica Paris - An acclaimed musician, actress and broadcaster, and also a successful TV presenter. They will all decide which two members will be leaving. The girls are criticised on everything from one girl being too quiet in the presentations, one girl looking too "smug" on her intimate photo, the girl who had the panic attack gets shot down and flames for being unconfident. Team A are all told they are to stay in the game. Team B however are all told that two girls from their team will be leaving.
The two girls who were eliminated were Anna and Laura, whos interviews can be read on the Channel 4 website.
The remaining girls will be judged on new challenges next week....
I really enjoyed this show. It is very refreshing to watch as it goes against everything that the youth of today seems to follow in magazines; planning surgery before they are even old enough, starving themselves to look like Cheryl Tweedy and the like. This isnt just a feel good program, it is there to bring you smashing back down to reality.
Also, what I like about this program strangely enough is the way in which there is so much nudity but because of the nature of the program and the way it is handled, it isnt embarrassing, degrading or seedy.
This is about normal people living in the real world and I will be watching this again.
Ultimate 21st century beauty queen pageant.