i watched a lot of tv over break, most of it thanks to my awesome dvr. i am a creature of habit and rarely venture away from six or seven shows, but a few weeks ago, i made a new friend. his name is gok wan, and i am in love.
gok is the host of the british version of "how to look good naked," which lifetime has so kindly started airing in the u.s. i never watched carson kressley's version of "naked," but i was hooked the first time i saw gok with a very uncomfortable woman who looked to be about my size. they were standing in front of a full-length mirror; the woman was in her bra and panties and was practically crying, she was so uncomfortable. gok looked at her and said, very emphatically, "you are beautiful. you have nothing to be ashamed of."
gok's message is one of loving thy body sans plastic surgery, gimmick diets or conformity to unrealistic beauty expectations. he takes normal-sized english women and turns their attitudes completely around by pampering, styling and lots of love and encouragement. women who literally cry seeing themselves (almost) naked are stripping down for a nude photoshoot and strutting a catwalk in cute underwear by the end of the show. and lest you be pessimistic and think the good juju disappears after the cameras are off, gok goes back to visit some of his ladies a year later in some episodes. they're all doing wonderfully - one lady had decided to chase her acting dream and signed up as a plus-sized model!
as a girl who would be considered plus-sized by the fashion world, i get very upset when i go to a store (hello, j. crew) and all the sizes are xs or s. i get mad at myself for looking at magazines or even people i know and hating myself for how i look. it's ridiculous that i should feel bad for the way my body is. gok's message is one of complete acceptance and love, and it's infectious. my bangers and pins are beautiful just the way they are, fashion world be damned.