The Totally Naked Show

There seem to be an abnormally large bout of posts on the Fatosphere lately about the media, so let me add mine. Contrary to some, mine’s focused on a more positive experience…

You see, I spent the whole afternoon a few days ago watching “How to Look Good Naked” (or what my friends and I call, “The Totally Naked Show”) online. I was looking for something frivolous, mindless and fun, something to use as a means of procrastination. This totally fit the bill.

I hadn’t actually watched any of it until that day because I had been in Ecuador when it first aired. But let me say this, I LOVED IT. The first episode was just…fantastic. From the first few seconds, when Carson was walking down the street with the models, I knew I was going to love it; as soon as that woman in the gold dress showed up, I just wanted to jump up and down. And then when those women were his models for the “compare your perception to reality” part of the show, I almost died. They are REAL WOMEN! And they’re MODELS. Who wanted to jump up and down? Me.

Aside from the models, the message is mostly right. It’s not about losing weight, it’s about loving yourself. You can lose the negativity towards your body, your perceived ugliness, in how you see yourself, in how you present yourself, in your confidence and grace. That made me happy. I ended up watching them all in marathon. I’ve always loved Carson Kressley, and in this he is so fun and helpful, and I feel like he genuinely wants to help. I can’t wait to see more. It makes me completely and utterly gleeful to see that message out on TV. Especially when it includes something like, “Zero is not a size. It’s a warning sign.” Oh Carson. You make me swoon.

Notice, however, that I say the message is mostly right. I feel like the show is trying to deal with the issue of negative body image, but really just skirting it. In having women stand in front of the mirror, and look at themselves, they aren’t saying “you look beautiful because these things society tells you to hate don’t matter.” but instead saying, “you aren’t as fat as you think. Compare yourselves to these women here. See, you’re not as ugly. And look at what you have to work with!” I mean, maybe that’s a skewed view of it, but that’s what I’m getting. That’s not productive in a universal message. Yes, it’s great for the women involved. But for the women watching? The message could get a little distorted. Distorted in the way of “I don’t have the things that he admires in her, therefore I’m ugly.” Yes, I might be reading into it a little more than necessary, but it’s important to consider, at least.

So overall, I like the show. I don’t think the media will ever be able to hit the issue on the head (because they’re working inside the medium that needs to change the most), but this is as close as they’re going to get. And for the individual on the show, I think it’s actually helpful. Finally, an uplifting message. Finally, real women on TV. And finally, more fun with Carson Kressley.


4 thoughts on “The Totally Naked Show

  1. I haven’t seen the show (b/c I don’t have a tv), but I can say that I TOTALLY agree that “Well, at least I’m not as fat as *she* is” is an unhealthy message. It’s how I used to feel–any time I saw someone fatter then me (which, I should point out, doesn’t happen a lot) I would rejoice in my relative normalcy. So I think I know wherof I speak when I say that line of reasoning will never be part of the solution, and therefore must be part of the problem. It’s the enemy, thinly veiled (pun fully intended).

  2. I am with you, I like the show but I can still see issues with it. It is a huge improvement on a lot of the “makeover” shows and I think Carson’s heart is in the right place.

  3. See, I think the “compare your perception to reality” isn’t about saying “well at least I’m not as fat as *her*”…

    But as someone that has dealt with a distorted body image for the vast majority of my life, maybe I look at it differently.

    I was the teenager that wore the same size 9 clothes as my best friend, in fact we would call each other and plan which clothes to wear the next day so that we could run to the bathroom and switch the second we both got to school, but in my perception she was thin and I was fat. We wore the SAME FREAKIN’ SIZE!

    I looked in the mirror and didn’t see the awesome rack o’ doom (that was still perky at the time), the beautiful curve of my hip, and my DAMN sexy & shapely calves; I saw double chin, fat on my belly, fat thighs, and such.

    I always saw myself as fat. In fact, it took me *years* of comparing myself to other people, with my wonderful, loving, accepting, patient, DH by my side pointing out where I was seeing things incorrectly, for me to realize what I really look like.

    It wasn’t about “well at least I’m not as fat as *she* is.” For me, it was about finally seeing myself as I am instead of through the fun-house mirror of distorted perception that was making me hate myself. It was about seeing *MYSELF* in these women that I thought were beautiful, sexy, and just right, just the way they were.


  4. Well, I’ve only seen the British version on that I’ve thought that, but to me it always is shown as “Wow, so this person is actually bigger than me and they are still so beautiful and amazing!”. I’ve never seen/noticed an idea of “At least I’m not as ugly as her’. Just a different perspecitve 🙂

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