Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Review of Gok's the naked truth on channel 4

Helping teens see how perceptions of beauty are twisted by the media


Fact from the show
1/2 of all anorexics are girls aged 16-19



Good to see that Gok is doing a programme not just highlighting the issue with young people but looking at how to help some individuals. In particular Jake is clearly a guy who needed some help. 6ft 9 and over 20 stone he had been so badly bullied he would not leave his house with out his mum. Bullying can be viscously powerful. When young people get to this stage they need to get personal one to one support. Size and strength is no protection from emotional damage. I am very impressed they show that Jake is getting professional support/help. Too often in TV it seems like the famous presenter solves all their emotional problems but not on Gok's show. Very refreshing to see a more honest approach. Love Gok taking him to the ring


Great to see that he is talking to teachers. From my work in schools I know that the opportunities within the school. I've been looking through Gok's lesson plan during the break and I think their is some quality material in them. I'll be using some of these materials in my lessons in Chester schools. Self esteem is such a key aspect in how young people view themselves and then the decisions they make in later life. 


They talk about a great website/service called http://www.bodygossip.org it seems like a fantastic idea. I have always thought that telling your stories is a very powerful activity. If you have seen or read freedom writers you know what I mean. I want to see if there is a way I can include this idea in my work. Maybe an anonymous submission of stories read out by local volunteers? Just the seed of an idea but hopefully it will grow. 


"No point trying to 
look like something 
that isn't real, 
it's just fantasy" 
Gok Wan


When Gok went to the photo shoot it was great to see them showing how much and how quickly the images are manipulated. To me it is interesting how Gok calls manipulated fashion photography "a fantasy art form" which is a kind of positive statement. But the lesson on the website includes the discussion starting question "How do they feel about this manipulated illusion of beauty? Angry? Cheated? Surprised" which clearly is a less positive. Maybe the message is a bit mixed as Gok is balancing his working world of fashion with his passion for helping young people identify the truth. 


Overall I think that this is a great show created by channel 4. Not just pointing out the depths of the problem but starting to suggest and explain ways to move forward. I hope the rest of the episodes are as good as this one. I hope it helps some young people. 


Find out more about Gok's message on this Gok's teens website