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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Being Naked

On the state of being naked

I saw a few seconds of How to Look Good Naked. I have never watched any episodes of this but my mind wandered as I watched a woman looking at her own images of back and front worn sandwich-board style on other people in the middle of a public place. She was simply someone who would classify as obese on the BMI, an older woman in very ordinary underwear.

Gok Wan is the guy who dreamed up this “entertainment”. It's to encourage confidence in the women who are co-opted to take part. Gok Wan had his own self image problems when he was young. Wan stood out from his peers from a young age and the fact that he was mixed race, tall, overweight and gay led to bullying from other children.

I have enjoyed watching his other TV series. I like his openness and spontaneity and his flair with clothes. And his ability to make the clothes fit the person's shape and pocket so that anyone can have “style”.

When my mind wandered to “nakedness”, it was surprised that we should want to look good naked. And I suppose we do – even if our bodies are not “beautiful” in any modern sense. Few ordinary women are wafer thin, with honed, toned muscles like the boy-look heroines of modern movies. Most women, especially older women, have a more classic “Rubins” look, obese on the BMI scale.

Unless we have exhibitionist tendencies, we are at our most frail and vulnerable when we are naked. Our vulnerable nakedness is the gift we offer to a lover, an act of commitment and trust. Our imperfection can make the bond even more profound.

Of course Gok Wan's assistive underwear suggestions hardly help us much then!

Beautiful bodies are the subject of art devising perfection that moves us, intimate and personal.

But, on the whole, being naked in circumstances beyond our control, is not a happy experience, underwear or no underwear. It is uncomfortable, humiliating, unpleasant.

Being naked has always been used in torture to subdue us. It has been used throughout History– and still is being used by the Military and Governments. Being naked is when we feel at our worst, we can easily be plundered mentally, emotionally and physically in this condition. It is not a nice thing.

Why do we watch shows like How to Look Good Naked? Does it do something to US? Does it appeal to some horrid unconscious instinct to watch the humiliation of others? I don't know.

But I'm going to watch an episode on catch-up TV to see what it REALLY is about!