Monday, 2 June 2008

Prime Time Television and Gok Wan

It's almost painful to admit that, recently, I have slipped back into entertaining the hideous ritual of getting home from work, cooking my tea, and indulging in destroying my soul with prime time television. Being in the prime of my life, and with little responsibility, I have the perfect opportunity to be doing something productive or creative or exciting, instead I sit in front of the fucking idiot machine trying to figure out how many hours you can potentially spend watching the 'hit TV comedy' 'Friends' in the space of seven days (it's 43.5 without sky plus).

With the current life style choice, which I don't think is doing anything for a good sense of well being, a certain chirpy chappy named Gok Wan has been brought to my attention. Often found running around the streets and doing something 'crackers' like, I don't know... biting into the rolly polly derrière of a large bosomed middle-aged lady, his mission to make people 'Look Good Naked' is one that I'm becoming increasingly cynical of.

I must confess, to have someone out there is saying 'you don't have to be stick thin to be attractive', is applaudable and to a large extent true because a certain percentage of the stick thin models do things like pop diarrhea pills, or ingest a tape worm or so to stay in shape, which isn't that attractive. Of course a curvaceous lady can be attractive as well, attractive people come in all different shapes and sizes. However, I still find Gok's message disconcerting (despite finding him to be quite the annoying boob), because he doesn't really teach people to 'Look Good Naked', rather he teaches them to wear different clothes and excess makeup, and to get a zany hair cut, and buy creams... you get the picture.

Call me a philistine, but surely the idea of looking good naked is having confidence and pride within yourself, and being able to communicate that without the secondary function of the accessory, not the other way round? Don't get me wrong, I do like to think about what I'm wearing, I have certain items of clothing that take preference over others, and I do like to 'dapper up' probably more than is necessary; but even the punks who debunked taste and culture still thought about what they were wearing (although I'm by no means a 'punk'). However--and at the risk of sounding incredibly corny--I put me first then the outward appearance expresses that, I don't follow Gok's rule of good outside makes good inside.

Now he has his new show 'Fashion Fix', and--as with his other show--the surface message isn't all that bad: you don't have to spend thousands of pounds to wear reasonably nice looking clothes. I say 'you' here, mainly referring to women because none of his subjects are male; of course, being a male, I'm quite content wearing socks with my sandles, and I find the practicality of the 'bum bag', or the transatlantic 'fanny pack', very interesting. Thus it is perfectly plausible that Gok should not want to extend his arms out and try and dress a male subject in a virile manner: we are simply not interested. Obviously I'm being facetious, but if he were to dress a man I can only quiz that he would dress them within the stylings of the metrosexual, and that quite simply isn't my bag (or should I say 'fanny pack'?) so I should probably stop complaining. I can say that because one of my friends is a metrosexual, nice fellow actually.

But this is beside the point. The premise of the show is that Gok spends the best part of an hour having a rollicking good time, trying to show that with only a few hundred bob, and an acute and extremely detailed knowledge of tailoring and the way clothes work, that you can make 'cheap' clothes look just as convincing as a high-end fashion outfit. At the end of the show he then presents his outfits simultaneously with some high end outfits, and the audience (of about 50 or so people who represent every single member of the British public) have to guess which ones are the pricey ones, and of course Gok usually wins his battle with his fashion trickery. Is it me, or is this just a clever form of deception? The audience feel good that they have one up on the fashion elitists, when actually they haven't realised that Gok's message may as well be 'you're all too thick to tell the difference'.

One last point, and something that's always bothered me, he's always telling women to be proud of their well ripened behinds... etc. Gok used to weigh twenty one stone and now his as thin as a rake... again I'm probably being far too cynical, but perhaps he's just a massive ego trip, and he likes the fact women are larger than him... maybe it gives him a confidence boost?