Once again I find myself writing about people having unrealistic expectations about the way that they look and not being comfortable in their own bodies. I’ve spoken out this before when talking about the fashion industry bombarding us with manipulated images of models and celebrities, and my involvement last year with the “Real Women” campaign. Guess what? I’m back on the same subject again – but hopefully with a more positive spin on the story this time!
I have to say that I’m perhaps not Gok Wan’s greatest fan, but I have seen the occasional programme and will admit that he’s done some great work helping people over the years. However, having watched his programme on Channel 4 last night I must say that this was an excellent piece.
If you didn’t see it, Gok’s looking to help teenagers overcome some of the issues and pressures that they find themselves under, and the first episode looked at the problems of teens who suffer from body dysmorphia. Using a studio-based fashion photo-shoot he shows an internet-obsessed 15-year-old girl that the images of perfection she sees in the media are the result of not only the shoot itself, but hours of digital manipulation as well.
There’s also a clip in the programme about a great venture called Body Gossip, a campaign encouraging everyone to write something about their body – they’ll then pick a selection and turn them into short films using actors. It’s a great way of helping people come to terms with their bodies. Last night the programme included a clip of Brianna’s story being brought to life, and it’s well worth viewing.
Body dysmorphia’s a huge issue, and hopefully Gok’s programme will help raise the profile of this condition and help teenagers (and adults, it must be said) realise that there is another way to live your life!