Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to look good naked on TV

So, one of the side-effects of not having television programing sent to our television in any way (no cable, no satellite, no dish, no rabbit ears... or whatever the digital equivalent is these days) is that I miss the majority of what's being broadcast. If my friends aren't watching it, I don't hear about it. If my friends are watching it, but don't tell me about it, I also don't hear about it.

So, this weekend, I went to check my Hulu queue. Hulu is the only way we get current TV shows at our house. Old TV shows we get on DVD through Netflix. This system works very well for us. Well, while checking my queue, I saw an advertisement-type-thing for this show called "How to Look Good Naked." When it comes to health goals (mostly involving physical fitness and weight loss) that is the bar used to define success, not a number on the scale or on the tags of my clothing. So I clicked the link to see what the show was all about.

Well, it was on Lifetime, so you know the goal was to make women weepy.
It was sort of a make-over show, but focused on the inside more than the outside. They take a woman who has issues with her body (so they have roughly 80% of the female population to pull from) and over the course of 5 days work with her to rebuild her confidence, show her how to dress to fit her shape, not hide it, then end with the celebrity hair & makeup, and top it all off with a tasteful nude photo shoot. There are some aspects of the show that bother me a little--like Carson Kreeley, but the message and the presentation are fabulous. The best part for me is the reality check that they have for each woman. In the first season they would identify the one area that made the lady the most uncomfortable and then set out to show them that it wasn't as bad as they imagined. That was always the best part to watch. A woman who thought her butt was huge was taken to a room with a line-up of other women arranged by butt size, smallest to largest, and the contestant was told to place herself where she belonged in the line. She thought she had the biggest butt in the room when she actually had the smallest. She couldn't believe it. She wanted them to remeasure. As a viewer, I was shouting at the screen for her to believe the empirical evidence.

It's not just a show for "fat girls" either. They had fat, skinny, short, tall... everything. They had a woman with congenital heart disease who was thought of herself as just a collection of scars. They had moms and daughters sharing the same issues and a pair of sisters (but I haven't gotten to that episode yet). It was an amazing show. I say "was" because it turns out the show is over 2 years old and has been discontinued. I totally missed it while it was on the air, so I missed out on getting to nominate friends to go get it through their skulls that they are beautiful, desirable women.

I didn't let that stop me though. I sent the link to all my girlfriends to watch. Even knowing women in all the sizes from 4 to 24, I don't know a single one of them who doesn't want to change something about their body. None of us think we look good naked. So I want them all to watch the show and hear what I've been trying to say to them for years: you are beautiful right now, just as God made you.

And the saddest thing is that watching episode after episode made me realize that while I think all of my friends are beautiful, and every woman on the show was beautiful, that there is hope and peace to be found for all of them if they would stop focusing on the parts that they don't like and instead focus on what they do and take all that time they spend hating their bodies and put that time to a much better use... even knowing all that, I can't seem to say those same things to myself. I always have an excuse or a justification for my own dissatisfaction. I am a pot, calling my kettles black. I need a me to tell me to shut up and see the God-given glory in me.

Luckily, I have a blog, so I can say all that, and maybe one day I'll listen. In the meantime, here's me... not naked, but it sort of looks that way.


JWelch said...

What words can I use to be the you to your you that you need to hear you saying the things that you want to say to you?

Anonymous said...

That was the American version of the show. It actually started as a British show with a different (very hyper) host. Both are excellent. I always liked the part where they put the woman up on a billboard and ask passersby if they think she has a nice body. I think that it really gets through to them when total strangers say that they do.


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