Last night I watched “How To Look Good Naked”, which is hosted by the Gok Wan, a fashion stylist who is on a crusade to restore women’s confidence in their natural body shapes.
It’s horrible to listen to women who are completely demoralised about their appearance, and honestly it’s uplifting to see how the fashion savvy and compassionate Wan can change their perceptions and their lives.
I’m sure men feel more threatened by the beauty industry these days, but I think it wrecks a devastating influence upon women. I can remember when the pressure hit me a girl. I just choose to ignore it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect me. My notions of what is beautiful have been shaped by the media, and a lot of the time I have to struggle against them.
For instance, during one commercial break for HTLGN a couture brand was advertising a perfume, and the model used looked like she hadn’t eaten in months. I laughed at the irony of the juxtaposition, but it’s a reminder that it’s a constant battle to maintain your confidence when you are bombarded with such images all the time. The fashion industry is built upon delusion and insecurity, and it makes a lot of money from its tactics.
Resistance is imperative. Such marketing schemes do not celebrate individuality. They encourage people to buy the same goods, wear the same clothes, and look the exact same way with the seductive belief that it will make you feel better about your life.
Alas, if your perception of your worth and beauty is screwed up, then no glitzy clothes or designer shoes will make you feel better. A lot of what Wan does in his show is make women face up to their grotesque self-images and realise that they have been responsible for building this false distorted mindset. Therefore, it is within their power to shatter the myth and inhabit the reality of their beauty. Wan just gives women a push in the right direction.