Thursday, 15 October 2009

Because You're Worth It and all that

Here in the UK Tuesday evenings have become girls-on-the-sofa night, thanks to a new series of How to Look Good Naked. For the benefit of those of you elsewhere in the world, let me explain: it’s a programme where women with serious body-image issues are put through several entirely non-scientific forms of therapy to emerge at the end of an hour (TV time) with their heads held high and a smile on their faces as they parade down a catwalk without a stitch on in front of hundreds of people.

Admittedly I have to watch some of it from between my fingers—particularly the parts where they have the dismal contents of their wardrobes strung out in public, with all the sale bargain mistakes and remnants from former ages of fashion history prominently displayed for all to see. And I can’t begin to understand how someone who can’t face looking at themselves starkers in a mirror in the privacy of their own bedroom can agree to go on national television on a programme that is mostly about getting your kit off. But I’m glad they do, because it makes for the kind of viewing that gives you a good feeling about life and cellulite, and how often can you say that?

Key to its success of course, is its presenter. Gok Wan makes the whole thing about female empowerment in a way that superior, bullying alpha-girl gang Trinny and Susannah never did. I love Gok because Gok loves women (although not in a biblical sense, obviously) and he shouts out the message that Mills & Boon has been quietly imparting to readers for years: namely, who cares if you have a big bottom/no bottom at all, a rounded tummy/flat chest, magnificent, child-bearing hips/all the voluptuosness of an ironing board? You’re beautiful. In a house with 3 daughters this makes How to Look Good Naked qualify as Educational Viewing.

In the same vein of boosting self-esteem and all round sharing the love and positivity, I have a lovely review for Spanish Aristocrat Forced Bride from Julie at Cataromance, in which she says

If it’s a gripping romance rich in drama and passion that you’re after, then look no further than India Grey’s latest: Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride! Her writing is poised and assured and sparkling with deep emotional resonance which will move you to tears. Her love scenes are pure poetry – sensuous, well-written and affecting – and her ability to pen an unforgettable tale that readers will remember long after the last page is turned simply stunning.

Pure poetry. I LOVED that bit. Thanks Julie-- take a glass of champagne and go and join Gok Wan in my VIP Lounge for People Who Make Life Feel Better.


Kaz19 said...

You thoroughly deserved that fantastic review, I ageed with everything that Julie said, the book is incredible! And yes, the comment about it being pure poetry, my, you must be so proud, she was so right!

I must admit, I don't watch 'How To Look Good Naked'. Personally, I have always hated my own body shape. Perhaps as a bit of therapy, I should watch Gok Wan and let him persuade me that really, my size 14 isn't that bad really.

xx Karen

Trenda Plunkett said...

Congrats on the fabulous review, India!!!

Have a gorgeous day!


P.S. I wonder if there will be an American version of 'How to Look Good Naked' anytime in the future? I could go for some body image therapy, myself!

India said...

Karen-- no need for Gok, because I can tell you straight off right now that you're GORGEOUS. Size 14? That's nothing and you're a goddess, so wherever you're reading this and whatever you're doing I want you to start behaving like you believe that! (I'm hoping you're at work, in which case you now have to go and make a cup of tea as if you were Sophia Loren. Who would probably drink horrible strong coffee, but never mind. Sashay, woman!)

Trenda, I'm sure there must be something along the same lines isn't there? If not we must send lovely Gok over to you straight away.
(Oh, but then he might not come back and we'd be left in body-anxiety hell for evermore, so perhaps you can't have him after all. And anyway, you don't need him because you're as slender as a seventeen year old...)
No, on second thoughts I'm keeping him here!

Anonymous said...

Sashay. And shoes. Got to have the shoes. Love that programme.
Gok Wan came to open up a new clothing store in our town and judging by the crowds and security he is still mega popular.
And yes, the wardrobe part makes me cringe.
Drama and passion... um.. Lovely. LOL

Kaz19 said...

The trouble with me, every time I look in the mirror I'm imagining myself on the arm of George Clooney in Wednesday night's premier in London, strutting my stuff on the red carpet, with him of course whispering in my ear that to just ignore the camera flashes and just smile. (How lucky was his girlfriend?) Of course, as I told all the girls in the office, he did contact me earlier in the week, to arrange meeting up, but hey ho, it was a mid-week date, and I had work the following morning. In my dreams or what?
Sophia Loren? Umm, perhaps she has had a short neck, auburn coloured hair and was only 5'1"? Lets hope so!!
xx Karen

Trenda Plunkett said...

Thanks for the compliment, India, but I've never been slender. I was always pudgy, even as a kid. Still, I am trying very hard to like myself just as I am. I wholeheartedly agree it is terribly important for our daughters to grow up with healthy body images. One of my dearest wishes is for my daughter to grow up with a healthy body image and strong self-esteem.

I'm not aware of a similar show over here...I watched a clip of HTLGN on YouTube and I see why you love Gok. Might I borrow him for a weekend? I promise to send him back!

Oh, and Karen, I'm a size 14 too. I say we wear our Size 14's with pride!


Amanda Gardner said...


There is or was a "How to Look Good Naked" in the States with Carson Kressley on Lifetime.

Congrats on the review, India.

Trenda Plunkett said...


Thanks! I'll look for it!


India said...

Nina, you always look indecently fabulous. You have the sashay and the shoes to perfection. (I want what she's having...)

Karen, you SO remind me of the heroine of my next book-- we emailed about it when I first started writing it, remember? There's a scene in it... well, I won't say any more now, but you'll see!

Trenda, I don't see you like that AT ALL. But it's how we see ourselves that's so important, and if we can accept and love our own bodies our daughters will love theirs too. (This is partly my justification for the two pieces of cake I had at lunchtime.)

Amanda-- thanks for the info! Off to look it up on youtube!

Trenda Plunkett said...


You are so wise, and your daughters are truly blessed to have you for a Mum.

It's true, I have noticed that when I speak kindly about myself, my children are more apt to do the same about themselves. And vice versa...

Cake sounds yummy!

P.S. I sent you an update via email on the Scarlet Boa contest. :-)



India said...

Trenda-- CONGRATS on finalling!

Keep us posted...

Trenda Plunkett said...

Thank you, India!!!!

Enjoy your excursion!