Gok Wan was an obese teen, and retraced his steps of his unhappy youth, growing up in Leicester being “Chinese and gay.” He quotes looking back at pictures of himself “f**k me, I was massive!” As if it was a bad thing, yet isn’t he about empowering people to feel good in their own skin no matter what their size?
Watching the programme I felt truly bad for the style guru, watching him re trace his steps from sadness to glamorous. However I find the concept some what hypocritical. He says in the documentary that he does what he does as he felt bad about himself as a child, being an over weight teen, and therefore wants to make others feel better about themselves. All intents and purposes aside, he didn’t feel happy being “fat”, so what makes him think that by making women up who consider themselves to be “fat or ugly” that they too will be truly and deeply happy, and not happier in themselves. Surely he would be more accomplished if he was a “fat” style guru, who felt he looked good naked, without feeling the pressure of the media in our modern superficial society, promoting that people can be “bigger and better”. However, it just goes to show that Gok, is happier being thinner than his former larger self, but is constantly fighting the battle with food and mental strength not to go back to where he formerly was.
But as long as he’s promoting positive change to his audience, then no harm done.