Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

January 4, 2008

How To Look Good Naked

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Be Super Fantastic — Miss Plumcake @ 3:27 pm

I hate reality TV. I only ever get to see it when I’m staying in hotels but when I do see it; the whole thing makes me bats. I don’t even like the makeover shows, particularly; they seem mean-spirited. Example: I saw What Not to Wear, American edition, for the first time a few weeks ago while I was laid up in yet another hotel and I was scandalized! What horrible, condescending people and frankly their fashion sense is highly, highly questionable. So it was with a good deal of fear and trembling that I decided to preview Carson Kressley –of Queer Eye fame– and his new show “How to Look Good Naked” which premiers today on Lifetime.

If you have body issues, or have ever HAD body issues (by which I mean if you are a woman who has ever read a magazine, watched television, seen a movie, gone to high school, changed in a locker room or seen yourself under fluorescent lighting) you have got to watch this show. It’s about correcting the way we view our bodies and by extension, our selves.

Go, watch the episode online or on Lifetime tonight!


  1. I’d love to hear more about what you thought. I’ve seen the ads for this show, and was super-skeptical about the possibility of it being an empathetic look at real women’s bodies, rather than “Here’s another way to cover up your hideous arms…and tummy…and butt…and boobs…and, well, how do you feel about caftans?” So I’m excited to hear how this is different, and especially if skinny fashionista Carson really works as the host.

    Comment by Crinklish — January 4, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  2. I love Stacy and Clinton! I don’t find them condescending. The people on their show seriously NEED fashion help. The look soooo much better afterward.

    I do want to check out How To Look Good Naked. It looks interesting.

    Comment by Angel — January 4, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  3. That was awesome! For the first commenter, there was no covering up. Just watch it for yourself.

    Comment by succubus — January 4, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  4. Crinklish, what I particularly liked about it was that it WASN’T about hiding things and telling her that X and X and X are horrible and wrong (ahem Stacy and Clinton) it was about going “okay, is it perfect? No. Is it beautiful? Yes.” It was all positive, except one comment about an ugly cardigan and you know, sometimes an ugly cardigan is just an ugly cardigan.

    Comment by Plumcake — January 4, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  5. I’m with Angel – I love those two. I don’t think it’s about covering something up, per se – it’s about fit and about emphasizing your most fabulous parts.

    Comment by sara — January 4, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

  6. I have to agree with Angel and sara. While Stacy can be pretty abrasive, I don’t think either of them are condescending. To quote Plumcake, “an ugly cardigan is an ugly cardigan.” I don’t consider myself fashion forward, but even I shudder when I see some of the godawful crap the various makeover candidates wear.

    Comment by me — January 4, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  7. I was asked to review it, and I liked it much better than I expected to. He said one thing that I really liked a lot: “It’s not about what’s perfect, it’s about what’s beautiful.”

    And even though I do love Tim Gunn and I thought his makeover show was decent, it looked like it would be a lot more fun to go shopping with Carson.

    Comment by AmyK — January 4, 2008 @ 8:14 pm

  8. Carsen is always fun. I loved him on Queer Eye and he’s even better here because he’s the best friend in the dressing room that you never had.
    Everything is positive. And, he isn’t telling any fish stories here – the girl involved IS beautiful – and she also has some real perception problems – where she placed herself in the “lineup” is genuine proof of that. And Carsen is not hitting anyone over the head with this stuff – so, maybe a lot of us have the same issues and comparable misperceptions. Just maybe we ARE beautiful.
    Let’s put THAT doubt into everyone’s minds…maybe…just maybe…we’re beautiful…hmmmm…now that’s an interesting thought.
    (Janice Dickerson – I think you can get back on your broom and leave..)

    Comment by Toby Wollin — January 4, 2008 @ 8:28 pm

  9. I must admit – I haven’t seen the US version of Naked, but the British version is wonderful! I think it’s so inspiring to see the change in the women. Yay for learning how to love ourselves :-)

    Comment by Chloe — January 4, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

  10. I love Tim and Clinton and Stacy but they tend to forget that not everyone lives in Manhattan, makes 6 figures, and has a maid to deal with laundry, groceries, and dirty toilets. Carson is letting us know that we are OK, actually we are great, and to play up our assets. No snobbery, no unrealistic dress codes, just that we are fantastic and are allowed to be fantastic…. Carson can strip me to my underwear on tv anytime….

    Comment by Jennie — January 4, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  11. Oh! Toby, You nailed it on The Wicked Janice Bit.., I mean Witch of the West! Rude, Crude, Coarse, and Arrogant past understanding. A has been that needs to be a has gone. Gag!!!

    Comment by Jennie — January 5, 2008 @ 12:01 am

  12. My biggest beef with so many of those shows (WNTW – UGH!!!) is that they rarely allow for individualism. They take some sort of narrow view of “attractive” and take the person away from their personality and into something Cosmo would consider appropriate.

    Granted, many of those people have gotten to comfortable as themselves and therefore lazy and schlumpy, but most of the time, I find little wrong with what the person is wearing to begin with. All they need is a posture class and some examples of good clothes in their style.

    Of course, I also tend to dress classic romantic-goth (but not over the top with lace and pvc), using somewhat antiquated elements. People find it beautiful, attractive, and individual. But I also carry myself with pride and own my individuality. Someone telling me I have to dress like someone who shops at Old Navy or reads Cosmo would get glared at (while I was imagining punching them in the nose)

    Comment by Synnamin — January 5, 2008 @ 1:09 am

  13. I was really impressed with How to Look Good Naked. First, the show was very entertaining, Carson was great fun to watch, and the entire tone of the show was body-positive. There was no condescending, and I felt that they focused on how to make the most of what you have, and how to love who you are, rather than telling the subject of the show everything she had been doing wrong (as in WNTW).

    I’m looking forward to next week’s episode!

    Comment by Grace — January 5, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  14. I admit I did enjoy the show “How to Look Good Naked.” I thought it had a good message about seizing the day and not putting off self-care and respect until we are perfect. But I had a few issues with it too.

    The premise is to help women discover their beauty and feel good naked. However, before they told the girl she looked good naked, she had to change her clothes(i.e. spend lots of money), cut her hair, color her hair and hire a professional photographer. Oh, and also it required a makeup artist and a day at the spa. The woman on the show was beautiful. Even before they spent thousands of dollars on fixing her up.

    I did like the undercurrent of giving up dieting, and accepting our bodies. I also think it highlighted a truth that is important for plus size women. We have to be a little more careful with what we wear than thin people. Wearing an outfit that looks put together and shows individual style makes a big difference. This is something I learned on this blog. I was wearing utility clothes and not looking so good. Now I really enjoy dressing and finding my own style.

    Comment by suumer — January 5, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

  15. To all,
    I have watched WNTW religiously, and learned quite a bit about “dressing the body you have,” even if S & C are sometimes brutally blunt. Their intentions are to make every participant the best she (or he) can be, and there is no doubt that for some people, this is life changing.

    I REALLY loved the whole tone of HTLGN because it is all about celebrating what is beautiful that we already have and learning how to enhance it. Women, whether they are a size 2 or a size 22 are all about self-deprecation. We engage in the “I hate my thighs (or butt or chin or arms…add your own parts in)” conversation waaaaaay to much. We forget to appreciate what is GOOD about our bodies.

    I think the most interesting segment of the show was when Carson had a split screen of three women walking down the street with their faces barred off and then asked his guest to talk about each of the women, what they were wearing and how they presented themselves. The surprise was…they were all the same woman! What we wear and how we carry ourselves has a great impact upon how others see us. It’s not about spending lots of money, but knowing what to wear and how to wear it. I mean, really. How long did it take me to figure out that front pleats were not doing me any favors?!

    Comment by Michele — January 5, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

  16. I watched HTLGN on the site because I missed it when it came on tv. Incredible! I was also surprised when Carson said all three women in the split screen were the SAME woman. Wow. It’s amazing how clothes can really work for you, or totally against you.

    I thought the show was empowering! I’ll definitely watch it again.

    Comment by Angel — January 6, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  17. I wouldn’t classify Janice as a “has been.” I would place her in the “never was” category. Nasty.

    I need to get a tv.

    Comment by Chaser — January 6, 2008 @ 2:25 am

  18. I enjoyed it — Carson seems like quite a nice man, doesn’t he? I’d like to see how he’d work with someone who is considerably fatter than the prettily curvaceous woman in the first episode, but maybe that’s in the works. I quite liked the body-positive tone, and personally didn’t have any problem with the hair/makeup/clothes aspect — I mean, it’s a makeover show.

    I was put off by just one thing, which was Lifetime’s fault and not that of the show’s producers: On the airing I watched, there was a commercial for a weight-loss product in the last break. Granted, this particular product’s advertising is not half as obnoxious as most other’s, but still, it was a bit disappointing.

    Comment by Bridey — January 6, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

  19. Plumcake, dahling, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for turning me on to this little gem of a show. Finally a “makeover” show that’s as much about the inside as the outside. And Carson’s the perfect host, offering the perfect mix of no-nonsense advice and genuine compassion. I’m off to order the whole season on iTunes!
    Thanks again love

    Comment by Despina — January 6, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

  20. Plumcake, thanks for recommending this show, it is not a *title* that would attract me, but I really enjoyed the show itself. It was lovely and meaningful. I too was struck by the split screen shot of the “three” women. What an eye-opener!

    As far as WNTW goes, no one can beat Trini and Susana on the original BBC version, IMO. They were brutally honest, but not snarky or condescending for the cameras. I also find them far more constructive than Clinton and Stacy and I have learned a lot about dressing myself. They are very open about the areas of their own bodies they don’t love and I like that about them. If you haven’t seen the British version, check it out if possible.

    Comment by Eilish — January 6, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  21. What a misleading title for a show. I thought it would be more about making your body over, not your perceptions. I’ll have to check it out now. Thanks.

    Comment by Netter — January 7, 2008 @ 11:22 am

  22. I am in love with this show. So much of what the “makeoveree” was saying about her body could’ve come from my mouth. I had lots of trepidation about this show being another “See? Wearing all black makes you look thinner” show, but the premiere episode was very body-positive. The whole idea of “Is it perfect? No. Is it beautiful? Yes.” is one I’ve been trying to apply to my own life for the last few years. It’s empowering to see a show that tells women that their bodies are beautiful just the way they are — no slimming dark colored clothes necessary.

    I’ve seen Carson be a bit over-the-top in other things, but he was just enthusiastic enough during this show. Having a sense of humor and finding the fun seemed to really put the makeoveree at ease. While Tim Gunn is my pretend gay husband, I’ve decided to take Carson as my pretend gay boyfriend.

    Comment by orora — January 7, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  23. I liked the show, but I felt as if Carson was cheating a bit by picking a girl who was already gorgeous!

    (Of course, I wonder why most people have surgery on those makeover shows — there’s nothing wrong with them that a good haircut and flattering clothes wouldn’t fix.)

    Comment by class-factotum — January 8, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

  24. This is the American version I guess… I loved the original British one. Ill look out for it.

    Comment by pam — January 9, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

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