These Women Hate Their Bodies - But They Dared To bare All On TV?

Jan 23, 2006
New York New York
They think their tummies are wobbly, their breasts saggy and their bums huge. Yet, these four women stripped off and bared all.

Why? They all appear in the Channel 4 series How To Look Good Naked in which fashion stylist Gok Wan teaches women how to feel confident. Here, they tell MISHAAL KHAN how it changed their lives.

Lisa Mayall, 36, is a full-time mother who lives in Newbury, Berks, with her children Eva, eight, Alfie, six, and Joseph, two. She says:
Until I appeared in the programme, I had a really unhealthy body image. More than anything I hated my stomach, which bulged out at the top of my trousers.
It really got me down. My children lovingly call it "the doughnut" and I used to laugh about it - but deep down I was hurt and my confidence was low.
Confidence boost: Lisa Mayall

My self-esteem was already at rock bottom because a few weeks after I had Joseph, my partner left me for another woman. We'd been together for 13 years, and I thought it was a good relationship.
I was deeply in love with him and that probably explains why I put up with his mental abuse for so long. He always put me down and made me feel bad about myself.
I began to question why he left. I blamed myself for him leaving. I genuinely thought there might be something wrong with me - the way I looked, dressed or behaved.
Looking back, I never really took pride in my appearance. I never felt I deserved it. I just didn't see grooming as essential to being a woman - an opinion I've now changed, thanks to Gok.
I used to hide behind baggy, hippystyle clothes. I was never overweight - I weighed between eight and a half and nine stone, and wore a dress size ten - but I wasn't happy with my body shape.
My boobs sagged and my tummy was soft. I wanted to be more toned.
I finally reached breaking point two years after my partner left. I felt so miserable and told myself I couldn't carry on like this. I was tired of questioning myself.
I was still young, and had three children to look after. If I didn't look after myself, it wouldn't make me a good role model to them.
The TV programme couldn't have come at a better time. I'd watched the first series and applied to appear on the programme last summer. There were more than 6,000 applicants, so to be one of the final eight was exciting.
Gok is fantastic. He is an enormous character, but he is also very genuine. He helped me look beyond my insecurities and love myself again.

The first day I met him, I had to strip down to my underwear. Standing in my smalls in front of a mirror and an entire camera crew was intimidating. But I didn't consider backing down. I knew I had to take the leap if I wanted my life to change. Once I'd done it, I felt instantly lifted.
I gained so much confidence because I felt I was finally taking control of my life.
I saw my old underwear get eaten up by an industrial shredder, and I learnt how to go shopping for clothes that I felt good in.
The best experience for me was the nude image. The idea was I would be forced to confront the way I look and be convinced it was a body I could love.
I thought I'd be horrified for anyone to see the picture - but when Gok had finished with me, I was actually rather proud of it.
He has a skill to be able to convince women they should have confidence in themselves.
In the end, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was liberating and I didn't feel embarrassed stripping.

Since that epiphany, I've started wearing make-up and properly looking after my body. I've become much more adventurous - I'll wear heels, fitted jeans and skinny T-shirts. I'm feel more positive about life. I laugh more and can see the old Lisa returning. It would have been lovely to have shared this experience with someone special, but I haven't let that hold me back. I'm ready now for a healthy relationship
Jan 23, 2006
New York New York

Role model: Helen Thompson is much happier

Helen Thompson, 37, a housewife and mother, lives in Scunthorpe with her husband Gary, 37, a production supervisor, and their daughters Martha, seven, and Ruby, four. She says:

My first meeting with Gok was very emotional. I had to stand in my underwear and tell him all the things I hated about myself.
The list was endless - my thin hair, big nose, broad shoulders, big boobs and loose stomach. But he proved that people didn't see me the same way I saw myself.
He lined up a group of five women, ranging from an E cup to a J cup, and asked me where I would put myself.
I stood next to two women who were a size J, although I was an E cup. I had imagined my boobs to be four times bigger than they were.
That line-up had the biggest impact on me. I started to look at myself differently after that. I studied myself in the mirror and realised I wasn't as big on top as I had imagined.
I bought underwear which fitted me properly -so my boobs no longer sag and my stomach looks much flatter.
I stopped working five years ago and after two children my confidence was at an all-time low.
After each pregnancy, my boobs increased a cup size until I was an E cup.
When I met Gary I was 23, and wore size 12 to 14 clothes, but I was happy. I worked at an estate agent's, wore suits and cared about my appearance.
When I was pregnant I was eating for two. I ate healthily, but craved chocolate and McDonald's fast food. I gained three stone and felt huge.
Looking after Martha at home meant I ate more. She'd never finish a whole chocolate bar, so I did. I also ate ready meals every day because I didn't have the time or energy to cook.
As the children got older I became even more insecure. Gary told me I was wonderful but I didn't believe him.
I never went shopping and bought all my clothes online. I wouldn't walk around naked in front of my children because I feared their honesty. I would laugh at the size of my boobs, but inside I was deeply embarrassed.
Now I have colour in my wardrobe and buy things I'd never have worn before. I wear skirts and am back in high heels. It's cost my husband, but he can see how much happier I am.
I want to be a good role model for my daughters.
Martha is tall for her age, but I don't want her to be embarrassed. She watched the show and when she saw me crying, said: "Mummy I didn't realise you were so unhappy." I said: "I'm not any more because I know people love Mummy for Mummy and not for what she looks like."
Jan 23, 2006
New York New York

Eye-opener: Midwife Liz Marlow

Liz Marlow, 29, a midwife, is married to Adrian, 33, a policeman.
They have two children, Victoria, three, and Archie, 15 months, and live in Buckinghamshire. She says:
My weight has always been something I've struggled with. Even as a teenager I was a size 14.
My husband Adrian always told me I was beautiful. He likes voluptuous women so he happily accepted my shape.
But the more comfortable we became, the more I stopped caring, and the weight piled on.

Soon, I was 15 stone and a size 16-18. After my two children were born I remained the same size and became increasingly miserable.
But instead of finding ways to combat my weight and finding clothes to suit my shape, I hid under large fleeces and baggy trousers. I didn't want to draw attention to myself, I was so ashamed.
Then, about a year ago, I saw How To Look Good Naked. I was glued to the television - it was amazing to see how women's lives were transformed with simple things such as the line-up and buying new underwear.
It was inspiring to watch women come to love themselves without the aid of plastic surgery.

I got in contact with the producers, but kept what I'd done from Adrian - he loved me so much I didn't want him to know how unhappy I was.
But when the acceptance letter came, I had to tell him the truth. His reaction surprised me - he was upset my body image had become so bad without him realising.
The first few weeks with Gok were scary but exciting. He got all the women to pose in their underwear, projected the images on to a large wall in our local town centres and then asked passers-by what they thought.
It was enlightening to hear people say I had nice legs and a small waist.
But the most powerful moment of all was when he got me to stand in front of the mirror and examine my own body.
He asked me to tell him what I thought my measurements were and I over-estimated my own waist by five inches.
Hearing that made me realise how much of my problems were in my mind, not reality. It didn't take long to start embracing the good points of my body - such as my waist and legs.

In the months since the show ended I've started to embrace my figure. I am updating my wardrobe to flatter my shape - tighter, nipped-in tops and fitted dresses - and I have never been happier.
Jan 23, 2006
New York New York

Small changes: Vikki Brace has pride in her looks

Vikki Brace, 28, a mother and housewife, lives in Kent with her husband Mark, 40, a sales executive, and daughter Emily, two.
She says:
Filming the show was a lifechanging experience. Gok broke me down to my lowest because that was the only way I could pick myself up again - by admitting that I needed to change.
It was depressing seeing how badly I'd let my weight and appearance slip. But within days I felt emotionally lighter. Sharing my pain with Gok lifted a weight off my shoulders.
My body shape changed so dramatically, which I wasn't prepared for. I became so unhappy that I avoided mirrors and changing rooms.
When I became pregnant with Emily, I started to slip downhill. I gained two stone and went up two dress sizes.
I didn't want to go out and stopped socialising. My mum ended up buying clothes for me because I refused to.
I would watch reality makeover shows and shout at the helpless, unhappy women on TV. I didn't see anything wrong with them, but when they spoke about how they felt - lonely and frightened - I knew exactly what they meant.
When I was accepted to go on the programme, Gok advised me to start making little changes to build up my confidence.
I started wearing make-up again. Now I won't go out of the house without foundation, eye make-up, blusher and lipstick. And I've changed my hairstyle.
Gok also gave me a great piece of advice - fake it. If you can't afford to go on holiday, get a spray tan. I didn't believe him when he said it would make me feel better, but he was right. Since the programme, I've stopped worrying about what people think.

Story by, MISHALL KHAN, From The Daily Femail


Thank You God <3
Aug 27, 2006
LaLa Land
i didnt read thru everything yet but i just had to post I think these woman look gorgeous! their bodies to me, look very very sexy!!

ms p

so blessed
Jan 9, 2007
i applaud their courage. also it's good that they are all happier after doing the show. but seriously is it neccessary to be only in underwear and ask passerby for their opinion, and also to be nude on tv? a tv show can get re-broadcast and copy ... their nude may follow them forever ...


Founder of B.U.M.
Mar 7, 2007
Winchester, England
The show is fab. I wish the article had shown before/after pics though - you really wouldn't believe the difference.

Gok gets the women to make the best of what they've got - and accept themselves. He helps with underwear, hair, make-up and clothes, things these women just don't bother about as they hate themselves. He is a wonderful chap who clearly loves women - in all shapes and sizes - and makes every woman he meets feel beautiful :tup:

And no, they don't go completely naked. They always have material or something to cover their modesty!:P


Mar 9, 2006
That's very courageous of them...I don't hate my body at all, I don't think I would be brave enough to do something like that for television.