Stripped down to the barest emo­tions

How to Look Good Naked 8pm, Ten

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

MEET Diana. She has big breasts, nice teeth, a shapely butt and a great big bun­dle of self- con­fi­dence is­sues. The 27- year- old has spent most of her life in body- im­age hell be­cause she feels her breasts are far too big and that they’re the first thing peo­ple no­tice about her. But by the end of tonight’s show you can see her naked on a 30m- high bill­board.

Pop­ping up on an LA bill­board comes as a shock to Diana, which in turn comes as a sur­prise to us at home be­cause ( a) she has just posed naked for a pho­tog­ra­pher, ( b) she is ap­pear­ing in a show with the word naked in the ti­tle and ( c) the nude finale hap­pens ev­ery week.

En­ter Car­son Kress­ley. You’ll re­mem­ber him from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the overnight suc­cess of 2003 that barely lasted un­til lunchtime the next day ( count two or three sea­sons). Mas­ter of the dou­ble en­ten­dre and in­dus­tri­al­strength flam­boy­ance, he was the stand- out per­former of the show, which claimed to make- over sloppy straight dudes into stylish straight dudes, but some­times turned them into sex­less fops with silly hair­cuts.

The 38- year- old has sub­se­quently gone on to a sec­ond ca­reer writ­ing books, do­ing cameos in films and launch­ing his own snazzy menswear line. When Kress­ley was asked to host a US ver­sion of How to Look Good Naked , based on the Bri­tish se­ries, which shows how women can bol­ster their best as­sets and self- es­teem, he ap­par­ently blurted to his agent: ‘‘ I can’t do that. I don’t look good naked. How am I go­ing to tell other peo­ple?’’

While Kress­ley is not a bloke you’d usu­ally ex­pect to be woo­ing women out of their clothes, as a gay man he has one almighty ad­van­tage over straight Y- chro­mo­somers: he doesn’t present a sex­ual threat or chal­lenge.

‘‘ When we started do­ing it ( the se­ries), I re­alised how women have th­ese amaz­ingly deep body is­sues,’’ he told a re­porter re­cently.

Amaz­ingly deep isn’t a phrase that springs to mind when you watch this show, but you have to hand it to Kress­ley: he knows what ( some) women want, wit­nessed by the feed­back to Naked ’ s pop­u­lar web­site: ‘‘ I wish I had Car­son with me to make me feel brave and love my body.’’

‘‘ I’m sit­ting here in a pool of tears! I wish that was me on TV with Car­son.’’

Enough al­ready. Well, at least this show isn’t about women re­sort­ing to plas­tic surgery or ex­treme makeovers to be­come what they see as sexy. At its best, it’s about en­cour­ag­ing them — no mat­ter what their size or shape — to en­joy their bod­ies. And that can’t be a bad thing.

Stark drama: Car­son Kress­ley in the US ver­sion of How to Look Good Naked

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