New review – Miss Naked Beauty UK: more degrading than Miss World?

Claire Mercer reviews a show that promised to fight impossible beauty standards, but fell into all the same traps as a beauty paegent

I couldn’t tell you exactly how long it has been since the final episode of Miss Naked Beauty UK, which is perhaps testimony to the fact that the show did not do what its presenters Gok Wan and Myleene Klass promised: find a woman from the general public endowed with all the qualities required to act as an ambassador for all the ‘real women’ of the UK.

Apart from the fact that the term ‘real women’ seems to imply that there are some women in society who are not real (a dubious assertion surely?), I found this series to be fraught with hypocrisy and contradictions.

It is just another example of mainstream television ‘playing’ at integrity, pretending to be subversive in the face of prescribed feminine ideals, armed with the knowledge that there is a growing collective conscience among women that they are not represented honestly, or particularly pleasantly, in mainstream media… only to wind up supporting those same degrading stereotypes after all.

This show offered the notion of a movement or revolution that could remedy insecurities that seem to be found ubiquitously among women in today’s society, for example not having the ‘right’ body shape, or failing to conform to the ever narrower mainstream model of what it is to be a desirable woman.

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