Carson Kressley Reveals, ‘How to Look Good Naked’!
by Jennifer Jonassen
Whether you’re in the nude, in the buff, in your birthday suit, or (as my mom used to say) naked as a jaybird (do other birds wear clothes?) – we all want to look and feel like a million bucks! That is why I knew I just had to interview Lifetime TV’s “How To Look Good Naked” star: Carson Kressley. We first met & loved Kressley on another makeover series: Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Week after week we watched him work his magic as he made over our boyfriends, husbands and sons. Changing them from pumpkins & couch potatoes into princes right before our eyes. Who knew it could get better than that? But it did! On How To Look Good Naked Kressley transcends your average TV make over show The result: a powerful new series that results in profound inner transformation. Each episode, Kressley introduces a new woman who is brave enough to take the journey with him that ultimately ends in posing naked for a photo session! By the time they reach the shoot, Kressley has led them masterfully through a personal journey where each woman emerges the swan that they suddenly realize they have been all along…
JJ: What drew you to this project?
CK: Well I was lucky because this show was already a sucessful format in the UK and I was able to see the show before signing on. What impressed me most was that it was so tremendously different from any other makeover show on the air. In essence, this show is not about changing the way you look, but instead how you see yourself. After having worked on an extremely successful makeover show like Queer Eye, I was so delighted to be asked to work on another such project, where each week I can help people feel better about themselves.
JJ: What have been some of the challenges? Surprises?
CK: Well when I first heard the show’s title, HOW TO LOOK GOOD NAKED, I thought to myself, “Oh, that’s easy just get a dimmer switch and a box of wine!” That was kind of a joke, but I did not realize how deep seeded some on these women’s body issues were. I had no idea that women could be so hard on themselves. I certainly knew that the media and pressures from society in general could make women unhappy about their bodies, but I had no idea they could become so debilitating!
JJ: What do you think transforms all of your guests?
CK: Well it is a very well crafted process. The first step, and quite possibly the scariest and most emotional (for both the la dies and myself) is seeing whats really there by taking an honest look in the mirror. Then the “perception correction” starts and we show these women what they really look like and let them hear some positive feedback from people they dont even know. If you have seen the show, you know what I am talking about! If not, tune into Lifetime and check it out! Then finally some pampering goes a long way and reinforcing that our bodies are indeed worth taking care of! The clincher is having these women sit for a nude (but tasteful!) photo shoot where they leave all their body issues behind… along with their bra and panties! That part of the show may sound scandalous, but it really is an integral part of the process of letting go of past issues and starting fresh. ALL of the women we have worked with have said the same thing, that the nude photo shoot is an incredibly liberating experience.
JJ: Can you give us a pointer or two on how we can look good naked?
CK: First and foremost, stop focusing on the negative and really be honest with yourself about some of the great things about one’s body. EVERYBODY has something to flaunt. A great way to start is by doing your own photo shoot. Simply take a shot of yourself when you are looking and feeling your best and then post that on your bathroom mirror. Then instead of immediately thinking the worst when you step out of the shower and take a look, you will be reminded that you are beautiful! And last of all, dont compare yourself to women that you see in all the beauty or fashion magazines. They are super models for a reason. But that is a rare breed and you have to remember that they live in an air brushed world!
JJ: What qualities do you look for in your guests?
CK: I think first and foremost, someone that needs the help. It is so gratifying to help some one in need.
JJ: What would you say to a young person struggling with body image?
CK: Well first of all, you are not alone. So many young women in the US have the same concerns. It is crucial to feel good about your body at a early age to develop a healthy self image. I think it crystalizes into the single phrase, just be you! And, also remember that you dont have to be perfect to be beautiful. There are alot of different versions of beauty!
JJ: Have you struggled with body image yourself?
CK: Yes, I have struggled with a high self esteem problem for years! That was a joke too! I think we all have parts of our body that we are less than pleased with. But overall I am happy with the way I look. And that’s another important point, dont focus on bits and pieces and always remember you are a whole person and that one part of your body should not control your life!
JJ: How does working on “How to Look Good Naked” differ from “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy“?
CK: Well I think t hat working with women is a little more challenging just that women are so much harder on themselves. But essentially it is very much the same. Its all about telling people to be themselves and make the best of what theyve got!
JJ: Any upcoming projects?
CK: My clothing line continues this fall on QVC in October with an amazing collection of womens sportswear for EVERY body type. Also I am working on developing a style-driven, feel – good am talk show for the Lifetime Network.
JJ: Does it include Plus Sizes or will it in the future?
CK: Of course. We stock a complete size range from petite to plus. Everyone deserves great clothes.
JJ: Awesome! Where can we find them?
CK: Check em out on QVC.com.
JJ: I certainly will Carson- and hey if you ever have a shortage of guests for your show (though I suspect you won’t) definitely give me a call!