Monday, 1 November 2010

Gok Wan, Snack A Jacks

It's a little too tempting in reviewing Gok Wan to make fun of his name, but don't worry, Conspirators of Pleasure isn't about to descend into cod racism (I expect to write more about cod racism in my review for Nick Griffin's inevitable Birds (glass) Eye promotion). For the purposes of this review, I watched the entire last series of How To Look Good Naked as "research". I wouldn't otherwise watch it. Honest. For those who haven't seen the show, each week Gok Wan (Hey! That's an anagram of Go, it's too easy) gives fashion tips to a Joanna Public with body image problems, while also giving them the confidence to "bare all" in public. To be honest, all they ever do is show their arse to a baying shopping centre crowd, and I'm pretty sure I could do that already. I don't mean that I would just wander into Lakeside and drop my pants, because if I did that I'd probably be, at best, arrested and, at worst, stabbed. No, I mean that if I were on a catwalk with some Gokettes and had Gok as the master of ceremonies, I'd probably do it. It's all about context.

I'm not really sure why it's called "How To Look Good Naked" anyway. Half the show is about finding the right fit of clothes to suit the subject's body shape or how to wear clothes that give the impression of a more desirable body shape. And as for the naked part, Gok doesn't actually change the way they look naked - they look exactly the same at the end as they do at the beginning. Rather, he justs teaches them to be more confident in their birthday suit. And a bit overly confident at that, almost to the point of naturism. However I suppose that "How To Look Good Clothed And Feel Good Enough Naked To Show Your Backside And Maybe A Bit Of Sideboob In Public And On National Television" really would be a bit of a mouthful.

Though his shows can be a tad leering at times, I find Gok Wan to be by-and-large an honourable person. It's good to show women that curves and having some meat to your figure are desirable. We're living in a post-Christina Hendricks world for Christ's sake! We have even seeing a slight emergence of plus-size models, but since these models are still below average-size, I really they should be referred to as "minus-size".

The Gok Wan/Snack A Jacks promotion, Bag Some She-Time enabled consumers to get some beauty rewards or, better still, win a styling session with "Auntie" Gok himself. Given how Snack A Jacks are already marketed, putting Gok Wan's image and the phrase "she-time" on the packaging makes it even more embarassing for a raving heterosexual man to buy the product (thank the Lord (Sainsbury) for self-service checkouts). Now that How To Look Good Naked not only features fashion/beauty tips for men, but has also had a male as a subject, I feel Gok could do something to correct this problem. Maybe next series a "Wan for the boys" feature could teach us How To Look Good Buying And Eating Snack A Jacks.

In being sweet, Caramel-flavour Snack A Jacks stick out like a sore thumb. And not a very tasty sore thumb at that - like toffee popcorn, it's a sweetness that I'm not overly enamoured of. For the savoury Snack A Jacks, I find the distribution of seasoning to be pretty variable within the packet, which comes as a shock to the system, with my supermarket-ingrained uniformity expectations. I have to say that the only flavour that really has me coming back for more is Sour Cream & Chive.

Gok Wan: 7/10
Snack A Jacks - Sour Cream & Chive: 7/10, Caramel: 3/10, Other Flavours: 5/10, Average: 5/10
Total: 12/20