To be honest, the series How To Look Good Naked Canada could just as easily be called How To Feel Good Naked Canada.
“The show goes beyond a new haircut or attractive clothes,” says Zain Meghji, the ever-present, enthusiastic host of the new W makeover series.
“Granted, it’s a TV show. But for the women, it’s like going through a personal development course all in one week. There’s a psychological aspect to it. And I’m their guide on their journey to rediscover themselves.”
Based on the smash hit British version, How To Look Good Naked Canada does in fact deliver on its naughty title — with participating women beginning each episode in their underwear before a full length mirror. What then ensues are some of the usual makeover segments and beauty tips, all culminating in a nude photo shoot.
“Literally, she begins the show stripped down,” says Meghji, who has worked as an actor and entertainment reporter for TV’s eTalk.
“She’s exposed, vulnerable and forced to look at herself and tell us what she likes about her body. Then it’s all about accentuating the best, and dressing the rest.”
It can be quite an emotional ride for participating women, many of whom suffer from serious long-term self-image issues. In the premiere episode, for instance, a single Toronto mother recounts the sad story of being called “fat and ugly” by her mother.
Meghji says many participants don’t have full length mirrors and haven’t looked at themselves in years. “Some women don’t even know what they look like. They’re making up a story without even looking.
“You gotta look! You gotta accept!”
Not that the show is always successful. Meghji says many participants do feel truly better about themselves by the end of the series. Some … not so much.
“Each woman reacts differently. Some go through it and say — I’m forever changed. But you wonder — are they really?” he says.
“Some you can see in their eyes that they have changed. And some women are resistant even when it’s done.”