Did anyone watch Gok’s Teens: The Naked Truth on Channel last night? If you didn’t it was a brilliant though painful step back into the teenage world. Having been a teenage agony aunt for many years, it was good to see a TV show finally discussing the issues that worry most teens in a sympathetic and problem solving way.
In this first episode Gok met teens who suffer from body dysmorphia and explored the unobtainable images of perfection that so many teens and pre-teens now seem to strive for. Aside from talking to a girl who was recovering from Anorexia, he talked to an internet-obsessed 15-year-old girl who was addicted to looking at pro-ana sites of skinny models that fed her belief that she was too ‘big’.
What was great about this episode was that Gok was understanding of the issues and yet not afraid to be firm with the teens. Encouraging the above girl look beyond what she was viewing and realize that (1) what she was seeking was unhealthy and (2) that the pictures she obsessed over had been doctored to look thinner. Even more interesting were the celebrities who took part to tell their own tales of teen angst and body image such as Jo Brand, Gordon Ramsay and boxer Joe Calzaghe.
If you haven’t seen the show do watch it on 4OD because it’s an excellent series to watch with kids no matter what their age. Not only will it encourage conversation in an area that most of us ignore, but it will also help teens with secret and not so secret body issues to feel that they’re really not alone.
I don’t know about you but I could have really done with seeing something like this when I was a navel gazing 14 year old with zero self esteem.
So how do you help your teens deal with their self esteem and body issues? Let me know.