“When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.”

Hiya peeps,

Help, it’s a funny thing. Some people want it, others can’t abide it. But enough of the word wrangling. I must confess that I have a bit of a soft spot for some of these lifestyle help programmes that seem to populate the airwaves. Yes, some are downright pants but there are others (How to Look Good Naked) that jump out at you. I think with the latter is the presenter, Gok, who makes the show. He is so positive and sincere. It’s lovely to see. It’s so not about size 0, it’s about real women and understanding that the magazines peddle a figure unobtainable by 90% of us. Coupled with the Dove campaign of recent years, I hope we’re on the cusp of a return to normality when it comes to female models. A (t)girl can dream right? 🙂

So, why the question about help? While some shining wits may say I need help (Ed: I think your beyond help now my girl) this isn’t about me. I think it is one thing to admit you need help, yet it is quite another to put yourself out there on TV and be seen warts and all. Personally, I think it is very brave. I’m too much of a private person to do it. Ironic perhaps coming from a blogger! But then you, well most of you, don’t know me in a social context, so my modesty is preserved.

But enough about me (phew!), is there more to this phenomenon than media ‘show cloning’? Is it that we’ve lost our social networks that allow us to help others? Are we too polite to offer help for fear of offending or patronising? Or do we muddle along ourselves to the point that we do not feel we have anything to offer others? Maybe there’s an element that we’re too proud or too scared to ask our friends and family for help? Sure, the telly will mean you get your 15 minutes of fame (more like 2.35 these days) but unlike expressing your inner being to your friends, the exposure may be more fleeting.

[ Today’s lyric (well, like duh!), The Beatles. BTW, did you enjoy the Sgt Pepper covers? ]


  1. I can’t comment on the UK versions of such shows, but before I left the US the shows there seemed to be reaching some kind of critical mass. Some were having real world repercussions they hadn’t anticipated. All of them seemed to be caught up in the “reality TV” marketing juggernaut. How much of that “reality” is actually paid for and directed towards its own ends? How much actual help, besides a pay check isn’t followed up independently.
    When it comes down to family and friends, there does appear to be a bit more disintergration occuring in established systems. Elders are more & more shuffled into care facilities, at earlier ages. Jobs in health care and social services have been facing shortages that put pressure to lower standards and requirements in an effort to meet demands and to implement time management. Siblings depart globally and lose contact and connection. Friendships are mobile and transitory. The great global village promised is sometimes just a global transport station. We pass more and more people with whom we spend less and less time.

    I don’t think its just about too scared or too proud. We wield tremendous powers for communication throughout our day but do we fully understand anymore what it means to communicate so we can consciously do so with all the technology at our disposal?

    Sometimes I can’t do it very well even with words alone, no matter how carefully I try.

  2. > “reality TV” marketing juggernaut

    There’s a strong element of that here too. I think the media find a formula that works and then it’s copied until we tire of it.

    I don’t know if people are becoming more alienated or if it’s just the face pace of life that leaves people behind. We do seem to be slipping into niches more than we did before – the Internet, massive number of channels and the urge for marketting / media to find a ‘market’ – almost regardless of size.

    On another note entirely, I’ll see you all (hopefully!) in a week or so. Sun, sea and surf beckon. 🙂

    Take care!

  3. Gok Wan does my head in.
    No matter how much gushing he does over the women he features on his show (and to be fair, these women have self-confidence issues that he goes a long way to put right), he’ll never know how these women truly feel beforehand, or for that matter, how bloody difficult it is to appear as society wants us to…

    Oh, and I get jealous of all the women showing their bodies…

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