Saturday, 9 July 2016

Naked Truth!

After seeing a naked man sitting on Waterloo Bridge on Tuesday, I then read the Evening Standard on the train going home, which recommended watching "Life Stripped Bare" on Channel 4 that night. I wondered if he was one of the participants. I finally got round to seeing it on catch-up TV a few days later. Now wondering why I bothered!
According the blurb on the website "The average Brit owns 1000 items. What happens when three young households have all of their things stripped away for 21 days, from clothes to phones? Do they discover the secret to happiness?" It was 60 minutes of pointlessness. You can read some of the more amusing reviews here, here and here.
The principle sounded good - but the 'rules' were daft. They began the programme with their flats being stripped completely of all possessions and furniture - and then they themselves had to strip naked.

At the end of each afternoon, they were allowed to visit the storage container to retrieve one possession. But of course, on the first day, this meant they had to make the half mile trip stark naked through the busy streets of Hackney, Cardiff orManchester.

This section of the programme took up way too much time, and was simply an excuse for unclothed silliness, imho. The producer was probably descended from Donald McGill of Saucy Seaside Postcards fame. You realised that the six participants had to be from the same demographic - twenty somethings with no real responsibilities, whose bodies were in reasonable shape. And who possessed onesies, so Day 1's reclaimed possession could be a garment which covered them up decently when they had no underwear.
You could never make this show with a 30 something Mum, who always needs baby wipes and nappies and a buggy. Or a 60 something grandma, whose more mature body is sagging in places and requires her glasses all the time. 
They were allowed some 'basic' foodstuffs [bizarrely this included avocado wraps] Heidi, the most bubbly girl [who lived alone] was a fashion designer - so her Day 1 choice was a roll of fabric from her Stash - she made a dress, underwear, shoes, a sheet...I couldn't decide if she was cheating, or showing initiative. Another guy grabbed a blue towel from a front garden on his dash to the unit - wasn't that illicitly acquiring an extra possession? 
Apart from Heidi, most went at least 2 days before getting shoes. I could not walk the city streets barefoot for that long [two shoes clearly counted as ONE pair = ONE item]. Wallets and phones were retrieved very quickly. And why did one guy get his washing machine back after about 5 days? He wouldn't have had enough garments to make a proper washload!
There was a lot of improvisation - using the office Sharpie as an eyeliner pencil , making punch for a party in the saucepan [then, without individual cups or beakers, having to pass it round to each guest to take a sip, like a Polynesian ritual]
Most of them got to the end of the 21 days [they kept reminded us that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit] having decided they didn't need all their stuff - and taking bags to charity shops and support groups for the homeless.
Heidi got rid of 16 of her 32 bikinis, and another girl culled her collection of 120 pairs of knickers. But I am not sure anybody really learned anything important from the programme...other than bedroom curtains are very useful, and the snowy, wintry streets of Manchester can be very cold if you are lacking in clothing and footwear. 
We are continuing to pare down our stuff - giving it away, recycling it or selling it - but I don't think I would want to follow their drastic approach.
Marie Kondo has much to answer for!!


  1. They must be desperate for audience to produce that sort of rubbish.

  2. I saw the trailer and thought.... errr no!

  3. Give me a gardening programme,book or healthy meal any day, not this rubbish!

  4. I did just the same as Sue, I don't mind a bit of chewing gum for the brain telly buy am not that desperate, I would far rather watch the raindrops trickling down the window or paint drying. Love the poster, the Kondo approach is alien to me.

  5. It's peeping Tom syndrome. A spot of nudity is guaranteed to get viewers, rubbish or not.

  6. I thought about watching it, but it sounded a bit daft. I definitely won't bother now. Thanks for the warning.

  7. Sounds like a very extreme way to declutter! I do like the poster! :)


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