Gok Wan: 'I'm petrified of everything. I'm a real worrier'


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The Independent Online

We were there at the beginning of the war against size zero How to Look Good Naked has helped change people's attitudes towards their bodies over the past decade. When women started doubting what they were being told [about the perfect body] we became their voice and their vehicle to have an opinion and not be embarrassed.

Retouching photographs has become so extreme it has debunked the myth of body perfection and we now have a closer grip on reality. Everyone knows what retouching is, that legs and arms have been digitally re-sculpted, and we now accept it as an art form.

There is a misconception that I'm a bundle of confidence and bounding around my home celebrating my naked body. But with my history of eating disorders [Wan dropped from 21 stone to 11 stone in seven months at the age of 20 during his battle with anorexia], I probably come with more insecurities than anyone else. I've learnt to notice signs of it getting bad and if I'm having a moment, Mamma Wan sorts me out.

I don't feel endorphins during exercise It's terrible, and when I'm working out I say to my trainer, "Why aren't I feeling a rush of euphoria? Why do I just want an egg sandwich?"

I'm petrified of everything I'm a real worrier. But it means my work ethic is through the roof. We're at our strongest and most productive when we are in fear of something. I live with that constantly, and without it I'd have ended up in my dad's takeaway eating chow mein and being miserable.

My years of going clubbing and being debauched are over Now I'm all about the meal. I come from a family of caterers so I'm obsessed with the whole process; going to the food market to get the produce, the cooking – mainly Asian – the presentation and the sharing. But I'm not into desserts at all.

Snobbery towards supermarket fashion has to go With all these troubles with the recession, we are going to have to make big decisions about our retail attitudes. Primark was the first to lift the stigma [of discount clothing] and it's having a knock-on effect.

Gok Wan is a TV presenter and fashion consultant. His first womenswear collection – Gok for Tu – is available from Sainsbury's ( sainsburys.co.uk) now