Gok Wan admits that he’s not so happy with his looks and gives us the low-down on his love life
It’s been almost 12 years since Gok Wan burst onto our screens giving fashion and body-confidence advice in How To Look Good Naked.
It would be easy to wonder if his persona of ‘the nation’s gay best friend’ was all an act, but, as he welcomes us into his stunning London home with a big hug and smile, it’s immediately obvious that he’s just as friendly and inspiring in reality.
As he prepares to go on tour with his show, One Size Fits All, he tells Now how he’s not body confident, why he doesn’t want a boyfriend, and all about the wedding he threw for his 40th birthday.
Hi, Gok! Last time we saw you, you said you’d planned your wedding, despite being single. Have you got a man yet?
I haven’t, but I had a slight pre-wedding for my 40th birthday. It sounds completely egocentric to hold a wedding for yourself, but I decided I wanted to have loads of fun, and celebrate my relationship with my friends and family. I had a massive 40th with 200 people, took over a space and had breakfast, lunch and dinner, live acts, magicians, dog walkers and babysitters, so I kind of feel like I got married.
Did you wear a tux?
No. But Asian people shouldn’t wear tuxes because we look ridiculous.
Are you dating at the moment?
I don’t have time for dating and I’m not really interested in it either. I think I will marry someone at some point, but if I met someone now who had everything I wanted in a man, I’d probably have to give up the life I have now. It would have to be somebody exceptionally amazing for me to give up what it’s taken me so long to get.
Who’d be your dream man?
If I knew that, I probably wouldn’t be single, but there are certain characteristics I’d insist on, like he’d have to be honest, trustworthy, fun, ambitious, successful in his own right. I’d also like them to be cheeky, and have a sense of hedonism about them. Basically myself!
Would you ever date someone who’s in the public eye?
Probably not. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, but I find the strain of being known overwhelming already, let alone being with someone who is too.
How often do you get women coming up to you asking you for advice?
Constantly, but it depends on what time of day it is and whereabouts in the country I am. There seems to be a northern ease with asking for advice, but the minute you go more south, everyone gets more reserved. But it’s always ‘What do you think I should wear?’ or ‘Can you just tell me I’m beautiful?’
What’s your top tip?
It sounds so clichéd, but it’s just to take the pressure off and understand you haven’t got to love yourself. Body confidence isn’t about waking up one day and loving yourself; it’s about not hating any of you.
Do you not always feel body confident then?
Never, and that’s the whole premise of my new show. But I don’t hate my body, because it’s mine and it works. It’s allowed me to get up and see my friends, to help the people I love, so I should be proud of it.
Is there a pressure to look a certain way in the industry?
I don’t look like a hot ex-boyband star, I look like their Asian uncle, but there is a pressure to look after yourself because the world has access to you now through social media and people can be very honest, whether you like it or not.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
My sister told me, ‘At some point, you’ll be surrounded by all the things you care about.’ She’s talking about the things that matter on your deathbed, so whenever I start to worry about anything superficial, I just think, ‘What do I want surrounding me?’
Gok Wan One Size Fits All – Secrets to Style & Body Confidence will be at venues around the UK from 30 September. For tickets, visit gokfashion.com