How To Look Good Naked

A Little Inspiration
a kate recommendation

Kelly Park Says Getting Naked For Carson Kressley Changed Her Life


How To Look Good Naked, Lifetime's double-dare, self-esteem building reality show hosted by Carson Kressley, kicks off its second season [watch a preview] with a brand new make-over star on July 22. Her name is Kelly Park. She's a 39-year-old working mom, married for 12 years, who fell out of love with her body and herself. Kelly spoke with Fancast’s Quendrith Johnson about her incredible transformation from a woman who hid her figure in maternity sizes to showing off her new sexy styling self thanks to Carson and his HTLGN crew. Here's her story in her own words:

Why did I go on ‘How To Look Good Naked’? Good question. I didn’t like the way I looked, and I didn’t like myself. But that wasn’t always the case. I grew up a poor black girl in Philly. My family struggled. We never had enough food. But as I got older, I loved my body. I had a thin waist and beautiful little breasts. I was hot.

Then I got married, had a baby, and my body started to change. Things shifted. I went through this time when I woke up in the middle of the night and I discovered this strange white stuff on my nipple. I had no idea why. For two weeks, I thought I had cancer. What else could it have been? Then I figured out it was deodorant. My breasts had grown so large that they slid in my underarms. Okay?

I stopped paying attention to who I was. I didn’t feel like my body was cute anymore. I stopped wearing cute clothes. Seven or eight months after I had my daughter, I looked at myself standing completely naked and I simply could not believe that was my body.' What happened? Where did it go? My stomach has rolls and lines. I had stretch marks. Things were hanging. I just wasn't the same person.


[Preview the new season.]

And it freaked me out. I used to look at myself in car windows! Then I started to feel invisible in the sense that my mom, who’s in her early sixties, started talking to me about as women get older, not just get bigger - as they age, they become invisible. Men just don't find them as attractive. I thought, 'wow, I'm going through that now, and I'm in my early 30's!'

Then I saw the casting notice for ‘How To Look Good Naked.’ I watched it for a couple weeks. I was like 'yeah, yeah.' Then something moved me, and I said to myself, 'You know what? I'm going to audition for this. I think this [sort of experience] is what I may need in my life.'”

I didn't tell my husband. I didn't tell anyone. I went in, and I auditioned. That was a dramatic process itself. It was kind of like Nip/Tuck in a way. The producers were like 'Tell me what you don't like about your body,’ and I really exposed myself. What did I have to lose? So I told them everything, starting from when I was a kid to the present day and how I felt like my dreams had been deferred because of the way I viewed myself. I even revealed how I am with my husband in private, our relations. I couldn’t believe the things I said.

Then, a couple days later, they called me back. As I talked to them on the phone, my husband asked, 'Who's that?' I said, “Oh, yeah, I auditioned for `How to Look Good Naked.’ He was like, 'WHAT!?' I said, “I auditioned for this incredible show, I think it can help me.”

I had no idea you had to get totally undressed. When I watched the very first episode of 'How to Look Good Naked,’ I never really saw the point where she took all her clothes off. I just saw the photo shoot. I thought yeah, maybe this is something I can do. I can just sit and talk to Carson!' I didn't know actually getting butt naked was part of the process!

But by the time they called me and said 'we want you on the show,' I was so ready for change, for whatever they told me to do. I remember talking to Carson, and he asked, “Do you trust me? Do you trust me on this journey that I am going to help you realize who you are?'”

I said, “You know what? Yes! Yes!”

At that point, there was no diet that was going to fix me, no self-help book that was going to help me. I had done all that, all of that stuff and it didn't work. I could not accept who I was; I would not accept it. I needed something drastic.


[See Fancast's Kressley photo gallery.]

Carson also opened up to me. He told me about his life as an entertainer. He said it had been difficult for him as a gay man to become something in show business, to get himself to the next level. But he had trusted himself, believed in his own abilities, and he asked me to do the same in myself.

He said, “I just need you to rely on yourself. Always trust yourself. Do whatever you need to do to get to the next level in your life -- to reach happiness, to reach that nirvana.”

He was extremely spiritual, and highly intelligent! I must say! It was a bit shocked by that. I thought wow, Carson Kressley is really smart. I also related in an unexpected way. Being a gay man, Carson was very sensitive to my issues. Because he's been through it; he's been through something. I could relate to what he's been through, being a woman of color. Both of us had faced, and overcome adversities in our lives.

But the point where I (totally) trusted him was on the second day. We were in a beautiful loft. Carson took me aside and said, “I need you to trust this part of the process. Take a deep breath, because we are going to start the healing now.”

Then he took me over to the mirror and we stood and looked at my reflection. Neither of us spoke. It was very powerful. Finally, he said, “Okay, now that you see yourself in your jeans and your 'maternity' shirt'' -- which I did wear maternity clothes, which was hilarious – “I need you to strip your clothes off.”

I was blown away when he asked me to do that. First, the whole Lifetime crew was there. Can you imagine that? It was a good 15 to 20 people. There was absolutely no privacy. If it was just Carson and me, I would’ve been sure, no problem. But there was an audience, and I hesitated. But he said, “I need you to do this.'”

I took off my clothes – except for my underwear. They told me to leave that on.

Still, I was sweating so much that I thought I was peeing on myself. Seriously. There was sweat running down the back of my thighs. I was terrified for the first three minutes. I showed my breasts, my underarms -- the things I thought were unsightly! And Carson didn't think anything of it. He was like, “You have a body! This is what it is.”

Normally when I looked at myself in the mirror, I only saw the things that I thought were ugly, horrible and tragic. But what was really powerful was that when Carson and I looked in the mirror together, he just kept pointing out the things that were beautiful about me. I never looked at my shoulders the way he looked at my shoulders. Or my wrists. Or the backs of my calves.


At that point, I was so in the moment and, thanks to Carson, already starting to feel better about myself – and we were just getting started. We shot for seven days. Behind the scenes, I talked to the crew, some incredible, beautiful women, and they told me their issues. I was like, wow, I’m not alone. I saw that stuff on "Oprah,” but to really talk about it? It made me feel better.

The process was still difficult. For the first two days I cried like a child in the shower. I wanted to change my body, but nothing was going to change it overnight. In the meantime, I had to learn to accept my body as it was. Yes, I wanted to change, but this was my body, this was what I had to work with, this was me. I remember standing there saying, “You can’t hide anymore. You’re losing opportunities, losing in love, just losing…”

One day, I was sitting in a chair talking to the director, crying about everything I felt that I had lost in my life due to the fact that I couldn't accept my body. Suddenly Riaz Patel, the showrunner and executive producer, came over, put his hand on my shoulder and looked me dead in my face. '”Listen. I am going to tell you something,” he said. “You a crazy-ass fool.'”

He said it so brilliantly. Because I mean I'm from Philly, that's how we talk. That was the sounding bell. I was done wasting time. I was done losing.

Every day Carson asked, “Did you wake up this morning and say how beautiful you are?” And I said yes. Every day, they accentuated the positive. And it affected me. My husband could not believe how every day when I came home I was a little different, more aware, and kinder to myself.

By the time I got to the photo shoot, I was ready. I mean, this time there was no drama or hesitation. When Carson said it was time, I took my clothes off. I took everything off. I had no underwear on. No bra on. I was completely ready -- and completely naked!

And I loved me. I thought I looked hot again.

Everybody said, “Well, maybe it's the make-up.” No, they did my hair and face, but everything else was au natural. There wasn’t anything on my body. They didn’t even do my toenails. And there wasn’t any photoshopping. When I took off my clothes, there was only one thing different about me, and that was the way I thought about myself. It's 100 percent perception.

I also learned a lot. There were things they told me about putting on a bra that I don't even think my mother knows! Susan Nethero, the show’s 'Bra Whisperer,’ told me about certain underwire you shouldn't wear. Do you know you are never, ever, supposed to put a bra in the washing machine?

She also gave me some of the most incredible panties. I am a big girl, size 14, and I can wear sexy panties!

I thought I couldn't wear dresses because I had a pot belly. But Carson gave me this dress, a Donna Karan, and said, “Do you see your pot belly now?” I said, “NO!" He said, “Now do the catwalk like Naomi Campbell.” I said, “Naomi Campbell ain't got nothin' on me!' Tyra Banks ain't got nothing on me!” Later, after I showed some women that dress, they were amazed that I’d worn it without a girdle. But I did.


[Watch all HTLGN videos]

I feel like Carson and I were separated at birth. We connected on and off camera. We were so ridiculous together. He was like my fairy godmother, no pun intended! We paid homage to Ethel Merman. I’ve never met anyone like Carson in my life. When you look at him, he's all Armani-ed out with his Prada shoes. But inside, he’s all love.

Carson kept referring to the universe that things happen for a reason, embracing your journey. He said things I always believed and heard and talked about. He said 'you need to love yourself Kelly; it's an insult to the universe if you don't!' He would always say that. He was right.

The best part is that I feel like my journey started when that shoot ended. One day after the shoot, I was at a Starbuck's around the corner from my house. There was a woman in front of me, and her bra was almost up to her neck in the back and the front of her bra was hanging almost down to her knees. It was terrible. I walked up to her and said, “Excuse me, I'm sorry, you have the wrong bra on. I just went through this incredible process -- and I just want to take you in the bathroom and show you my bra.”

So we went into the bathroom together, and I said 'I used to think I was a C; I am an S cup. I want to show you how this bra works. It was the strangest thing, obviously, but she thanked me. I said, “This is just the beginning of the process of changing the way you feel about yourself.'

We need to have a spectrum of beauty, not just one (skinny) type. There’s nothing wrong with that type, but there’s nothing wrong with other types.

I would say to women all across the world, we have to stop loathing ourselves just because we don’t look a certain way. Instead, we have to start loving ourselves no matter how we look.

Let me just say that my sex life is at an all time high! We are so in love again.

Original post here:

Read more!


Sizzle -

a global warming comedy
a kate west review
directed by Randy Olson
written by Randy Olson & Ifeanyi Njoku
World Premiere - Los Angeles Outfest
at Fairfax Theater
7907 Beverly Blvd. L.A.

The movie "Sizzle" is a cinematic hodgepodge of styles: comedy, documentary and science, all in an attempt to illuminate global warming. Director/writer Randy Olson is a bonafide scientist (Marine Biologist) who chose to leave science for film school at USC. His previous films include "Rediagnosing the Oceans" and "Flock of Dodos" (about evolution). In "Sizzle" he counters Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" with a mix of fantasy and a dose of skepticism.

The premise is that he, Olson as a scientist, wants to make a different type of movie about global warming and recruits (pretend) producers Mitch Silpa and Brian Clark who bring him argumentative crew members (Alex Thomas and Ifeanyi Njoku). Using real scientists and fake actors, his mix of fantasy and fact-driven reality can be confusing. For instance, Clark, Silpa and Thomas are the actors playing actors and film crew. Some of them use their real names and some do not. Real creators Olson and Njoku play themselves (Olson) and fake crew members (Njoku). He even enlists his own mother, Muffy Moose, to play his mother. Make sense yet?

The scientists are real, covering the spectrum of both the pro and the con regarding the severity of environmental impact. The alarmists include Dr. Jerry Meehl, Dr. Richard Somerville, Dr. Megan Owen, Julia Bovey and Dr. Naomi Oreskes (who was featured in Al Gore's documentary) and the skeptics include Dr. Pat Michaels, Dr. Steve Hayward, Dr. Fred Singer, Dr. Bill Gray, Dr. Marc Morano and Dr. George Chillingarian. The latter skeptic, Dr. Chilli let's call him, is such a character himself that it further blurs the fantasy/reality line. With a flamboyant mustache and attitude, his outrageousness rivals that of the fake producers.

In addition, Olson has an editing problem. So many scenes are needlessly repetitive. For instance, he interviews a scientist and his pretend cameraman (Thomas) disputes the facts; Olson shows frustration and follows up with several interviews in the exact same manner. Then about two-thirds into the film, Olson presumably finally listens to his sound man (Njoku) who tells him to put a human face on global warming, inspiring them to visit New Orleans and show the still-visible carnage of Hurricane Katrina. While obviously moving, this happens a little too far into the movie and again, goes on a little too long.

The scenes with Brian Clark and Mitch Silpa as flaky novice Hollywood producers are hilarious as the real Silpa and Clark are professional improvisers ( and darn good at it too. However, Olson is unfortunately not as talented, and thus is not a strong enough presence to keep viewer interest for an entire feature. His science is interesting, but even after a stint at USC, he is not the consummate filmmaker, having produced a film riddled with editing and believability problems. As a general audience, we appreciate the attempt at fun, but Olson does not quite understand how to maintain a coherent story line, choosing instead to throw everything in but the kitchen sink.

The overall impression is one of chaos, with Olson constantly seeming to wrestle with how to convey his confusion (he does present both pro and con, after all). One ill-directed dream sequence of a literal wrestle (with a polar bear) adds little to the film. His dramatic arguments are written to be funny and are amusing, but the reality/fantasy transitions are just not sharp enough to make a well polished film. In the editing room scene, where Olson is getting advice on focus, one wishes this had really happened behind the scenes in order to be translated into a gratifying whole.

In spite of some spots of entertainment and thought-provoking facts, the film plays as a work-in-progress. It just isn't there. Kudos for the attempt at enlightenment, and if it shifts someones global perspective, that would be great. But sadly, it is just not cinematically logical. And why it premiered at theme-structured Los Angeles Outfest is yet another mysterious facet of the experience. Read more!

The Joker

Heath Ledger as the Joker in "The Dark Knight"

kate west kudos

Buy it:
The Dark Knight (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) Read more!

Some Reservations

30 Days - FX

created & narrated by
Morgan Spurlock
a kate west reflection

The ground-breaking documentary "Super Size Me" turned the fast food industry upside down when Director/Creator Morgan Spurlock devoted 30 days of eating nothing but McDonald's food. The resulting alarming and terrible health problems shocked audiences into giving up their Big Macs (at least temporarily) and cut short the month-long dare. His doctors forbade him to continue.

Not only did Spurlock get his message through loud and clear, but he was inspired to start a spin-off television series, "30 Days", in which someone spends 30 days doing something contrary to their nature or beliefs in an effort to walk in someone else's shoes or just sharing a life experience like working as a coal miner or a living as a disabled person for a whole month. Past shows also include a Christian living in a Muslim household and a Pro-Lifer living with gay parents and even a month in the life of a heartbreaking immigrant family. Regular people are the new protagonists, although Spurlock still does the occasional month and all shows end up showing us an aspect of our society we never thought about before.

The most poignant episode to date has to be Morgan Spurlock's 30 days on a Native American reservation. We're all familiar with America's sordid history: slavery, WWII interments and of course Native American genocide. But to most of us, all that exists in the past and present day atrocities are more along the international lines of Middle East turbulence, African genocides and the September 11 attacks that may or may not have anything to do with the Middle East turbulence (go ahead and guess). But what we don't think about is the fact that there are still left over reservations in this country in dire straits and even when we do think about them, it's usually not out of concern for the people's welfare.

Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days with the Navajo Nation on a reservation with no running water and very few jobs. In Gallup, New Mexico, he lives with a family heavily involved in the rodeo circuit whose endearing grandmother speaks no English and still lives in the traditional way. The entire population (over 20,000 in 2000) has only 25 available jobs compared to the hundreds of jobs in similar neighboring Texan cities. The young people are fast losing the language and as Spurlock tries to learn the native tongue from a local teacher, she tears up telling him she doubts her children would carry on that tradition.

Although gambling is against their spiritual beliefs, the Navajo have little choice but to cave in to the allure of Indian Gaming. Casinos will bring in much needed money to this desperately cash-poor section of Americans. It's not ideal, but the reservations just do not provide a proper standard of living. After hundreds of years of abuse, we are still neglecting our indigenous people, the most forgotten segment of our nation. So many Native Americans suffer from poverty, drug abuse and alcoholism, that there does not seem to be an easy way out of such a long period of neglect. In spite of all this, amazingly enough, Spurlock also found that (at least within the host family) there still exists deep respect for our environment and a universal spiritualism promoting peace with our surroundings. He experiences a profound vision in a sweat lodge and is revived in both spirit and soul. After a tough transition back to the concrete cities, he resolves to keep part of that adventure intact and continues to practice earthly prayers.

A simplistically short viewpoint, to be sure, but the show reaches a vast audience as quite the devastating look at our society. And Morgan Spurlock's obvious affection and emotional ties to the people he meets are particularly effective. No one should be able to watch without a subtle shift in perception. Hopefully, we'll all be properly shamed into finally trying to be part of the solution. It's out there somewhere. By the way, if you are moved to help out, be sure to contact a reputable organization, as there are a few unscrupulous outfits preying on bleeding hearts. Do your research first. Peace.

Watch video segments of all seasons/episodes here:

The movie that started it all:
Super Size Me

More inspiration:
Dances with Wolves - Extended Cut (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Little Big Man

Black Elk Speaks, New Edition

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two

Trail of Tears

Read more!

Best Trainer in Town

Sam Page
a kate west recommendation

Long time personal trainer Sam Page is the proud owner of several fitness centers, and one right here in Hollywood. His casual, nurturing and fully-informed style of fitness training will get you where you want to be. He's quite the rage at the moment (check out his sites below and be sure to read the client testimonials and watch him interview the fabulous Kathy Griffin). He will push you as hard as you need to be pushed, all the while maintaining the utmost professionalism and hip savvy. A true find, Sam will give you all his sincerity and honesty and where else can you find that in one package, especially in L.A.? Absolute recommendation!

Sam Page Fitness


1149 N. Gower, Suite 103-4

Hollywood, CA 90038

(323) 785-2300


121 W. Lexington, Suite B110

Glendale, CA 92103

(818) 480-3121

downtown L.A.

1010 Wilshire Blvd., Penthouse

Los Angeles, CA 90017


Kathy Griffin & Sam Page in Bora Bora, P.1 from Sam Page on Vimeo.

Kathy Griffin & Sam Page in Bora Bora, P.2 from Sam Page on Vimeo. Read more!