In his new series coming to Channel 4 this summer, Gok’s Teens: The Naked Truth, Gok is reigniting his commitment to get teenagers the help and support they need to deal with personal issues through body confidence lessons in school.
In 2009 Gok presented a petition of over 50,000 signatures to Downing Street as evidence of public support for having an hour of body confidence taught per academic year in every secondary school added to the national curriculum.
The then Education Secretary Ed Balls agreed it was necessary, however following the change in government, Gok faces the new challenge of trying to get the coalition government on board.
Speaking at The Education Show in Birmingham in March, Gok explained his vision and why he believes just one lesson a year can help teens with a whole range of issues.
“It is as important as Science or English; because you can teach somebody to write but you can also teach them to respect themselves. When you’re looking at kids with eating disorders, kids that are bullied, self harming and taking their own lives, a lot of times it stems back to a really poor body perception and I think we can make a difference [in schools].
“If we get them educated about airbrushing, educated about images of perfection…Just to be told that every single one of us is subjected to over 3000 images every single week without even realising; just to have that information out there, I think kids will start building up a dialogue with their peers as with their teachers that would be invaluable.”
It is time to put more pressure on the coalition government, who so far have declined to engage with Gok over the issue. His aim is to drum up both teacher and pupil support and take the biggest body confidence lesson yet to Parliament.
On 12th May he will oversee 10 outdoor lessons, with 10 teachers and 100 students close to the Houses of Parliament to illustrate how effective this one lesson in body confidence can be, and help teens feel differently about themselves and others.
Gok adds: “This campaign has never felt more important. The teachers believe in it. We can go to the government and tell them this is what our country wants. They have to provide [body confidence lessons] as a matter of service.”
“But I need to show them evidence of how vital this lesson is. I need teenagers, parents, teachers, pupils all saying ‘yes we want this’ so we can put as much pressure on the government as possible to address the issue and make a body confidence lesson part of the curriculum.”
Gok will be presenting the latest figures of support to parliament on the 12th May. To back his movement you just have to go to The Naked Truth’s Facebook page and ‘like’ what you see to pledge your support. www.facebook.com/GoksTeens