Anyone who is already a fan of television stylist Gok Wan will find his autobiography an interesting and insightful read. Detailing personal demons that he keeps very well hidden, it is a frank, open and often very sad read.
In 'Through Thick and Thin' Gok takes us back to his very happy childhood at his parents' Chinese restaurant, writing about his family in very affectionate terms and chronicling a period when he felt loved, accepted and protected.
As we journey through his memories of growing up with him, we get a glimpse of the struggles of an overweight teenager and his need to try to fit a stereotype that just didn't suit him. Convinced that being thin would solve all his problems, Gok then travelled down a dangerous road, starving himself and binging on laxatives, in order to have what he thought was 'the perfect body'. But his weight-loss only brought him misery, instead of fixing all the problems in his life.
What's uplifting about reading about his journey through life is that you get the impression that Gok Wan has earned every little bit of fortune that has come his way. He didn’t become an overnight sensation after trying his hand at something for the first time, he spent many years trying to eek out a career for himself in a very tough industry, while trying to keep his personal life on track and get over his eating disorder.
You can see that perhaps this journey is what makes Gok Wan so good at helping others when it comes to his television shows. When people break down while standing in front of those mirrors, being confronted with their body issues, he knows how they’re feeling. He understands how crippling those body issues can be and, as a result of his own experiences, he knows how to help those people.
Even if you're not generally a fan of autobiographies, this book is a fascinating read. You'll fly through it because its honesty makes it an absolute page-turner. Brave and revealing, it leaves Gok as exposed as the ladies on his 'Naked' catwalk and really reinforces the charm of its subject.