Health 13 August 2008 Trinny and Susannah fats your lot Thought the freak show was a thing of the past? Well check out the programmes that make the overweig Print HTML You know how the Americans used to pay money to look at the deformed in circus freak shows? If that appeals to you, try the modern day version. The utterly loathsome programme Trinny and Susannah undress the nation is another spin on the Gok Wan show how to look good naked. (Notice I'm not linking to either of them). I'm not sure which came first but basically both have the same purpose - to get women of above average size, already insecure about their bodies, to take off their clothes so we can all sit at home and wonder at their flabby bits. The Trinny and Susannah programme this week masqueraded as a campaign for better clothing choices for overweight women. And it's a work of utter manipulation. Put someone in front of a camera for long enough and they'll very quickly forget it's there. Then you flatter, cajole and emotionally blackmail until the victims do just as you bid. You can see how these people, forgetful of the national exposure they are about to have, will get their kit off in a sort of 'nudge, nudge - I will if you will' kind of a way. Of course the presenters remain as they are - in the case of Trinny and Susannah: overprivileged, heavily coiffed, fully dressed and diving in only to hilariously grope someone's breasts or coax some tears. This week they persuaded a group of unfortunate women who couldn't find fashions they liked, because of their shapes, to join them in taking on the high street retailers! With a mixture of flattery and coersion, they played big on the curious way people are impressed and overawed by others simply because they appear on TV. And in a grand finale, they had them conveyed on floats through Boston in Lincolnshire - apparently a national fat-spot. Mind you before we got there they all had to stand around in their underwear for a good while - just so we could fully understand what they were up against. And thanks to Trinny and Susannah we've learnt not to tease the obese but be lovely to them and put them nearly naked on national TV. How far we've come. › Islam - pro women’s rights? Ben Davies trained as a journalist after taking most of the 1990s off. Prior to joining the New Statesman he spent five years working as a politics reporter for the BBC News website. He lives in North London. Subscribe More Related articles The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts You snooze, you lose: why sleep is back on the agenda Is online porn really “damaging” young people’s health?