Naked Education-clutchers, you’re wrong: British teens need to see more real bodies | Natasha Devon

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cHanil Channel 4’s nude education, with its boring predictability, has attracted approx 1,000 Ofcom complaints At the time of this writing. The format sees adults with a range of body types get dressed in front of an audience of 14- to 16-year-olds. She is supervised by the explosive, borderline-moving Anna Richardson and is set in a school. It is this last fact that seems to have inspired the most observant of pearls, some even suggesting the show “Promotes child sexual abuse“.

British culture has a perverse relationship with nudity. For decades, breasts have appeared on page three of one of our bestselling newspapers at the same time that mothers using their breasts for their primary purpose in public (i.e., to feed babies) were called offensive. Love Island remains bafflingly popular, yet shows like the one she co-hosted back in 2019 (nude beach, in which people who did not look like Barbie and Ken spent most of the program in swimsuits) sparked public outrage. It’s as if nudity is acceptable in the mainstream if it’s meant to titillate, but in any other context we’re reduced to Victorian rudeness.

The end result of this is that we have a whole generation of young adults learning about the body via pornography and social media, with little to no counter-narratives. Nudity is not and should not be sexual in nature. Exposing our bodies does not “wake up” sexual attention or justify the behavior of predators.

We are often encouraged to “think about the kids” during conversations about censorship. In fact, much of the reaction to Naked Education revolves around the claim that it is pedophilia. But young people at Naked Education are teenagers, approaching or coming of age. statistically Four out of five young people In the UK watch porn by the time they reach 16-17. Most pornographic content depicts hairless, extremely skinny but pneumatic women pretending to get pleasure from being choked by an improbably muscular man with a penis size hung even further. This is what many of them think intimacy looks like.

Besides, they’ve heard commentators declare that the bodies in Naked Attraction, another show within Richardson’s oeuvre, somehow “TotalDistasteful and inappropriate. So the message to the average person is: “Your body sucks. No one wants to see it.” Imagine the damage that can be done when you grapple with puberty, hormones, and the general confusion that characterizes adolescence.

When it comes to body image, the harm done to youth is both palpable and disturbing. According to the charity Be Real, 52% of British teenagers She often worries about how she looks. As someone who visits an average of three schools per week to provide mental health education, I tend to think this statistic is on the low side. Found the Mental Health Foundation One in eight British adults Have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings due to concerns about their own body.

Body image dissatisfaction can have an impact on every area of ​​a young person’s life, including their academic results. Search found by Girlguiding More than half of girls between the ages of 12 and 14 Avoidance of daily school activities due to concerns about her appearance. Also according to Girlguiding, by the age of seven girls have internalized the idea that society values ​​them more for their looks than for their abilities or personalities. And this doesn’t just affect girls and women. I found a study from last year The majority of british men She is now showing signs of body dysmorphia, after being subjected to a relentless spiral of altered and highly stylized images across social media and movies.

Numerous studies have found that a lack of body confidence prevents people from obtaining higher paying jobs, being respected in their relationships, and even from making healthy food choices. We prepare young people for a life of inner turmoil, disordered eating, and serious risk-taking through surgery and so-called alterations.

To those who are going to be faced with “how is more nudity the answer to all this?” Professor Keon West of Goldsmiths, University of London published paper He explains that body image improves when test subjects are exposed to a variety of naked bodies. Well, thank goodness for Channel 4, with its never-ending string of programming bordering on nudity. In a world dominated by images of the Kardashians and porn stars, they are the last bastion of preserving self-respect for normalcy.