I came across this article in the New York Times this morning and I wondered: Why is nudity, even of children, such a big deal in the US?
Let’s all remember Janet Jackson’s little “wardrobe malfunction” (or whatever it was) at the 2004 Superbowl Halftime Show and the public outcry that followed, shall we? I am thinking: RIDICULOUS. Don’t have people more important things to do and talk about than a little boob flash on TV?
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell commented following the incident “We all as a society have a responsibility as to what the images and messages our children hear when they’re likely to be watching television.”
But I seriously ask you, what harm do you think could this 9/16th of a second of breast exposure have done to a child? I am not even sure a kid would have necessarily noticed or thought much of it, if it hadn’t been for the parents and/or media that completely freaked the *eff* out.
I honestly believe that the hype that surrounded this incident had a much bigger impact on children than the incident itself. I for one found the whole story slightly amusing and not at all “outrageous” or “a sign of decreasing morality in the national culture”. Why is nudity in public such a HUGE issue? Or was it the sexual implication that went along with the boob flash? I mean, come on. What about the suggestive moves and the very explicit lyrics? Isn’t that much worse than a little bit of extra skin?
Comparing nudity and sexuality is like comparing apples and oranges. They are two completely different things. To come full circle, I know, you might be wondering what the boob flash incident has to do with kids running around naked.
It has nothing and everything to do with it.
To kids things are only a “big deal” if adults make them a big deal. If someone has a problem with seeing young children running around naked, it makes me think that they have a hang-up of some sort. There is nothing wrong with kids being naked and for God’s sake, please don’t make it anything sexual. It is not. Even when kids touch themselves or other kids, it’s totally natural up to a certain age (it’s called natural development)… unless adults make it out to be something else (and that’s where all the distorted sexual ideas in children and teens come from, IMHO).
In Germany, nudity is not a big issue. My parents let me run around naked at the beach, in the backyard and at home until I was maybe 4-5 years old, topless until I was maybe 10. After all, I didn’t have any breasts back then. And, at the risk of making your jaws drop, I’ve always got to see my parents naked as well. I mean, to heck with it, I still see them naked occasionally. In case you fear my family is a bunch of hippies and we all hang out naked when we get together, that is not the case :)
But when I visit home and they happen to get out of the shower in the morning – well, let’s just say they don’t wear bathing suits or shorts to shower.
Also, there is nothing “immoral” about seeing you parents naked after the age of 5 or being seen by them.
It is also very normal that women (and guys, respectively) shower in a communal shower area after working out. After all, there is nothing to see that one hasn’t seen before ;)
I know that I can only speak for myself and about how things were done in my family, but I do believe that kids that grow up accepting nudity as something natural, which you don’t have to be ashamed about, are much more relaxed and comfortable with themselves and others. And Janet Jackson’s boob flash wouldn’t raise much more than an amused eyebrow with them (as it did with most Europeans when the incident was broadcasted a day after it happened).
Most people were actually thinking “‘What’s all the fuss about over there”?