Theo Hobson

The shame of Naked Attraction

The shame of Naked Attraction
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The fact that Naked Attraction is still being broadcast after a year or so strikes me as proof that there is something very wrong with our culture. In a healthy culture it would have been howled offstage after a few weeks, and the moral babies who made it shunned, and firmer procedures put in place to ensure that this sort of thing is not inflicted on us. 

This show, in which people peer at the private parts of potential dates before meeting them, is not funny or daring or witty or brave or ironic or cheeky or iconoclastic or anything else. It’s just wrong. Why is it wrong? It is a very pure act of dehumanisation. It contributes to a culture of superficiality, insecurity, body-fascism (while of course telling us that it is fighting these things). It contributes to a popular culture that lots of sensitive young souls would literally rather die than suffer.

Why has this not been said by people who are paid (unlike me) to comment on culture? It seems to me that these people are cowards, who only dare to take moral stands that are safely fashionable. If something offends a minority, they shriek with indignation. This show offends the majority, and pollutes our culture far more than (for example) a celebrity uttering a racial slur, but getting indignant about this makes one seem prudish rather than with-it. In this case there is no tangible harm being done, as all the participants are willing, so no one seems to know how to make a moral case against it. Well, let our cultural critics try harder, dig deeper, stop and think about what makes for good culture and what makes for bad.

I see more wrongness here than in a dim northern child mildly assaulting his immigrant classmate. I see the people profiting from it as infinitely more reprehensible than that youth. Shame on anyone paid to comment on culture who has not expressed anger at this ugly outrage. J’accuse them.