Naked Attraction

Valentine's Day is approaching, which means that dating and relationships are at the forefront of many people's minds. Obviously there are the "conventional" methods of finding yourself a date for February 14th, including Tinder, going on a solo date, and well, you know, asking someone face-to-face *shudders*, but there's also the slightly more unconventional method of going on a dating TV show! You'll be spoiled for choice if you fancy applying, there's everything from The Bachelor to Dating in the Dark, but nothing is quite so shocking as Channel 4's Naked Attraction.

For those of you that don't know, Naked Attraction is a little like the ITV smash hit Take Me Out, but with a major twist. All the potential partners that the lucky man or woman has to choose from stand in front of them stark bollock NAKED. You heard me. The bodies of the potential partners are revealed to the contestant bit by bit, starting from the bottom up. The first part to be revealed is from the waist down (and I'm not kidding when I say that EVERYTHING is on show) and the contestant eliminates potential dates one by one, without even speaking to them first. It's not until the final round that they even get to say hello to the potential partners! Eventually they're whittled down to just one, which is the person that the lucky contestant will get to go on a (fully clothed) date with.

So, let's get on to why I am writing about this absurd sounding TV show. I'm trying to work out whether this show is actually a good thing or not. I've laid out why I'm conflicted by Naked Attraction below. I'd love to start a discussion about this in the comments, so don't hold back when voicing your opinions too!

✅ It's nice to see some REAL BODIES on the television.

For most impressionable teenagers, their main exposure to a naked human body will have been through the medium of pornography. What Naked Attraction does is show people that vaginas, boobs, penises and everything in between come in all different shapes and sizes, not just in the neatly packaged designer forms that you mostly see in porn. On Naked Attraction you see CELLULITE, LABIA, and PUBIC HAIR! You have a chance to see a body that probably looks something like yours! And I think this is a really good thing, because it gives people a perspective on real bodies that you just don't see in most media.

✅ It's nice to see non-heterosexual couples get matched up.

Most dating shows are super heteronormative. You usually only see guys seeking girls and girls seeking guys. But on Naked Attraction, lesbian and gay couples are matched up, and I think this is great! Again, it's all about representation, making people feel like there is somebody like them being shown on the TV! It also normalises same-sex couples, which shouldn't even be necessary because there's nothing abnormal about being bisexual or homosexual, but unfortunately it is needed in today's often homophobic world.

🚫 It's not good because it reduces attraction to the purely physical aspects.

There is SO MUCH MORE to fancying someone than what they look like. Sure, I might have the hots for James MacAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch because they are fiiiiine looking gentlemen, but I certainly wouldn't date an exceptionally physically attractive man if he turned out to have the personality of a clogged drainpipe. Attraction is far stronger if it transcends the physical and takes account of the emotional, which doesn't really come into Naked Attraction's ethos.

🚫 It's not good because it's REALLY objectifying.

Anna Richardson, the presenter, asks some pretty freakin' cringeworthy questions on this show. In one episode, she asks a woman, who had just had the vaginas of her potential dates exposed, what she thought of their labia. This completely reduced the girls on the show to their body parts alone, which I found quite insulting and derogatory, as if the appearance of their vagina was the only important thing about these women. I don't think this is a healthy attitude to the body, male or female.

What do you think of Naked Attraction? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Or do you just watch the show for a giggle? Let me know in the comments, I want to hear your opinion!

Until next time,

A x