Channel 4 does it first, makes trouble, and inspires change with “Naked Attraction”

During the first in-person class I have had in a year and a half, we discussed BBC and Channel 4, the most popular broadcast services in the UK, and I fell instantly in love with Channel 4’s mission and content: Do It First, Make Trouble, and Inspire Change.

Having a father that was born and raised in Europe, I have always found that my European friends, family, and the media in general, are far more open about alcohol, sex, nudity, and other topics that are “taboo” in the US. For example, US broadcasts would never air a reality dating show titled Naked Attraction, which has participants pick someone to go on a date with based on how they look naked. 

At first mention, I was shocked that a show with full frontal nudity and a lot of talk about sex and sexual preferences would air for just about anyone to see. It was so foreign to me. But after the initial shock, I think a show like this could be incredibly beneficial for Americans, especially young Americans for several reasons. 

Naked Attraction on Channel 4. Picture courtesy of Channel 4 and the

The show begins with a contestant who chooses one of the six participants. There are five rounds, the first revealing their bottom halves, the second their middles, the third their faces, fourth their voices, and finally, the contestant bares all and chooses who they want to go on a date with. I was first afraid the show might be shallow or unkind, but the execution was very open and accepting. 

The first reason I really appreciated the show was because of the accurate representation of the vastness of body types. In the US media especially, I am so used to exclusively seeing the “ideal body type,” when the majority of the world’s population does not fit that beauty standard. When you buy clothes online, most people don’t see the clothes modeled on someone with their body type. Romantic movies or sex scenes feature the body type that is “trending” and are carefully censored. 

But if people were exposed to the reality that people are beautiful and desirable regardless of whether or not they look like supermodels, body image, self-confidence and communication would improve so much. I know if I had seen someone that looked like me completely naked on national television, I would have felt much more confident in myself; if they’re confident enough to be butt naked on TV, I can be that confident in my own skin too. Representation is important! It’s validating to see people who look like you in the media. And although five of the contestants were eliminated, the way they were eliminated was kind. The personal preference of one person does not make someone unattractive. 

Another reason I really liked this show was the open communication and the unabashed way the contestants all spoke about their sexuality, experiences, and sexual preferences. There were many contestants whose sexuality was not “straight” or “gay” and plenty of contestants who discussed their interest in BDSM or eproctophilia (when people are aroused by their partners farts) without shame. Discussing fetishes on national television will help with isolation, since many people think they’re alone in their specific personal fetishes. It’s informative and normalizes a topic that’s been “taboo” for a lot of people, specifically Americans. 

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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