Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Europeans on nudity: Just grin and bare it

Genny just looked at this image and said, "Oooh, that's gross!"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you can see his pee-pee."

"So?"  I laughed.

I didn't expect that reaction from her.  That's why I wasn't even hiding my computer screen from her. 

How funny that I was just going to say how glad I am that Genny, at six-years-old, has more of a European attitdue toward nudity.

I'm curious where she learned her reaction from.  We've always been open and comfortable about nudity around our house.  She sees me, her father, and Cole naked all the time, but never reacts or seems bothered by it.

I've always felt it's best to let kids draw their own lines when it comes to their comfort with nudity in the family.

So why the reaction to a statue?

She barely watches television, so she hasn't learned that "Oooh, that's gross!" from there.  Perhaps from her schoolmates?

Come to think of it, I have noticed that she doesn't like it when I wear anything even slightly revealing in public.  So, she seems to be okay with nakedness in our private world, but not the public.

Maybe Americans really are just more prudish and uncomfortable with themselves.

Perhaps if we saw the nude male figure around and about town and women portrayed in more "natural" states of nudity, we might not be so caught up with what lies beneath our neighbors' clothes.


  1. Kuangbao8:48 PM

    pointed out by my uncle, its very interesting how the american society is more disturbed by sights of nudity than violence. Surely the Europeans have it right when they try to limit violence more so than nudity. We hide away from sex and nudity, but its ok to show gratuitous violence on national TV.. something is messed up.

    When i have kids, i wont limit the nudity they see, but will on the violence.. i agree with you about letting a child draw their own lines, well said.

  2. Yes, I'd much rather my children see healthy and natural images of nudity than violence any day!

  3. I think since she's only six, her reaction may be nothing more than "eww, boys are icky." I mean, they have penises - this weird thing sticking off of their body. I know I thought a penis looked strange when I was a kid. Obviously, as you get older, your feelings about it change! ;)

    The other thing that could be going on is she's noticing that people accept certain things in public and nudity is not one of them. She's at an age where "peer pressure" and "majority rules" will begin to get her attention. How does she react to people with a lot of tattoos or piercings? Mohawks? Bums dressed in only a paper bag? Public urination? She's going to start noticing that it's ok to do some things in private but not in public.

  4. Sheila11:40 AM

    So true, Alison! She totally checks me out before we leave the house to make sure I'm not wearing anything potentially embarrassing to her!