What Do You Think About Critiquing Naked Women on TV?
Jun 3 2013
Blachman's male panel judges a naked woman's body. Image via
Last month saw the premiere of Blachman, a new Danish TV show where a panel of men judge the bodies of naked women. That's literally the whole show—no big statements about trying to challenge the notion of objectifying women by openly objectifying women (or however a fine-art graduate would justify a project of the same nature), just some men saying what they like and don't like about the bodies of naked women.
Lots of people think the show is sexist, so I had a walk around London to see if the strangers I ran into agreed.
Clavey from Brazil, 37, trainee manager: It's exciting, but sexist. Women should already like their bodies. They shouldn’t wait for men to like their bodies. As a woman, I don’t feel comfortable with the idea.
Well, if I was to go on the show, I feel like it would be showing too many of my intimate parts. And I don’t have a very big ego.
Would it be OK if the roles were reversed and women critiqued naked men on TV?
No, I think it's the same.
You're from Brazil. Would the show be popular there?
No, I don't think so. We have women in bikinis on TV all day long. It's completely normal for us to see a lot of butts and bodies.
Hannes from Germany, 23, student: It's not OK. It's sexist.
What do you think the limit of nudity on TV should be?
Everything but the genitalia for men. It's OK for women to be in bikinis.
So would the show be OK if the women were in bikinis?
Yeah, as long as it doesn’t run during the day, when kids watch TV.
The director claimed that women "thirst for men’s opinions." What do you think of that?
I don't agree with that. If I met a girl, I’d like to know more about her mind than her body. I think the women who go on the show are anomalies.
Would the show would be a hit in Germany?
Yes, because a lot of people enjoy seeing nude women.
But not nude men?
All right then.
Tony, 41, works with young offenders: It's an utterly pointless show.
Could you imagine the show being a hit in the UK?
I hope it wouldn’t be. I would have no reason to watch a show like that—it sounds horrific.
The director claims that the women ”thirst for men’s opinions” about their bodies. Do you agree?
Of course that's not true. It's a director trying to make money and put on a show for himself. He’s not interested in the value of these women. He's not looking to move people or make statements. They’re just standing there. It's almost like a stagnant porn movie, isn't it? How long could you watch that for? A naked woman is a naked woman.
One of the contestants claimed that she got something out of the show, like fan mail and marriage proposals.
Well, you could get fans and proposals in the street, you know? You don’t have to take your clothes off.
Juliette, 26, event manager: I think it’s really bad, basically. And it objectifies women, which so much media and TV does already. So I’m against it.
Would you be interested in seeing the roles reversed on TV?
Yeah, actually. I think it would be interesting to see the reverse side. And if there are women doing it now on TV, then I think the same thing needs to be done with men.
Do you agree with the show’s director, who claims that women "thirst" for men’s approval?
I do, but only because society has made some women feel like they need men's approval. There are women who don’t, but unfortunately I still think there are a lot of women who do. Only because men controlling the media have encouraged that.
Do you think men "thirst" for women’s approval?
I guess they do, in a way. But not to the same degree.
Felix, 20, model: I think it's retarded. Completely sexist and degrading.
One of the contestants claimed that she got fan mail and marriage proposals. Do you think anything good can come out of the show?
No. It's a business, and people will do anything to make money. But the government has to stop these kind of shows because they’re stupid.
If the roles were reversed, would the show OK?
It wouldn’t be better, no. But it would probably be more accepted because sexism is mostly about women.
Would you watch it either way?
The director claims that women "thirst"for men’s approval" of their bodies. Do you agree?
In general, women don’t have the best self-esteem. Maybe that’s why they’d like to be on this show—to be complimented.
So you don't think there will be any hot girls on the show?
No, there definitely would be. But even hot girls don’t have the best self-esteem.
Do good-looking guys suffer from self-esteem issues, too?
Oh yeah, definitely. And not just because of the media—it could be anything that dents their self-esteem.
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