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Naked Attraction reveals everything but our true selves

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On Monday we saw the launch of Channel 4’s daring new dating, show Naked Attraction – think Take me Out with less Paddy McGuinness and more penis.

The show sees hopefuls choose between six bodies. It first begins with just the bottom half of the potential dates being shown; legs, bum and of course genitalia. As the bodies are slowly revealed they are whittled down to the two favourites, being judged only on their naked bodies.

When you finally get down to the final two, you get to hear them speak. This however, isn’t to reveal anything about them as a person; it’s merely to see whether you find their accent attractive and to hear them tell you what it is they like and dislike most about their bodies.

So there you are, naked, in front of cameras and strangers and you have to openly admit what it is you hate about your body – and that’s it, that’s your first vocal impression on your potential date.

The person selecting their date then has to strip down for the final two, and once the lucky one has been chosen, you finally get to put on your clothes and pop off for a date.

So does this work?

As an experiment, it really is interesting. It’s interesting to see how clothes can mask someone’s appearance, how a good jacket really can make all the difference; but also how we use fashion to showcase things about our personality. Judging someone without any of this, with just bare skin being revealed bit by bit, probably makes those taking part really consider what it is they find attractive. It was however, slightly contradictory to see the female participants still have a full face of make-up. We show our faces off every single day, yet it was felt this still had to be covered. I think they missed a trick there.

Sadly, we seem to live in a dating generation that is becoming shallower and shallower. Tinder is one of the biggest dating apps around with over 50 million users. We judge people purely on their well edited and posed selfies, and swipe them out of our lives if they don’t take our fancy. It’s not only massively addictive, but surely it’s also only good for assessing sexual attraction rather than genuine attraction. In fairness, Tinder has now been known as more of a ‘hook-up’ app and for some, and it does its job.

We hear of campaigns for body positivity and ask for people not to judge us by just our appearances, yet Naked Attraction claims to be empowering. Being judged based on just your physical appearance for some, may be wonderful – providing, of course, that the comments you receive are actually positive. If someone doesn’t find you attractive, for whatever reason, is that not considered a put down or an insult? Surely that’s generally considered the opposite of empowering.

You’d think it’s impossible to judge whether you have a connection with some purely based on the shape of their bum or on the size of their penis. While I can completely appreciate that sexual attraction is absolutely imperative in relationships, as the age old saying goes ‘you can’t f*** a personality’; but you also can’t dive into bed with someone who you can’t stand, who you have no chemistry with and who you have no spark with. One-night-stand or long-term relationship, you have to get along with one another; there has to be something more than just physical appearance.

We are a generation fuelled by judgement. We crave likes on our pictures and use social media to exploit ourselves and get gratification from other users. This is something we are all guilty of. We claim to be being social when in fact we are doing the absolute opposite.

We are also completely misguided when it comes to relationships and friendships – we don’t communicate properly. We don’t sit down with someone and have a coffee and have no expectations; we swipe our lives away and hope that the new Instagram filter will make our skin look a little clearer and then we pop onto dating shows like Naked Attraction, which completely depicts what we are surely trying to avoid. We are openly being asked to be judged on our most intimate and personal attributes – not our beliefs, our heart, our humour, our hobbies, our politics, our interests – just our skin.

Being naked is a wonderful and beautiful thing. You can share your body with whomever you feel like, but consider under what circumstances this should be done; is this how we find a relationship? I’m not sure it should be.

Each body is unique and your body belongs to you, so absolutely do what you want with it. If parading around on TV naked works for you, then keep going. But please, stop searching for gratification; you have more to offer than what’s just under your clothes.

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