Nude or Prude?

So we were watching TV the other day and I saw the strangest thing.  Well, for some of you it might be strange, and 7 years ago it was for me too.  But these days it actually commonplace around here.  Yep, just the same-ol same-ol.  Move along, nothing to see here.  La-dee-da. While normal to me though, it is apparently enough to curl the toes of the average church-going American (evidence for this statement to be presented later).  What is this heinous thing, you ask?  What unusual object is so controversial that it doesn’t bother Germans, yet will spin America into an absolute frenzy?  Well, I’ll tell you, if you think you’re ready.  Can you handle it?  Are you sure?  Do I use this bit in too many posts?  Brace yourself!  HERE IT COMES!

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Halftime Show

A boob.

That’s right, just a regular ol’ boob. Right there, on a regular ol’ body lotion commercial, in the middle of a regular ol’ day. I know, kind of a let down, eh?  You were probably expecting something a little more earth shattering, weren’t you.  What was it so strange then, you ask? Was it having dirty sex? Or regular sex for that matter? Was it torturing people “Hostel” style? Was plotting to corrupt mankind? Was it trying to take over the world? No, no, no, no, and no. It was just there, being a boob and minding it’s own business. But why weren’t the authorities alerted? The FCC needs to know about this! The people who made that commercial need to pay for this heinous crime against humanity. After all, somebody must have been damaged by this glimpse of human anatomy. I mean, countless individuals were forever ruined by the brief sight of Janet Jackson’s nipple in the Super Bowl halftime show, so an entire boob has to mean the certain end of civilization as we know it.

Okay, that’s probably more sarcasm and drama than one post needs so here is my point. Germans are much more comfortable with nudity than Americans.  Need proof? Let’s start at your local German home improvement store where the shower advertisements feature a naked woman from behind, butt and all.  Americans would start a nationwide boycott if Home Depot tried that!  How about the German teen magazine “Bravo“, which features nude pictures of normal teenagers (so young people can see that they are not so different)?  Americans would petition the Supreme Court!  We already know what happens when a nipple pops out at the Super Bowl (there is my evidence by the way).  And what about the late night phone sex ads here in Germany, with boobs galore?  Americans would march on the White House!  What’s more, all of these examples are of nudity on TV or in print.  We haven’t even talked about FKK (Nudist) groups yet, Saunas (Had a Few Beers and Brit in Bavaria’s favorite!), or the fact that toplessness is allowed at pretty much all swimming pools and beaches.

Here’s what I don’t understand though. It’s just a boob. Or should I say they are just boobs. I understand that parents don’t necessarily want their kids seeing people have sex, we don’t want our son prematurely exposed to sex either.  We also (like all parents I am sure) regulate which and how much nudity, if any, our son should be exposed to.  But there is a big difference between nudity and sex, and this concept has somehow been lost in America.  I mean, what harm is a boob doing when it’s not actively engaged in a sex act?  None. Nada.  Zippo.  Zilcho.  Just 100% nature as nature intended it.  The problem in America is that nudity, and more specifically breasts, have been over-sexualized and therefore stigmatized.  We have taken something totally natural and made it taboo.

So what’s the moral of the story kids?  Am I saying that everyone in America should be running around naked all the time?  Or that every Super Bowl Halftime Show should be full of boobies?  No and no.  It’s not like Germans all run around naked or sunbathe topless.  Nor is German TV filled with nudity.  In fact, Germans have a really handy trick they use when they see something on TV they don’t like.  They change the channel.  Craziness!  What I am saying though, is that there is no need to freak out at the mere sight of boobs.  They’re not hurting anyone.  Leave the poor, defenseless boobies alone.

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8 thoughts on “Nude or Prude?

  1. I have experienced a lot of “two faces” in America. At day time my fellow girls were talking high morale however at early morning hours they were asking me to watch the corridor if no one is walking to sneak out of not-their-boyfriend bedroom. And just hours ago she was swearing she has a boyfriend and she is so faithful to him even if they live in different countries for four years.

  2. Isn’t it weird that we as Americans freak out over a boob but our movies and t.v. shows can have overwhelming violence, war and guns? “No, no! Don’t you dare show that side-boob in that movie! Oh, what? The guy is to be beheaded in the next scene? Sure! You better zoom in on that! Of course that is allowed!” It’s interesting the “norms” in which we are raised and grow to accept. I was also a bit shocked when I first came to Germany and saw all the nudity in random movies and shows but my wife was shocked when she came to America and saw all of the violence. I think actually the German point of view makes more sense – at least the body is something natural. Also, I had to laugh (and maybe stopped and watched it for a second, ha) the first time I saw one of those “late night phone sex ads” because it reaaaaaally gets the point across! Great post.

    1. Yeah, I also think that is all totally backwards in America. Maybe I should have used that to make my point, because I would much rather my son see a boob than some bloody, horrific death scene!

  3. Haha. Great post! I love the handy trick Germans use that you pointed out. 🙂 Change the channel! If you don’t like it, don’t watch, don’t look or don’t go. I think Germans have a much more healthy and natural view of the human body. I also don’t understand why, in general, it seems Americans want to censor or control things for everyone. Why can’t they just “change the channel” so to speak?

    1. Thanks! That is definitely one of my bigger issues with certain Americans, the felt need to impose their morals on other people. As long as it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care what everybody else in the world does!

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