An award-winning children’s show in Denmark is gaining international attention for featuring naked adults who answer questions about their bodies from 11-13-year-olds. It’s an attempt to address the pressures young people feel due to the growing use of photoshop in social media, entertainment and advertising, but many think it goes a bit too far.
Called “Ultra Strips Down,” it features five adults who volunteer to strip down in front of a group of preteens and allow them to ask any question they want. For example, a recent episode focused on skin and hair. Some of the questions the schoolchildren asked included, “At what age did you grow hair on the lower part of your body” “Do you consider removing your tattoos?” and “Are you pleased with your private parts?”
It’s incredibly popular, and recently won an award for best children’s television program at a Danish television festival in 2019.
“Perhaps some people are like, ‘Oh, my God, they are combining nakedness and kids,’” creator Jannik Schow said. “But this has nothing to do with sex, it’s about seeing the body as natural, the way kids do.”
The show was created as a way to promote body positivity and prevent body shaming in a world full of photoshop and perfect images.
But is it going a bit too far?
Parents do give their children permission to appear on the show and many of the children describe it as a positive experience, but do they really need to see naked men and women, including an individual that identifies as nonbinary, in order to achieve that result.
In general, Europeans are far more comfortable with nudity than Americans. From nude beaches to magazine racks full of topless women in gas stations, nudity is a rather common sight throughout much of the continent and treated as something rather banal. In fact, the host of the show tells the students that when he was younger, teens were not separated by gender when using showers in the school locker rooms.
But times have changed, and even some of the Danes feel like the program ventures into uncomfortable territory.
A member of the Danish People’s Party, which leans right politically, stated that the show is “depraving our children.”
“It is far too early for children (to start with male and female genitalia),” Peter Skaarup said in an interview with Danish tabloid B.T. “(They) already have many things running around in their heads. They have to learn it at the right time.”
He added, “(This information should be presented by parents or schools) so that it is not delivered in this vulgar way, as the children’s channel does.”
Through entertainment and social media, kids and young teens are constantly bombarded with images of seemingly picture-perfect bodies. This takes a psychological toll on young, developing preteens who may they feel like they don’t measure up to what’s considered attractive. One study showed that girls in particular are at a higher risk of suicide if they are unhappy with their bodies.
But is showing preteens naked adults the way to go? Surely, there are more productive and less vulgar ways to get the message of body acceptance across.
Photo from Shutterstock
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