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Dutch TV Show For Kids Features Naked Adults To Promote Body Positivity

Would you strip down in front of a bunch of kids on national television while they ask you questions about your body? In the new Dutch TV show Simply Naked, that’s exactly what adults are doing. Meant to promote body positivity, it is receiving quite a lot of backlash. (1)

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New Dutch TV Show Simply Naked Has Children Asking Naked Adults About Their Bodies

In Simply Naked, which has not actually gone on air yet, a panel of robed adults takes to the stage. The audience members are children between 10 and 12 years old. When told, the adults drop their robes to reveal their naked bodies underneath. (1)

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The kids are then allowed to ask them questions about their bodies – from questions about body hair to body acceptance. Nothing is off the table. (1)

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“The aim is to teach children that each and every body is different and that not all bodies are perfect,” said host Edson da Graça. (1)

Not having appeared on television yet, many Dutch MPs are criticizing Simply Naked. Some have called it “ridiculous”, while others have said it is “promoting pedophilia”. The first episode is meant to go on-air on March 21, however, many politicians are discussing the matter in parliament. (1)

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 “Gewoon Bloot [Simply Naked] is not normal and shouldn’t become normal” said fundamentalist Protestant party leader Kees van der Staaij. (1)

Not An Original Idea

Simply Naked may sound like a radical new idea, but it is actually not the first of its kind. It is sort of a spin-off of the Danish show Ultra Strips Down, which is already in its second season. (2)

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In this show, the concept is the same. Adults walk in wearing robes, then 10 to 13-year-old children, who’ve been prepped in school ahead of time, ask questions when the robes come off. (2)

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“Perhaps some people are like, ‘Oh, my God, they are combining nakedness and kids,’” said show host and co-producer Jannick Schow. “But this has nothing to do with sex, it’s about seeing the body as natural, the way kids do.” (2)

This concept of not shielding children from life’s realities is how the Danish raise their children. Nudity is not shied away from. In fact, if you go to a beach in Denmark, many beach-goers there are naked, too. (2)

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The Danes prefer to prep the children for what they are about to see, then show them reality, then allow them to ask questions about it. (2)

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Nordic parenting expert Sofie Munster says that it’s about allowing children to be free and find themselves. (2)

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“While some may prefer to be overcareful, we may prefer to be under-careful,” she explains. “This is how we educate our children. We show them reality as it is.” (2)

Ultra Strips Down also received similar backlash as Simply Naked has when it first came out. Now, it has won awards. (2)

Reaction Not Unexpected

The producers knew what they were in for when they piloted the concept of the show. Despite the backlash from many politicians and other citizens, they stand behind their show and what it promotes. (3)

“The children knew exactly what was going to happen, and they could say how they felt during the program at any time,” the broadcaster said in a statement. “We had expected a bit of a ruckus. Not everyone will think this is for children, and that’s ok. It’s up to the parents to decide if their children can watch.” (3)

Unless a major decision is made in Dutch parliament, the show will launch as-planned later this month. (3)

How To Teach Body Positivity To Your Children

Encouraging a healthy body image in your children is tough, especially with all the messages they receive on TV, music, and social media. Though you may not feel comfortable with shows like Simply Naked, there are plenty of other ways to teach your children body positivity without stripping down. 

For babies and toddlers, they are only just learning how to control their bodies. They will feel a sense of pride when they master a new skill, like walking, which will be even better when you cheer them on while they do it. (4)

As children get older, they take pride in how much they’ve grown or how fast they can run. Unfortunately, at a very young age, they may start to compare themselves to others. You can promote body positivity and self-love by (4):

  • Teaching them about their bodies (use the actual, anatomical terms for all body parts).
  • Help them take care of their bodies.
  • Allow them to show you what they can do and be enthusiastic about it.
  • Don’t ever talk down about anyone in front of your children.
  • Be active with your kids every day.
  • Show them that you are proud of them and what they can do.

Focusing more on what their bodies can do for them rather than how they look will promote a healthy relationship with their bodies as they grow and change. It will help them to appreciate the changes rather than fear them. (4)

What To Do When Kids Hit Puberty

Puberty is tough because everyone starts it at a different time. Some are early; some are late. Some kids are excited about the changes; others are fearful of them. (4)

Teens and preteens are particularly vulnerable, especially girls, as they go through this transition. Often they will gain some fat during puberty, and their body will change its shape. To help them navigate this time (4):

  • Allow your teen to try new looks and styles.
  • Don’t criticize other teens (or adults) about their looks, especially in front of your child, even if you disagree with what they are wearing.
  • Say nice things about how they look, but direct as many compliments away from physical appearance and focus on other aspects of beauty. 
  • Help them be active, eat healthily, and get proper rest.

Do your best to help your preteen and teen develop an appreciation for what their changing and new body can do, rather than what it looks like. Do your best not just to focus on physical appearance but instead on other aspects of your child. For example, instead of saying to them, “You look beautiful,” try “You are glowing today! Your energy is so vibrant.”

Be A Good Role Model Yourself

From the time children are born, they are watching and listening to you. If you constantly criticize yourself in front of them, they will develop ideas about what kinds of bodies are and aren’t “okay.” If they develop those traits, they will have a negative self-image. (4)

Do your best to avoid saying things like “I can’t wear that, I’m too [xyz]” or constantly talking about how you are trying to lose weight because you are “too fat.” If you model self-love and focus on health rather than appearance, your children will learn that behavior as well. (4)

What do you think? Would you let your children watch a show like Simply Naked?

Keep Reading: Child’s name shortened by teachers for being ‘too hard’ to pronounce

Sources

  1. Dutch Body-Positivity Kids Series With Naked Adults Draws Fire.” Daily Beast. Justin Rohrlich. March 8, 2021.
  2. A Danish Children’s TV Show Has This Message: ‘Normal Bodies Look Like This’.” NY Times. Thomas Erdbrink, Martin Selsoe Sorensen. October 7, 2020.
  3. Dutch TV show for kids features naked adults.” Independent. Joe Middleton. March 2021.
  4. Encouraging a Healthy Body Image.” Kids Health
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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