A feminist author has claimed that children seeing naked bodies from a young age can make them feel more ‘relaxed’ about the human body in the long run.
Flo Perry and Mariella Frostrup appeared on Good Morning Britain today where they debated whether or not children’s art classes should include life drawing, in order to make them more comfortable with the human form.
Flo, from London, believes it could be a ‘mind-opening experience’ while Mariella, 57, Somerset, said that while something needs to be done to address negative body ideals, she doesn’t feel this is the ‘most productive way’ to go about it.
Viewers weren’t keen on the idea, with one saying most young children would ‘laugh their heads off’ at the sight of a naked body, while others were angry at the idea, with one branding it dangerous’.
Flo argued: ‘Naked strangers is this big word. Nobody is gonna be like, “Put my kid in form of naked strangers”.
‘We have to examine our own reaction to that and think “Why do we have that reaction?”.
‘The disgust thing, is it because nudity is so sexialised in our culture? And actually if we’re exposed to it in a different form, will it make us more relaxed about nudity and our own bodies and make us feel less self conscious?
‘You say that you see different people walking down the street, why do you need body image and life drawing? But it’s nice to see a body glorified in art that isn’t a model.’
Viewers didn’t agree with Flo, with one saying that although she is an artist, she still believes children will ‘sneer and giggle’ at naked bodies at a young age.
One viewers raged: ‘Get the hippy woman that wants to exploit children off the TV. Her credentials need to be checked when she supports such a ridiculous and dangerous class.’
Another said: ‘I’m an artist. I AM happy for my kids to draw nudes, BUT when they are older. I was 17/18 when I first started life drawing.
‘The nude paintings I have in my home, my kids still sneer at them and giggle etc, they’re 9yo, have no contemplation yet on body image.’
A third commented: ‘Put a naked man and woman in front of a class they would be laughing their heads off. You only have to mention a body part and they’re off.’
‘My 12-year-old daughter has said that her sexual health class is more than adequate for teaching positive body image.
‘She also says she’d be extremely worried if mum allowed her to sit in a room with a naked stranger.’, said a fourth.
Flo continued, when questioned about concerned parents: ‘But maybe they wouldn’t because they wouldn’t think of it and it would be a new mind opening experience.’
Mariella weighed in: ‘At primary school age, it potentially isn’t necessarily the most productive way to get them to think about body image.
‘There are all kinds of ways we can approach it and I think talking is probably one of the key ones.’
However some fans of the show were more open to the idea, with one saying that kids are ‘far more robust’ than we give them credit for.
Another said that although she wouldn’t have a problem with it – she isn’t sure her 6-year-old would take it seriously.
‘I just dont get it. what is the problem. kids are far more robust than they are given credit for. ‘, said one.
‘I’m all for it, however, I just asked my 6 year old son and he said what about stranger danger. Which he is right. He also said he didn’t want to draw a winkie’, commented a second.