30 March 2011

Fab Confab: Birthday Suits

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Welcome to another week of Fab Confab - where we have a little chat about a topic on Wednesdays

Here is my burning topic for the day


[image]


It is a well-known fact that Europe has topless beaches, nude public steam rooms, artwork without a stitch of clothing, and magazines at my kids eye level with 'everything' on display

My young children have never seen so much skin

I think in the US, there are two extremes - prim & proper and 'not'

In Europe, we have seen everyday bodies in their birthday suits yet more of the 'inappropriate' as well

What do you think about raising kids in either environment? I'd love to know your thoughts
{Rated G comments only, of course}

13 comments:

Sarah said...

Oooh, interesting topic! I feel a bit nervous going first! My little ones have seen our own bodies from the beginning (you know, I can't say when I last had an uninterrupted shower!) and so far, it doesn't bother me, it feels natural. I am careful to keep their little eyes away from 'sexy' images though - I remember seeing a really raunchy billboard for an escort agency in a city we were holidaying in, and my instinct was to cover my daughter's eyes! The whole objectification thing bothers me...

I remember hearing about a parenting magazine in the States which was banned or censored for showing a baby breastfeeding from a (gasp) naked breast. Come on!

Munir said...

I think children's eyes should be spared the rawness of nudity or even scanty clothing. However accidnets happen and if they do, children should be encouraged to talk. Also bill boards should not have the standards of adult magazines. It will take forever for us mother's to create legislature for changes on a bill board subject. Until then the subject of people's choices for nude clubs, nude advertisement or even scanty clothes should be discussed very carefully with children and should be in a manner suitable for thier age group. Take it from an old timer, the more carefully constructed sentences, the better. Kids are smart.
Children's own privacy should be guarded like a priced possession. the scars that can be left behind on a kid's mind for their privacy being comprimised will hurt them forever.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I can't bare it when children are subjected to raunchy images - for example, news agents putting magazines like Nuts or Loaded (have you had the joy of seeing them?) on lower shelves. I often ask theose shops to move those magazines to higher shelves. I just think that it's not fair to little ones to make them see images that they're too young to cope with.

I can see that I'm totally on my high horse here - will someone help me get down?!

Sarahx

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

I'd probably be considered prim and proper but it's ok, I don't mind the label. There are some things sacred and in my opinion and God's, the human body is one of them. Sometimes there's nothing left to the imagination. The precious innocence of children should be protected. They'll have a lifetime to deal with all the junk out there. If I could, I'd put blinders on my kids' eyes until they reached an age of understanding.
Ok, I'm up there on Sarah's high horse too! lol

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

This is an issue I haven't dealt with personally. We live in a sleepy little conservative town. But I think the important thing if your child IS exposed to smut is to use it as an opportunity (if they're old enough!) to discuss the human body, boundary issues, and the difference between beautiful art and exploitation.

Look at me all proper, using capitalization even! You're a good influence, Laura!

michele

Erin S. said...

Interesting topic--there is a difference between the US and Europe, for sure--although the UK wasn't as bad. We lived in Germany for a summer, and ads for stuff like shower gel showed waaay more than their US counterparts. I feel like there is a difference between everyday nudity, nudity in classical art and exploitive/raunchy nudity, though. We don't walk around naked in our house on purpose or anything, but if my younger kids come in while I'm showering or dressing, I don't make a big deal out of it and neither do they. When kids are preschool age or above, my experience is that one's "bits :)" are no different in their minds than your elbow. It seems like in each of my kids' case, around five years old, they seem to be much more aware of others' and their own nudity (wanting to close the door to the bathroom when they are in there, or saying "uh oh" and walking right out if they come in my room w/out knocking when I'm dressing). That's the point when we start teaching them our family's values about how important our bodies are and how we should respect our own bodies and others'. Hate the raunch magazines and internet accessibility. It demeans women as whole people and is especially bad for kids and teenagers, who haven't learned to have an adult's sense of perspective about the whole thing. Whew! I guess I need to get off my (rather large) soapbox now, too :).

beetree said...

There's also the point of this: as women, we know that guys are visual- but I never realized the depth of what this actually means for them (and, consequently, for our boys) until I read a book called "For Women Only" by Shanti Feldman. Unbelievable. Maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this, but guys can see an image when they are 8 years old and recall it on purpose even when they are 30. So as far as the raunchy stuff, I believe it's important to not only protect what they see, but really understand how it will affect them. I agree with Michelle about teachable moments with our kids...we can't shield them all the time, but we can help them navigate the mess :)

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Our bodies are nothing to be ashamed of and I feel strongly that children learn by example. You make an issue of something and it soon becomes an even bigger issue!

About Last Weekend said...

Good topic I think you're right about the two extremes in the US. Having lived here I think Europe is much more healthy in terms of all relationships to body images. Having said that I am too modest to not wear a full bathing suit at all times, probably says more about me than anything...

Anonymous said...

I think it is great in Europe! In America, we splash guns all over the place, violence is fine for little ones to see, but not nudity, pourquoi pas? Maybe if there was more openness in America, we'd have less pornography? I wonder if there are fewer pedophiles in Europe than America? Interesting statistic to research...

Debbie Beardsley said...

Indeed an interesting and hot topic! I raised my children in the US and never had to deal with the nudity as in Europe. However, I think there is a huge difference between nudity and being sexual or lewd. To me, the sexual and lewd is what our children shouldn't see. I have no problem with my children seeing nudes in art.

When my children were 18 and 14 we took them to Europe where they had their own rooms most of the time. Now I know there are things on European TV that they probably shouldn't watch but I said nothing. Sometimes making a "big" deal of things makes a "huge" deal of things.

I also watched shows with my kids here in the US that I know a lot of people would question. But we would talk about the behaviors shown and it was a great way to break the ice and really understand what my kids were thinking and who they were.

Just my 2 cents. . .

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

Hi Laura, Wow, really hard topic. It must be hard changing countries and cultures and raising young children at the same time. I feel for you. Naked is not bad, but raunchy or lewd is. Maybe that's a topic to teach your children. I know it's hard to decide to I act like we don't see it or do we address it and let them know what you think. My children are older now and I was usually more of the idea that it's best to address it in a way that was age appropriate. That's my thoughts on your subject of the day. Good luck and keep us posted.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I had to come back and see other people's comments. I guess it's no surprise really that we all pretty much agree. That's why it puzzles me that some magazines are allowed on a lower shelf. DOes *any* mother mind her little ones seeing htat kind of thing?

Grrr....it's making me mad again!!

Oooh, I've just seen your Go England blog award on your sidebar. That sounds cool - well done!

Sarahx