29 October 2009

Boobs Ahoy!

Yes, The Mail actually are running an article entitled

'Mummy, why do those ladies have no clothes on?'
Superb, truly superb - While Viv Groksop says she doesn't want to censor anything (natch), 'it seems the prudes have got it right.'

Ah, yes, the good old 'I don't want to agree, but I must, for the public good' line, it works much better than antagonistic campaigner mode (also known as Hattie's second law), an alternative title for this would be 'I'm not racist prudish but..'

So, what's the story? Well, a five-year-old picked up a lads mag - conveniently the offending article is not actually pictured, but a similar one is lifted from Loaded - I don't see the relevance of using a different magazine with a different picture, particularly when Loaded (or 'Porn for wusses') is, in my experience at least, generally in the Men's interest, section while Nuts and Zoo are weeklies usually placed nearer the newspapers (now, I'll leave it up to whether I know this from buying them, or stocking them) - but we do actually have no proof of:

"two nubile girls in a steamy embrace, both completely nude but for a generous slick of lip gloss"

I guess we'll have to take your word for it, Viv - but isn't the picture rather misleading? As it implies that it's proof of the offending article, and if she's anything like my mother she'll be massively over-exaggerating - in mum speak 'completely nude!' normally means 'they have a small bikini on!'

And I really would like the Daddy's opinion on this, a man behind Viv was sniggering (as I would), and as I was reading this I was thinking 'if that was his Dad he would've found it hilarious', she conveniently brings him in at the end:

Three days later he returned to the same newsagent with his dad and pulled the copy of Nuts out from where he had remembered it was: 'Dad - take a look at this!' Pandora's Box is well and truly open.

Note how there is no reference to how Daddy reacted...probably pissed himself laughing

Truth is, I do actually agree with not putting these mags with children's comics, but the thing is - do they? I can't say I've ever been in a shop where Dora was next to Nuts, the weeklies are generally quite visible, but not in with the kiddie stuff, maybe the football stuff, but not comics - this really comes down to a question of what should be visible and what shouldn't - they want 'age appropriate stickers' and to remove them from 'toddler head-height'

Effectively what that means is somehow covering them up - because a sticker will do nowt unless it covers the images, it's not going to stop a toddler picking it up (not that a five year old is a toddler - toddlers, by definition, 'toddle') - and out of sight is top-shelf, like really high top shelf, because while you may be able to protect your under-4s from looking at things and noticing magazines, once they get to five and over they're a bit more observant, kids have eyes after all, the top shelf is there because 1) they can't reach, and 2) because it's a steeper angle for the little munchkins

They are far more aware, and I'm afraid I have to tell the author here that your boy is going to find all this out pretty soon - right now it's just new and entertaining, but he won't forget the image like a toddler would, and soon enough he's going to want to find these pictures, start seeing rude things on tv when he sneakily stays up late and becoming 'interested' in the female form by about the age of eight, if I'm anything to go by (and why do you think we men are amused by this? - Because we all did it!) - all she's trying to do is prevent her son seeing such images because she doesn't want him to see them, but it's an uphill battle that requires censorship of pretty much everything

She is perfectly entitled to try of course, but why should everybody else pay the price for her world view - in effect we'll be asking teenage boys to return to the days of reaching up to the top shelf, purchasing a sealed bag, and then probably carrying it home in a brown bag because it's 'taboo' again, and what will the age restriction be? Will 'Prudes United' (new tag!) allow a rating of say, 12 or 13, bearing in mind this is not even nudity and is the obvious demographic of these things? Or will it be a ridiculous 18 or 16? And will it be legally enforceable? Despite there being no nudity, and no breach of the Obscene Publications act

Those poor boys, denied their own fix of non-nudity, while the pseudo-feminists cheer and read their equally revealing fashion mags (but that's artistic) from the pram-height shelves, all because some people feel that:

These ladies' poses are not 'cheeky' or 'saucy' as the editors behind these magazines argue - their purpose is far more blatant than that.

In her opinion...given all the more (false) weight by the fact that the author knows sexy, because she worked for Esquire in the 90s - well that's settled then...

I'd like to know what the justification is, does it cause mental problems in young children? Does it create half-pint perverts? Or is it just that some people don't like these images and think they're inappropriate and want to force their opinions on a democratic society? Because as far as I can tell, all these do is use the female form to arouse males, there's no sex, not even frontal nudity, just body shape and a bit of flesh, something little boys can work out themselves without any literature

There have always been Mary Whitehouses, and they have always lost - lighten up and accept that you can't protect your little babies forever

Meanwhile, I'm think I'm going to be taking my six-year-old nephew shopping...

1 comment:

  1. I like how you defend this issue solely on principle

    ..I hope