So last night Channel 4 televised their latest show that bares all: Naked Beach.
If you’re one of those people who love Love Island but also hate how skinny all the girls are/ripped all the guys are, then maybe this is the show for you.
The premise of the show is to promote body confidence based on scientific research, which you can read here. It basically found that the more people spent around naked people, the more positive their own body image.
Essentially, it’s about people getting naked on a beach, however it’s far more than that.
The show is a representation of years of damaging comments about bodies in the media and the growing issues within our society.
In the age of social media and perfect Instagram photos, this show brings us back to reality.
The show takes three people with low confidence and places them in a villa with body-confident hosts. The hosts are a range of shapes and sizes to prove that every body is beautiful.
The hosts have all been specifically selected for their body positive attitudes that they’ve been sharing online.
The three visitors are welcomed by the hosts completely nude, barring some tactful bodypaint and thongs.
While many complained they weren’t ‘properly naked’, viewers and the visitors were given a very clear idea of what their bodies looked like. Each individual and beautiful in their own way.
However, this confidence from the hosts acts as a stark juxtaposition to that of the visitors. The level of hate each visitor has for their body is saddening to watch. One visitor, Kaye, describes herself as “a fat chicken.”
The show slowly reveals the pressures society is putting on their bodies. Elysia, a mum, struggles most with her stretch marks following the birth of her son when she was 21.
She highlights the issue of society wanting women to celebrate their stretch marks, and own them as a sign on their creation.
However, this super body positive attitude almost shames women if they can’t accept their marks, ignoring the years of negativity about it in the media that has led to this point.
Each day, the visitors are given challenges aiming to change their perception of their bodies. These include just looking in the mirror at their naked bodies and questionable team sports.
Throughout the hour you see the visitors slowly coming to accept their bodies, proving the original research correct. They find comfort and solace in the confidence of the hosts and adopt that confidence for themselves.
This changing of perception climatises with, yes you guessed it, them getting naked… on a beach.
Many Twitter users complained the show was promoting obesity and wasn’t tackling the real issue.
However, the root of the problem is, if someone doesn’t like or care about their body, why would they be inclined to go to the gym or change eating habits?
And besides, when the average size of a UK woman is a size 16, I think we need to get over the ‘you’re promoting obesity’ and consider whether it’s just the media’s presentation of ‘normal’ bodies that needs to change.
Naked Beach is on Channel 4 on Thursdays at 8pm.