In defence of “Naked Attraction”

My for-the-moment final column for the local newsletter EN4 and EN5 has been published. You decide whether I mean the title sarcastically or not.

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I watched the first episode of Naked Attraction on Channel 4’s online catch-up service. Someone had described it to me. What would you do if you were told of a dating show where candidates are revealed naked, very slowly from the feet up?

Here are its strengths. Someone’s gotta list ’em; the online reviews all crackle with prudish outrage while displaying pic upon pic of the show. The naked hypocrisy of it is enough  to make one want to strip off and streak through the offices of the Mail OnLine peeing on their monitors as one goes!

In this first programme, two girls pick a naked date. By elimination. Bit by, erm, bit.

Aina is a musician with interesting hairstyles. She has six willies, bums, and then chests to choose from. She picks the fellow with the false leg and the elephant face tattooed around his ‘elephant trunk’ – not because of them, but despite them: Matty, their owner, loves his legs and regrets the tattoo. He uses the couple of sentences allowed to him to say that in a way that conveys he has a hinterland and a sense of humour. After the date the two certainly look in love, and Aina admits surprise at how much compatibility they have found. Surprised? No kidding girl!

Mal has three boys and three girls to choose from. Across the show, rejected boys say something snide or self-defensive to save face (despite that being the part of them we see least). “Actually, she’s not my type”; “I didn’t like her legs anyway!” etc. However, the last boy, Lorenzo – rejected clearly because his English is too poor even to make knob jokes with – looks into the camera and says: “She is very beautiful and I’m feeling very very sad now.” I was moved; I wept for him all evening.

An unmistakable strength of the programme is that all the naked candidates are gorgeous. Mal says so, and she’s right! Sadly, little else is. Mal called the obese candidate “like Botticelli” (she meant Rubenesque). The dating ‘facts’ that punctuate the programme are pure piffle on pillars, peddling evolutionary psychology bollocks and talk of human pheromones none of which is worth a bad smell.

In my researches – done exclusively for you dear reader, of course – the most common Twitter comment for #nakedattraction is, “This is the weirdest show ever!” Quite – given the excruciating awkwardness of picking dates naked, especially at 10pm in the evening!

The second most common comment is, “Why would anyone go on this show?” It’s easy – look them up! The contestants are aspiring actors and models, former strippograms and lap-dancers. They’re not looking for lerv, but to enhance their careers. Why else would anyone demean themselves on the most regressive, oppressive, body-fascistic, objectifying, infantilising (fannies are all shaved to pre-pubescent girlishness), prurient, voyeuristic, embarrassing, sexploitative show our public broadcasters have aired before midnight?

Psst – it’s on Mondays!

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