Why Nudity is Safe from Eviction

By: Daniel King, Student Voices writer

Celebrity Big Brother proves how socially liberal our society has become
I am disgusted in myself. Over the past few weeks, I have been an occasional viewer to the typically raucous antics on Celebrity Big Brother. When I should have been devouring political biographies, I was observing a binge-fuelled Heavy D hunt for alcohol; rather like viewing a Silverback Gorilla during the mating period.

However, the arguments over the amount of missing booze are sadly the least controversial incidents of this infuriating season of the warped reality show. Judged to be the sleaziest ever series, there has been more genitalia on view than at a Hugh Hefner boat party. From communal naked showering to potential sexual intercourse in a toilet, the gruesome foursome of Marnee Simpson (Geordie Shore “star”), Lewis Bloor (TOWIE lad), Chloe Khan (part-time prostitute) and Stephen Bear (sorry, but who is he?) have sent unparalleled shockwaves throughout the environs of social media.

Yet, something is concerning me more than the fame-hunting vulgarity of the quasi-celebrities. Given the outrageous nature of the provocative acts, why am I not more sickened? Why am I not bemoaning the permissive attitudes prevalent in our fame-worshipping society? Why am I failing to join the legions of morality crusaders who consider Ofcom to be their trade union?

It’s political. My generation have grown up during Britain’s greatest strides towards increasing liberalisation when it comes to sexuality. From the advent of Blairism onwards, Britain has been extinguishing our bigoted anti-gay laws and there are serious discussions surrounding the legalisation of prostitution. Economic liberalisation has provided the backbone to our generation’s philosophy; we should be free to do what we want, as we please, and without being judged. Sex is increasingly becoming a dominant theme in our culture, in a way that would have been unimaginable in the closeted world that was the 20th Century. My generation have, from a young age, witnessed Doctor Who, once the symbol of proud bachelorism, enjoy kissing his companions and even The Great British Bake Off is not immune from this overtly-sexualised culture, with the show garnering hundreds of complaints for its legendary innuendo.

Social Liberalism is now woven into the tapestry of the nation. We only need to consider the distinct lack of disgust aimed at Celebrity Big Brother, out with the tabloids, to judge the distance we have traversed in the last 50 years. The staggeringly low figure of 54 people, out of a viewing figure of over a million, vented their fury at OFCOM in the hours following the notorious display of nudity. Compare this to the 1970’s when membership of Mary Whitehouse’s ultra-conservative National Viewer’s and Listener’s Association stood at the remarkable figure of 150,000. The truth is, we are now the nation that is expert in turning a blind eye to permissiveness. Some people would even dispute whether the term permissive was wholly accurate in this situation.

Even if we were tempted to voice our concerns, it would seem slightly contradictory. As a society, we have instructed politicians to force the country into a new era of social liberalism. It is our demand that is allowing television programmes and corporations to indulge in sexualised advertising and output. We have unleashed the fame-hungry forces which influence celebrities into pushing the boundaries of acceptability every day. So why should we be surprised when it comes back to punch us in the face? Are we shocked at our own creation?


There are only two options as to how we proceed. We either revert back to the strict Anglican outlook on life preached by Mary Whitehouse or we allow this transformational wave of social liberalism to erupt into our living rooms on a daily basis. Sadly, there is no in between. For now, we are just going to have to accept a little more nudity in our lives. 
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