Choosing a sexual partner based on the appearance of body parts sounds like a cheap porn script or an excerpt from an evolutionary psychology textbook. Meanwhile, such an image has become a permanent fixture of the television frame, including in Poland. Does “The Magic of Nudity“ signifies the moral decline of the media? Is it (if at all) defensible for such entertainment to exist?
"The magic of nudity," or what's all the fuss about?
“The Magic of Naked Attraction” (org. Naked Attraction) was born in the UK in 2016. It arrived in Poland on September 3, 2021. On Zoom TV station. The Polish edition was supposed to appear much earlier, on May 14, but complaints sent to the National Broadcasting Council delayed its broadcast.
The formula of the program is as follows: one participant is to choose a person from among five candidates with whom to date. What makes “Naked Magic” different from other dating programs is that the candidate or candidate for a date presents himself or herself completely naked. The program is divided into three rounds – in each round, with the help of a lifting curtain, another part of the participants’ body is exposed. The selector (who remains clothed at the beginning of the program) decides, based on the physical characteristics of the participants, which one moves on to the next round.
“The finale” is a meeting between the selector – also undressed – and two naked participants. The biggest controversy is that the unveiling of candidates begins with the lower parts of the body. The initial “elimination” of partners is therefore based on an assessment of the genitals, followed by the buttocks, breasts or torso and, finally, the face. Any way you look at it – exclusively physical aspects.
The Netflix series “Sexify,” for example, deals with a similarly controversial topic. You can read more about it in an article on GentleWoman
The orgasm that wasn’t there
Will the truth (about the body) set us free?
In Stanislaw Bareja’s “The Teddy Bear,” the famous phrase about “the truth of the time and the truth of the screen” falls. The “Magic of Nudity” program can be seen as a perverse reversal of this slogan. While in the case of Poland’s most famous comedy, “screen truth” meant a falsified image of reality created for the purpose of government propaganda, “The Magic of Nudity” to some extent confronts the viewer with the “truth,” i.e. real images of the human body.
This aspect of the program is highlighted by psychologists, sexologists and media experts. Although the very “idea” of the program seems to strike at the dignity of the participants (who among us would want a penis or vagina to be the main criterion for choosing us as a sexual partner?), while the representation of diverse bodies can be considered a positive value. In a visual culture dominated by idealized images of men and women run through Instagram filters, this can have educational value.
“Nude Magic” features the bodies of people wearing clothes in all sizes – from XXS to XXL, athletic and muscular, with sagging skin and wrinkles, with and without tattoos, people aged 20 to 70. A second benefit of the program may be warming the image of the LGBT community – participants in the program are hetero-, homo-, bi- and pansexual.
What times, what dates
The creators of “The Magic of Nudity” stoutly defend it as a dating show, although the formula is nowhere near the sexologists’ contention that sex begins in the brain. It was different with the first dating program of the Third Republic – “Blind Date,” aired on TVP in the 1990s. There, too, one participant chose a date partner from among several (three) candidates separated from him by a curtain. However, unlike “Naked Magic,” “Blind Date” relied on the magic of words contained in the participants’ statements.
Would such a formula work today? It seems not. The on-air sex of the protagonists of the first edition of “Big Brother,” Fries and Ken, opened a media Pandora’s box. Then it only got worse: the vulgar show “Warsaw Shore,” which verges on pornography, or unambitious (to put it mildly) and equally controversial reality shows such as “All About Miriam,” “Love Island” and “Power of Love.” It must be admitted that against this backdrop the body-positive “Magic of Nudity” comes off even sympathetically, but leaves unsatisfied.
It is a pity that the author of the format has shallowed the formula to corporeality, and has not expanded it to include the psychological and cognitive layer of the participants. The program ends with an instant date, for the most part without a follow-up. The parabola of emotions comes down to views, cultural differences or the distance in which the participants live and reside. Nudity is not magic, as the title suggests, if it is not enough to continue the relationship that has been initiated.
Is "Naked Magic" a program with potential?
Despite the specifics, “The Magic of Nudity” is an interesting phenomenon. For many people, who they like best is a matter of outward appearance. Through this naked experiment, we may learn more about ourselves. Is there more potential in this? At GentleWoman, we hope so!