ROUND of applause for Frankie Bridge, who has admitted that she and her footballer hubby Wayne often walk around their house naked.
Except why do we constantly make the association between nudity and sex?
After all, it’s quite possible to have sex with the majority of your clothes on and it’s quite possible to walk to the kitchen nudie-rudie without engaging in a spot of intimacy.
So why do we always connect the two?
I presume it’s the reason why the likes of Instagram refuse people the right to expose a bit of nipple — because it somehow solicits sex.
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I’ve accidentally had a “nip-slip” in a pic — a genuine oversight and nothing provocative — and been given a stern telling off and had my pic removed by the social media giants.
In fact, it unwittingly happened again on Wednesday last week but this time it was my 21-year-old daughter who berated me and ordered me to remove it. It was a careless mistake. No offence intended.
As an adult and mother, I’ve also made a habit of engaging in the nudie-rudie house walkabout.
If we don’t start showing and sharing our bodies with our children, how will they ever understand just how unique they are? And that not everybody conforms to some textbook version of what they may have seen.
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And that not everybody is shaped like those they may have seen on internet porn.
I want them to understand, value and cherish bodies of all shapes. By all shapes, I also mean of all ages.
And whatever our children might know about nude bodies, they’ve probably picked up from porn, the internet or otherwise, whether we like the idea of it or not.
Our job, then, as adults in their lives is to free up their imagination and knock down the walls they have sub- consciously built surrounding nudity and sex.
Now I’m a huge fan of Channel 4’s Naked Attraction, primarily because TV is my line of work and I’m interested in experimental telly.
And while I acknowledge that seeing someone’s naked body is not the way to choose a partner, it’s an interesting concept. What has surprised me most — me, a 54-year-old woman — has been the great diversity of bodies on show.
And what I’m about to say, may be wholly wrong. But I watched the programme with my nearly 14-year-old son. Just the once. I felt very strongly it would be useful and helpful, encouraging for him to see different bodies.
When I was a child, my dad insisted on walking around the flat naked. It never bothered me –– I was used to seeing his chunky body and exposed exterior plumbing. It just felt natural.
But when my friends once saw him through the windows, they mocked me and it was only then that it became a stigma and started to bother me.
But if we, collectively, can try to normalise nakedness as something natural and not something perverse, unusual or even outlandish, I’m pretty sure we’d be bringing up a next generation of young people who are more at ease with their own bodies and don’t equate nudity with sex, and sex alone.
Life lessons in Ronaldo loss
TO lose a child is the worst fate endured by any parent.
And when the most followed man on Instagram announces the death of one of his twins, it brings about a conversation we all need to have, about death and child bereavement – subjects which we continue to be reluctant to talk about.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a man for whom football has now been replaced by an ever-growing family, has been able to use his platform of nearly 500million followers, to express the loss he, partner Georgina Rodriguez and his family have suffered.
The pain they must be experiencing is unimaginable and one that now runs parallel to the joy of welcoming their baby girl. How conflicting must that be?
Are they feeling guilt about the joy and hope their daughter has brought, while at the same time battling painful loss and bereavement?
Death is something we are ill-equipped to discuss.
The death of a child renders us speechless and awkward, we withdraw from those who need us, avoid all conversations and disengage for fear of saying the wrong thing.
We think it is better to say nothing at all – to spare the mourner our clumsiness surrounding death and to spare ourselves embarrassment, discomfort and difficulty.
Why are we so terrible at talking about death? I feel it myself. the crippling fear of not knowing exactly what to say.
The terribly risky tightrope of invading someone’s grief and of saying something insulting. But when you have experienced the death of someone – whether that be sudden and unexpected or otherwise – you do want people to speak to you.
You need people to say something, to acknowledge your loss and your inability to see the world in the same way as you previously had. I have not lost a child. But a friend of mine who lost her baby was told by an older relation with the very best of intentions that she “could always have another one”. Much as she could always go and replace a broken stapler.
It was painful and insulting regardless of the good intention.
Ronaldo’s huge fame has shone a light on losing a child and will hopefully mean we keep the conversation going.
It’s harrowing, uncomfortable and unnerving to discuss but it’s the very least we owe those who are grieving.
HERE’S THE SCHLONG AND SHORT OF MEN’S ANATOMY
AN international study of todger sizes, according to this paper, shows that British willies only made 66th place, with an average of 5.17in.
For some reason the French came quite high up with their 6.20in saucisson, but then you’ve got to remember that you’d also have to listen to all the blah, blah, blah Francais.
The Germans fared pretty well with their bratwursts at 5.72in but no one likes the Germans. This is a joke. We all love a German.
Disappointingly there was no sign of Swedish men in the study.
You’d have thought the Vikings would have been near the top of the charts.
But then the Swedish name for willy is “snopp” and that might have been what made it flop.
But men of Britain, I don’t want you to feel disappointed or disheartened.
I know the size of your ding-a-ling is often associated with confidence and self-image but, to mix my analogies, it’s worth remembering that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.
And I know this to be true.
The South Americans did well in the study, by the way.
I’m currently booking a holiday to Ecuador.
Pain? Make it hip, Liam
IF anyone can make arthritis sexy, I imagine it could be Liam Gallagher.
At only 49, the relatively young rocker moans that his arthritic hips are keeping him awake at night.
There’s an air of embarrassment and stigma around this condition, which is very much perceived as an older person’s issue.
The word “arthritis” is always associated with old age, so no one below 30 ever gives it a second thought.
And yet it could strike at any age.
Like Liam, I have arthritis in my hips and have probably had it all of my life, according to my GP.
On some days the pain is so debilitating it is hard to know what to do with yourself. In the morning, after a prolonged period in the same position, it can be impossible to get out of bed. But you crack on, don’t you?
Gallagher says he probably should have a hip replacement but fears that the operation could kill him, and to that end he’d rather take painkillers and herbal sleeping tablets and resign himself to a wheelchair if things get bad enough.
Mate, any operation can kill you. There’s always risk. And, in fact, hip replacements are the best pain relief there is for arthritis in the hips.
I’m also at that stage where a hip replacement is starting to become the only option and I will go for it when I can no longer cope. But I don’t feel I’m quite there yet.
Granted, I’m five years older than Liam but we could all do ourselves a favour and think of it as a condition that could affect anyone at any age.
It’s unlikely that me talking about arthritis has removed any of the stigma or made it any more sexy.
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But maybe Liam will succeed. It might become all the rage.
Though for all your sakes, I sincerely hope not.