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Nudity on Television

In the Golden Days of 1950s television, the idea of nudity on the air was unheard of. Oh, there were the occasional accidental bits of nudity that resulted from a woman's breast falling out of her dress during a live broadcast or a male celebrity forgetting to pull up his zipper, but there wasn't very much else (except perhaps, for the police drama THE NAKED CITY, but that doesn't count.)

As we progressed through the turbulent 1960s and then the 70s, 80s and 90s, more and more examples of nudity found their way onto the "boob tube." By the turn of the millennium, the American public has lived through Jeannie the Genie from I DREAM of JEANNIE forbidden to expose her navel to the home viewers, cable television airing soft porn love scene on Showtime's HOTEL EROTICA, and recently late night TV ads touting titillating, hormonally-crazed teenagers on vacation who eagerly flash their breasts to onlookers in such video classics like "Girls Gone Wild" (available for only $9.95 plus shipping).

And, America is not alone in this new frontier of jiggling breasts and nudity obsession. A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor newspaper (9/15/2003) reported on British TV saying "Sex, nudity, violence, and vulgar language have become regular ingredients of the dramas, documentaries, and reality TV staples that make up the British TV diet. Scenes that would have provoked a furor 15 years ago now rarely cause a fuss."

So, for better or worse, nudity has come to America in a big way. Since the 1950s, our country has gone full circle. We have gone from the modesty of the 1950s family who would have never thought of leaving the bathroom until they were fully dressed (and wearing clean underwear) to the intimate erotic, shower scenes inserted into the plotlines of police dramas like NYPD BLUE to attract more viewers.

As Dorothy Gale said years ago. "I don't think were in Kansas any more, Toto." Indeed, what our parents and their parents watched has gone from ultra-conservative to liberal excess. And to think, we did all this in less than fifty years. Imagine where we will be in another twenty. Gentlemen (and Ladies) start your imaginations, please. Looks like we might be in for a bumpy ride. And, for some, that will be just fine, if you know what I mean. Nudge. Nudge. Wink. Wink.

"They want me to do frontal nudity. I can't do that! My grandmother's gonna see that movie."
  -- Joey Tribianni, Friends

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