Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Big Brother Africa

Someone sent me some images from the ongoing Big Brother Africa programme today. It looks like the pics have been doing the rounds, with Outraged of Surulere competing with shrill protestations with Shocked of Enugu.

I don't see what all the fuss is about. The women were filmed in their private space, and have towels hiding most of their bodies. The one on the left even seems to be half covering her breast in an attempt at modesty.

More interesting than the pictures themselves are the reactions to them. It seems to me that the outcry stems from a mixture of moral hypocrisy and repressed sexuality (the two are related). Whereas I see a perfectly usual locker-room type image and barely bat an eyelid, I can't help imagining those who are outraged are at least in small part secretly aroused - and that their response is a confused attempt to abolish their desire in the name of organised religion. And yet: is it really immoral for images of naked women to be represented in mass media - especially given there is no sexual theme at work? Doesn't the response suggest some form of alienation is operating in the collective pysche? After all, many African cultures embraced varying degrees of nudity, and some still do, even in Nigeria. Do we really want to join hands with an age old colonial attitude that such practices are outdated and/or shameful? Must humans have clothes on to be seen as moral beings?

Ultimately, if we cannot accept our own nudity, without immediately sexualising it and then proscribing it, can we ever fully accept our own humanity?


MsMak,  2:52 pm  

Hmm, nudity on African television? Hmmmmm. 'Things done changed' for real!

My questions:

* What time does the programme air (before or after 9:00 pm)?
* Is there a rating system that warning viewers of nudity, violence, offensive language, etc before shows?

I know most of us watch foreign movies with all sorts of nudity without flinching and i have no qualms, but people should be given a choice sha. If people want to watch a show with their kids, or just are not into nudity outside the bedroom, then they should be given info beforehand to make that choice.

Btw, i've never watched any Big Brother before(Africa, U.S., whatever), but isnt it supposed to be a competition? And was the scene integral to the plot/storyline? Gratuitous nude or sex scenes are so tiring...

Anonymous,  2:58 pm  

For the first time, I agree with EVERYTHING you have said. It's the same with gay bashers isn't it? That which we hate in others is what we hate most in ourselves.

Bet the most pious are wanking off to it as I type. Hypocrites.


Anonymous,  3:02 pm  

Msmak: I'm pretty sure that there is a rating system. Mnet always had it when I was in Nigeria and besides if you look on the photo of the clip, top right hand corner, the rating is right there.

Please can someone in Africa check to make sure I'm not talking out of my arse?

uknaija 3:27 pm  

What a weird mess we get ourselves into. I've always been proud to admonish my colleagues here about the prudishness and prudish attitudes that stops many English women breastfeeding in public even as the Sun newspaper has female breasts boldly splashed across its third page. In my country I tell them, women breastfeed any and everywhere without anyone batting an eyelid. But it appears that some of my mixed up people are now adopting oyibo prudishness. In many Nigerian villages women and girls still go topless - why are we kicking up a fuss about it on television? Maybe that's what Lagos girls should do in response to the Fashola/police harassment, bare their breasts as their grandmother used to do

Niceguy,  3:52 pm  

No you're not talking out of your Arse.
The rating is there for all to see. 16 NL.
Jeremy where is the outrage from? I haven't hearn of no oytrage yet.

anonymaus,  4:05 pm  

Agreed Jeremy, the outrage is a hangover from colonial days when Victorian prudence and hypocrisy ruled supreme. The locals have sought to maintain such inconsistent standards under the guise of religion and culture. The consensus there is, the more rigid and intolerable it is the better eg the persecution of gay people, the unbridled promotion of religious views. Whereas elsewhere around the world people have learned to build in some slack into their societies to accommodate difference, those in Africa have gone the other way.

What do you expect in Big brother shows anyway?
If people can't handle such scenes on Big brother, they should either stop watching it or write the editors and have it replaced with more religious programes or propaganda about how Nigeria will become an economic tiger, rather than a hobbled mutant creature it currently is.

BK,  4:05 pm  

Funnily enough - there is a button for switching off...if one doesn't like the content. Hey! then people may actually start having proper conversations rather than staring like morons at a box (or flat screen...)

MsMak,  5:49 pm  

Re: Anonymous @ 3:02 pm

I see. That's good then. Thanks for the clarification.

Since that's the case people should stop making noise. If they have been warned & dont want to see/hear, then they should have skip channels, shikena.

Anonymous,  5:51 pm  

Why is it neccessary to film these young ladies half deshabillee? Is it part of the show? Forgive me, I don't watch reality shows - even those that encourage viewers to embrace their naked humanity.
The images are not repulsive, just unneccessary, so not entertaining.

Anonymous,  9:43 pm  

Jeremy, I usually disagree with you but on this post, I find no fault. UKNaija, you hit the nail on the head as usual. Have people forgotten how to dethrone the Alake? I find it puzzling that some "Africans" think nudity is such a strange phenomenon.


Chxta 10:49 pm  

If I post this image on some Nigerian internet forums (which I will anyway), I'll get the same shocked reactions...

Anonymous,  12:18 am  

@ Chxta: Troublemaker! LOL

Anon 3.02 [Ide]

Anonymous,  12:32 am  

When I was in Naija, the "shower hour" was late at night or early in the morning 12.00pm - 5.00am thereabouts, i remember a friend used to stay up all night to watch. The nudity was never before 9.00pm when responsible parents should have sent their under 16s to bed. There is a ratings system and people with the DSTV box can put parental control lock on if they do not want their kids to watch.
@UKnaija, abeg apart from the Koma? people, which people still go about topless as a routine? I know really old women can go topless around their houses sometimes but most people in the villages cover up when in public.

Anonymous,  12:33 am  

Couldn't you have made your point without further joining the bandwagon? How would you feel if you wife's pictures were splashed on the internet in the same fashion.

It's a clash of cultures. The west is seemingly more comfortable with nudifty splashed all over the the media while Africans aren't as bold. You may call us sexually repressed but by all means keep in mind that there are some things specific to our culture we'd like continuity of.

As per the Big Brother crap, I'm sure these girls were not aware that their rights were infringed upon.The original BB shows aired in the west never aired nudity or shared any on the web. It's a different thing if the girls had signed an agreement of sorts but none exist in this case.

I would implore you to take down the picture though I don't think you would.

This is pure nonsense sha!!

Chude! 6:24 am  

Hmm.. of course you're absolutly right about all this being sexual repression. I am usually asleep at about the time of Shower Hour, but I did catch it two days ago, and I did waitch and grin and point and laugh. Sadly, there are no great bodies on display to my taste, so arousal was out of it!! Still there is no point to having Shower Hour as part of BBA. It's just so tasteless.

Of course, that's no reason for the 'righteous' to want it proscribed - they can either 'dethrone the Alake' as or unsubscribe from DSTV if there are so 'pained'!!!

Yet that's no excuse to try and find a 'higher calling' for the nudity. Nudity and humaity et al et al. Aw c'mon this particular nudity has more to do with the base instincts than anything else.

And, based on anecdotal experience, there's hardly anyone who is a fan of the Shower Hour who watches it for anything other than it's 'sexual' value. The basic context of nudity, esp. nudity in the mass media is sexual. It's 1+1 = 2.

Oh and Jeremy - those girls werent in their *private* space at all o. Private space?! On my DSTV Channel 37, rated 16?!?!?!?!?!

Anonymous,  6:26 am  

Jeremy, quite a few of your readers read your blog at work. Next time would you please consider making the NSFW pictures a link with an appropriate warning or something. It will save us the embarrassment.


Ife,  8:18 am've got a point about sexual repression but I don't see why on earth they're showing this on big brother. I don't know of shower hour on the UK or US versions. Why don't they shower in swimsuits like they do in other countries? i think they would if they had a choice because most of them will be aware of the 'sexually repressed' views where they come from. They've probably been forced to accept this nudity portion in a bid to boost ratings and when you look at it like that this is probably exploitation and for that reason alone should be taken off air.

Waffarian 10:19 am  

Back on the same topic, once again, I am tired of it, seems thats all we do: HYPOCRISY!
what Nigerians do in their homes.....chei.....the world will be shocked! hehehehe!

Anonymous,  2:22 pm  

Yep.. don't mind the bigots!

Anonymous,  7:18 pm  

@ Chude: Thwack!

Kpakpando 8:05 pm  

isn't that hilarious... voyeurs are disturbed by nudity

robza171 8:44 pm  

Oohh... things are getting heated up in here! Well, I'd like to cause some more controversy... Visit, if you dare, for pics and vids like the one above and more. Oh yeah, and btw, the site has FULL FRONTAL nudity from both sexes so prudes BEWARE!!! :)

Jumi 12:02 pm  

I am sure you have heard of Objectification of Women. Yes, nudity should not be misrepresented but how many of these images have men clutching their penis? I follow the American version of Big Brother and I have watched the most recent one, Big Brother 8, back-to-back since it started six weeks ago, airing three days a week. Not once have I seen semi-nude pictures of the participants. Yes, the show is rated and of course, some people will do anything just for that 15-minutes of fame. Let us separate the issues. This has nothing to do with African culture or Police ignorance. I see this as pure Objectification of Women unless of course there is an equal amount of such semi-nude images of male participants on the show. Oh, well, it's 2007. I rest!

Anonymous,  2:20 pm  

Some of us are at work, and such images are not really great for your boss to see. Will you, next time, please post a warning message?

Talatu-Carmen 6:06 pm  

I don't care who watches it, but were the girls themselves aware that they were being filmed in the shower? I've never watched any of the Big Brothers, but I didn't think that people were shown in the bathroom. Do they know that these particular images are being shown all over Africa? If they were aware of it, fine, but if not, how humiliating...

Jeremy 6:17 pm  

Haba - all those people reading my blog at work: shouldn't you all be working?

Seriously, I take your point. I won't publish nudity again without warning..

negresse adoree,  7:00 pm  

With or without their consent, these women are being exploited for the viewing pleasure of voyeurs - and you are compounding the matter by posting the photo. Bad, bad Jeremy.

Olawunmi 6:53 pm  

jeremy, you nailed it again. there's some moral hypocrisy and repressed sexuality going on here, where people who are turned on by these images turn around and cry foul. the funny thing is the advisory embedded at the top of the screen which warns about nudity and language, and places a restriction on under-16s.

in a society where "big men" have daughters by girls the same age as their own daughters, and which finds married women unable to vouch for the true paternity of their own children, how can we claim to be moral? there are far too many cheating pastors to count, but they would have us cover up our bodies. its not even a sexual context!!!

meanwhile, in most cultures nudity is not actually frowned upon, its the westernisation of our society that's taught us to vover up. if you want to see nudity, all you need to is go to the inner cities in lagos, where you can see bare-chested women openly breast-feeding their children in public.

Anonymous,  1:56 pm  

Well, everybody is moving with civilization but u really need to research on how nudity came to TV screens n its purpose. Now the devil uses the entertainment industry to capture the minds of the young ones just that we r so ignorant about it. We all wanna be like hollywood actors/actresses, do u know who runs hollywood??? do u try to examine wut has been happening in current VMAs??? bunch of rituals on stage, the demonic finger signs the top stars make n our youths now do the same signs (subliminally)...... I ve read alotta books written by top illuminati members n they really emphasize on public nudity n sex to make a mockery of God..... The Bible says we should abstain from sin but y is fornication/adultery the only sin the Bible says we should flee away from??? y'all do the thinking...The devil works in subtle n we have fallen for his games by accepting this.....

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP