Comment: A lesson in lingerie

A model shows Dita von Tesse’s new collection live in the studio, Sunrise, Thursday, September 24, 2015. Source: SBS

An education on the female form.

In a bid to promote her lingerie line, Dita Von Teese ended up on Channel 7’s Sunrise.

So far so good, except it seems no one on the show remembered it was the school holidays and there would be a lot of children hanging outside the window of the studios. So what we got was a lingerie show with children waving and gawping in the background – a contrast that some found “deeply, deeply disturbing”.

The sight wasn’t lost on the presenters, with Natalie Barr sarcastically quipping at the end, “I personally like the fact that you’ve got little kids in the background waving”. With Dita Von Teese responding, “I know, they’re getting a little education today”. 

It was all too much for a visibly awkward Kochie who remained silent for most of the fashion show and ended up by telling us exactly how he felt:

“That was an uncomfortable segment,” he said.

He wasn’t clear if he was uncomfortable because he was put out by the sight of women in their undergarments, or because there were little children watching the whole parade.

If this had occurred on American television, the outrage would have been swift. People would be calling up the TV station and demanding an apology for the sight of young women in their bras and undies. How dare they be aroused first thing in the morning? And of course there would be the pearl clutchers imploring – but what about the children? Can no one think of how this has damaged them for good? 

Aside from perhaps a few awkward questions I think those kids will be fine. In fact knowing what kids are like, ten minutes later they will have little memory of the ladies in their undies in the TV studio. They are much more likely to remember that they made a brief appearance on TV. And hey, they are in the city on a weekday – how cool is that? See, the lingerie deal is long forgotten. 

And if for some reason it is not, then hopefully their parents have the foresight to mention that it’s perfectly normal for women to wear bras and undies under their clothes. And sometimes, even mummies want to wear undergarments that look nice and make them feel good. Hopefully these parents would note, there is nothing embarrassing about how women look undressed. In fact, the more we normalise women’s bodies to our children the less their views will be shaped by misinformation and playground gossip. 

Since the segment aired social media has been nothing but positive, with many praising the program for showcasing different body shapes. Hardly anyone it seems noticed the kids in the background. It really highlighted to me that while we are generally conservative in Australia, we perhaps aren’t as conservative as other nations.

And maybe we are coming to accept that women’s bodies aren’t something that cause shame to children and adults alike.

Saman Shad is a storyteller and playwright.

Source SBS

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