TV Nudity (War & Peace again)

We recently wrote about BBC’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War & Peace’.

What I didn’t know then, but subsequently discovered as the tale unfolded, was that it also, possibly surprisingly, featured full frontal male nudity.



war and penis

Predictably, one or two bits of the British media expressed ‘shock‘ and ‘outrage‘ and a few other hyperbolic cliches.

I didn’t blink. It’s a penis. What adult, male or female, hasn’t seen one? So how ‘shocking’ is it to see one on TV?

More to the point, the nudity was entirely appropriate in the context of Napoleonic era Europe. What do viewers expect? That Russian soldiers had speedoes in their kit bags? Of course, given a body of water at the end of a march or the filth and squalor of war, soldiers are going to strip off to bathe. It is properly within its context. Who, in 2016, should even be remarking on this?

naked soldiers from the book “My Buddy. World War II Laid Bare


Date taken: 1943 Description: Naked American soldiers bathing at spring on Guadalcanal Island during WWII. Country: Solomon Islands cr: Frank Scherschel/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images OWNED


Man diving as others look on from the book “My Buddy. World W
naked soldiers from the book “My Buddy. World War II Laid Bare

Men taking a shower together from the book “My Buddy. World Wa


Eighty years ago, during WW2, soldiers would routinely bathe nude as they did in the early 1800s, at the time ‘War and Peace’ was set, and in the late 1800s, at the time ‘War and Peace’ was written. And soldiers would, today, have a fairly relaxed attitude to nudity. The battlefield, or even on exercise, isn’t a place for prudishness.

So for me the nudity was wholly appropriate as well as being welcomed for normalising nudity on TV. For years we’ve endured the ridiculous situation of actors, in bed, after sex, before they decide to get up. Yes, there are occasions where the female rises, fully nude, but more ‘normally’, topless, in a pair of knickers. Or in a nightie. The male always rises in his boxer shorts. Who has sex with underwear on? Stupid and ridiculous!

Sadly, there seem to be many fewer historical ‘WW2’ (or previous) sims in SL than there used to be, but we did find RAF Cadbury, featuring some WW2 era architecture, as well as some WW2 era pillboxes at the Meeuwenstrand naturist beach, a location we reported on back in December 2015. While set in the here and now, Meeuwenstrand at least offered us a little sense of soldiers dressing appropriately for their circumstances, i.e. nude, in times of war.


raf cadbury_001b

raf cadbury2_001b

There are times when nudity, on television, is entirely appropriate and in context. ‘War and Peace’ was one of those times when both male & female nudity were right and correct.

Which brings me to some SL sims’ views on nudity. ‘No nudity!’ bark the signs. Hang on…you run a beach sim and you think nudity is always inappropriate??? You run an Ancient Greek sim and you think nudity is always inappropriate? You need to take a long hard look at yourself, as well as your history books. There are times, in every sim, where nudity may be appropriate.

Let me loop back to Tolstoy. There was a brief fad for the ‘Tolstoyan Movement‘ in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. These, in the currency of today, would be called ‘new age’ type communes, and there is some evidence that some of these groups may well have embraced nudity as entirely appropriate in some circumstances (bathing, working on their crops in summer time, etc). Perhaps we need more SL sims to accept and acknowledge that nudity isn’t the shock thing that some sim owners/builders imagine it is.





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