Tony raises a very good point: why allow my son to watch Mr. Bean, when he can’t even watch Dora the Explorer?
The short answer: because Dora hurts my brain.
But Tony’s concern is that, from time to time, for surprisingly various reasons, Mr. Bean’s antics leave him quite nude. After falling from a diving board, Mr. Bean emerges from the water only to find his swimming suit floating several feet away. A little girl runs away with them, and—after ensuing hilarity—Mr. Bean finds himself starkers in front of a group of shocked and appalled women. And my hand doesn’t even twitch toward Ian’s eyes.
Am I a hypocrite? Well, yes. But that’s beside the point.
The reason Kelly and I don’t have a problem with Ian seeing the lighter side of Mr. Bean is because he’s simply naked. And? So are we all, from time to time. Ian’s seen me naked, his mother naked, and he’s been naked in public more than he’d like me to say.
The nudity of Mr. Bean isn’t lewd or lascivious. It’s not intended to thrill or tempt or earn a stricter rating from the MPAA. It’s the furthest from sex as nude can be, which is where nudity usually is. The point of Mr. Bean’s nudity isn’t that he’s naked, but the situation in which he finds himself.
I’ve no problem with Mr. Bean as I’ve no problem with breastfeeding mothers, or the Bathers, or little ones running naked through the yard. Usually, naked is naked, and we move on. Adam and Eve danced through Eden, naked as God made them, and even He didn’t raise an eyebrow.
It’s an important distinction for our children to learn, I think. I’m not about to join a nudist colony, and I don’t go out of my way to find naked statues to show my son. Modesty is important, too. But I feel our shame is misplaced in this country. We fill our shelves with Bratz and have convinced girls that a bare midriff is the way to a boy’s heart, yet people glare at the father changing his son’s diaper in the park.
Won’t someone please think of the children?!