Denmark is what I would call a liberal nation. It is allowed be naked on all beaches as long as you don’t offend other people at the beach. In the 1960’s pornography was legalised during the sexual revolution. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2012. As you can understand – Denmark is a rather liberal country in many ways. But this is changing and I find it really sad.
Change in the air
Unfortunately, there are changes in the air. Fewer people are naked on the beach and fewer are topless on the beach. There has also been a rise in complaints about people being naked on the beach or naked in their own garden. What is even worse is the growing trend of people who feels insulted by the fact that woman breastfeeds her baby at a cafe.
None of these things was a big problem in the 70s, 80s, 90s and not even in the early 00s. It looks like the change has escalated the last 5-10 years.
There must be a reason – something must have changed the attitude!
Internet, TV and social media
I don’t think that it is possible to find just one thing which pushes the changes – there are probably many reasons. Here are my thoughts on why the change has come.
The Internet has done many good things to the world, no doubt about it. My job wouldn’t exist without the Internet 🙂 But I am sure that the Internet also has brought us some bad things. The world was larger before the internet – it is how it feels anyway. We couldn’t just get news from all over the world in real-time and we couldn’t communicate with the world as easy as we can today. We, therefore, wasn’t that much influenced by other countries, as we are now. There are many countries out there which are less liberal than Denmark and thereby has a “bad” influence on Denmark’s liberal mindset, but it is hardly the main reason why we are in the middle of a change.
2. Censorship in TV
Another influence is TV as a media. There has been Danish TV for many years, but there are not much censorship in Danish TV (and there is still no censorship). The problem here is foreign TV from the US and other countries where there is a lot of different censorship. But on the other hand, these TV Channels has been available for many years. One thing has changed regarding TV as a media is services like Netflix, HBO among others. These services seem to be more censored than Danish TV, but I am still not convinced that it has any large effect on the Danish society.
Facebook has become very popular in Denmark, actually, 73% of the Danish population is on Facebook, and 59% of them is on the social media daily. Facebook has a huge influence on the Danish population. The reason is that it is a media where you talk with friends, share stuff with friends, and use a lot of your spare time on. The relationship with Facebook is much closer than on non-social medias.
Facebook educates its users in what they think is wrong and what they think is ok. Example if you post some kind of nudity on Facebook you will get a punish if you do it again the punish will be even harder and so forth. With this continuously “education” you end up with people thinking that it is not ok with nudity on social medias (and other places). People start believing that what Facebook does is also the right thing to do – but this is a dangerous path. What if they tried to educate you that it is not ok to have brown eyes – would you then stop talking to people with brown eyes?
I think it is dangerous when a media with that much of an impact start educating people in a certain direction.
Is it harmful?
One could say that what Facebook do is not harmful – and yes it might not seem that way. But I do find it interesting that more and more people have problems with their own body image. They don’t like what they see. This is of course not just because of Facebook, but more like a side effect. A side effect because when people start thinking that nudity is not ok then they also stop looking at them self and on the ordinary people’s nude body. When they stop looking at others body on example a nude beach, they will compare their body with people from commercials, movies etc. where everything is perfect (most likely photoshopped).
When comparing yourself with a perfect body from a commercial – no wonder why you feel bad about your body. If you instead compared your body with other ordinary people you would soon discover that we all have flaws and assets. We are all different and we are all the same. We need to get back to yourself and start living our life as it should be and stop living other peoples life.