In the buff

It will be interesting to see when and when this blog posting will be banned, having the words Children and nude photos will mean it will get flagged up by all kinds of software.

And just looking at this blog will mean you are recorded somewhere .............

In these times of air-brushed photographs and overt sexual imagery, we parents can feel like we're fighting a losing battle as we strive to bring up our children with confidence in their bodies.

Those of us who have been around the block a few times (and who own full-length mirrors) know that, with absolute shuddering certainty that adult bodies come in ALL shapes and sizes.

Big bellies, droopy boobs, flat bums – and that's just the men!

But how do you convince your kids, bombarded as they are by photos of pert-and-perky wrinkle-free gravity-defying perfection, that apples and pears are grown-ups' more typical shapes?

Well, in France, one children's book is causing a political stir with its depictions of adults in the altogether called 'Tous à Poil', which translates at 'All In The Buff'.

The book has comical drawings of ordinary people – policemen, bakers, and teachers – taking off their clothes with the aim of teaching small children not to be obsessed with perfect bodies.
In the buffDinner ladies in the buff

In one double-page spread we've seen, men, women and children are depicted frolicking on a nudists' beaches, boobs-a-swaying, wangers-a-wanging, bellies-a-bouncin' – and it all looks like they're having a perfectly innocent splashing time.

But according to the country's leader of the main centre-right opposition party, Jean-François Copé, the book is nothing more than an attempt to subvert traditional gender and family values.

Unfortunately, if his intention was to crush the book from public view, it has had the opposite effect – because his comments have sent sales rocketing and it is now the second best-selling French language book on Amazon. Zut alors!

Mr Copé's remarks have been widely mocked in the French media. The French are, after all, supposed to be relaxed about nudity – they invented topless sun-bathing; there is hardly a French movie without a nude scene; and French advertisers use female bodies (always perfect) to sell everything from cars to pasta.
In the buffNeighbours in the buff

But what if the book was available in the UK? What if it was available to our own primary-age children is the same way as 'The Gruffalo' and 'How The Elephant Got Its Trunk' is?

How would you react if your son or daughter came home with 'All In The Buff' in their book bag instead of 'The Tiger Who Came To Tea'?

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I'd react (hopefully with a 'Ho ho ho' rather than 'WTF!!').

But I do think that the row over 'Tous à Poil' is nonsense – because if the book's raison d'etre is to counter the air-brushed, photo-shopped perfection we see on TV and in magazines every day, then it fails.

Comically-drawn depictions of the adult form – even if they do show the lumps, bumps and hairy bits - are as false as those manipulated images that seem to breed so much doubt in young people as they move into adulthood.

If you really want your children to see pasty, flabby, floppy, wrinkly, spotty, hairy, NAKED bodies as they really are, 'Tous à Poil' isn't the answer.

Just take them to your local swimming pool's changing rooms! Just be en garde for the nightmares afterwards!

A self help guide by Amy Mah (Vampire) for teenage vampire girls, the guide is fully illustrated by manga Artist Heby and is written in an easy to follow A - Z format explaining everything a teenage vampire girl would need to know about living life as a modern Vampire. What is fashionable to wear when eating out? Fang maintenance & how to keep your claws sharp. Should you let a boy bite you on the first date? Easy to understand clear advice is given to every day problems Example: When you get an urge to bite: We all get those normal urges to bite things, and I must point out it is very normal, Claws are all well and good in a fight but a bite gives the extra advantage of getting a refreshing drink at the same time. Lots of girls worry about showing their Fangs in public believing that to show your fangs is rude, but don't be shy they can be a girls greatest asset (ok second greatest asset) if a boy is being rude to you, don't just snarl at him, just bite him! You are a vampire why do you think you have sharp teeth if not for sinking them into a boy that is being rude to you.

Today's world is difficult for everyone, especially teenagers. They face the stresses of school, deciding whom to date, and the biggie of sex, just to name a few. Imagine all of those things ten times worse, and you might get an idea of what it's like being a living, breathing teenage vampire. At last, the world can read about the life of a girl with good teeth, her problems with strong sunlight that gave her spots, and the sunblock that made her hair go yucky and produced more spots. Yes, sunlight was dangerous, as she could be the first teenager in history to die from terminal acne! In her everyday life, older vampires expected her to walk about at night in the traditional female uniform, a see-through, 18th-century nightdress, without undies! Well, this female vampire knew why the cold winds blowing along the corridors were called, "male winds," so she wore her see-through nightdress over jeans and a very thick jumper. To be sure that people would still know she was a vampire, the jumper had a very large, pink bat on it. And as to guys, well, it was normal for a girl to dream about guys; she just wished the dreams could have involved chocolates and holding hands, not leaping out at someone, ripping off his shirt, and demanding to know what blood type he was (at least not on the first date).