BsG: Apollo Gets His Kit Off

Ha, knew that would get your attention. The season two episode The Final Cut follows a filmmaking crew traipsing around the Galactica, shooting a documentary. At one point, they end up in the officer’s locker room, with Apollo (Jamie Bamber) clad in a towel which slowly slips down, first to reveal a thigh, then to be clutched precariously at the centre of his abdomen. At this point, I was leaning forward, mouth agape, praying for the towel to fall. I even watched the tape again several times in the hope this time, the towel would fall.

My point? Later, I got to thinking about how many other women – and men – had thought the same thing watching that scene. I know plenty of women who’ve paid out good money at the cinemas or sat through bad DVDs because Ewan Macgregor/Jude Law/Liam Neeson gets their gear off. (Hey, notice they’re all from the UK? And Americans call them prudish!) Women, I have found, are no less inclined towards pretty male bodies wrapped up in nothing at all then men are towards women of the same calibre.

The only difference, I would say, is that women tend to like their naked pretty things to have some kind of substance as a character, the nudity to have context. Not that I’ve ever seen it, but some hot stud wandering into frame for no apparent reason would not turn me on. Apollo caught, quite literally, with his pants down, along with half his crew, well, that’s kind of drool-worthy.

The difference? Some blond, buff male posing vacantly, existing only as eye candy, isn’t hot to me. But a fleshed-out character who’s towel almost falls down in a realistic scenario is.

I don’t know how many women relate to this distinction, and how many would happily take the blond, buff male. But I do know that idea that ‘women aren’t into male nudity’ is absolute rubbish.

Just ask all the women who watch that Final Cut tape over and over.


  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    (Hey, notice they’re all from the UK? And Americans call them prudish!)

    We do? Maybe I’ve been living on the West Coast too long, but we make fun of American prudery and acknowledge the Europe in general is far less hung up about nudity and sex.

    Which is not to take away anything from the rest of your point – just wanted to point out that I’ve heard perfectly ordinary non-film school Americans comment on how the British think nothing of showing a man’s bum in prime time.

  2. sbg says

    LOL, I was going to say the same thing regarding Americans deeming Brits prudes. Not a phenomenon I’m familiar with!

    As for seeing male flesh, I’m all for it, but context does play an important part in it. Usually. Seeing Padalecki come out of the bathroom all wet with nothing but a low-slung towel on in Supernatural had little context, but dang. I’ll take some of that.

  3. Jennifer Kesler says

    If you’re predisposed to like looking at that particular actor naked, context doesn’t matter so much. Otherwise, it can.

    Where this differs from female nudity is: there’s a perception that men like looking at any good-looking woman naked. There are men I acknowledge are good-looking, but they’re not my type and I’ve no interest in seeing them naked. Supposedly men are less picky than women.

    In truth a lot of women are less picky. I’m not picky because I’m female – I’m just picky about everything, and I’m happy that way. I know women, on the other hand, who love looking at naked men and so long as he’s not repulsive, they’re thrilled.

    The other thing is that in our culture, having someone else’s nudity served up to your eyes puts the naked person in submission to the viewer, unless there is context. It’s okay to have mags full of naked women, for men to look at. It’s okay to have mags full of naked gay men, for men to look at. It’s scary as hell for certain straight men to think of straight women gazing happily at naked STRAIGHT men, giving women the dangerous idea that men can be submissive to them, too. Even the idea of women thumbing through naked GAY male magazines is less threatening.

  4. scarlett says

    as far as Amreican prudishness goes, I honestly can’t think of a concrete example, just a sense, I guess. Maybe it’s just the hypocricy of the censorship board getting up in arms over movies which contain nudity, but aren’t bothered by nonstop violence and overlook a huge porn industry. So I may have jumped the gun a bit on that comment.

    As far as context and not needing a reason to see an actor your predisposed to being naked – I’ve never been predisposed to any of them men on BsG, only in the sense that I like the way they interact with the female characters (particular Apollo with Starbuck and Helo with Caprica Sharon). So my first thought, after I’d finished rewinding the tape to rewatch it and then just resorting to IMAGINING a naked Apollo, was that even though I’d never particularly lusted after Jamie Bamber, what got me drooling was that it was such a contextual bit of flesh-baring. If he’d been striding through the halls starkers for no apparant reason, that wouldn’t have been nearly as drool-worthy for me.

  5. Jennifer Kesler says

    “Predisposed” might not have been the best word. It can definitely be in the moment of seeing gratuitous nudity that you suddenly realize someone’s more attractive than you thought before. 😉

    Actually, I had a similar reaction to Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. I’d never seen him in anything before and he’s not immediately my idea of gorgeous, but as the movie progressed I liked him more and more. Then we got to his naked scenes, and suddenly he struck me as very, very hot. 😉

    Of course, he was being served up to me for my viewing pleasure. Even though there was context, I can admit my sense of his vulnerability was not exactly a turn-off.

  6. S. A. Bonasi says

    I like women, as a rule, but objectification turns me off. Because being a woman, I know that objectification sucks. Now, give me Day Break with Andrea all in sensible clothes but showing off her guns in a delightful sleeveless shirt, and I’m there.

    With objectified male characters, I’m not bothered as much, but other women might feel differently.

  7. scarlett says

    I’m not a huge fan of objectification in general (except when it’s my fave actors – but I think a lot of people are ike that) which is why this scene struck me as reall drool-worthy because half the military literally being caught with their pants down was very relevant to the story, where a reporting team was questioning the competance of said military.

  8. Jennifer Kesler says

    What do you guys mean by “objectification”? In my experience, people can sometimes use it with different nuances.

    I don’t get too excited seeing random pictures of hot guys in little or no clothing. I can appreciate that they look good, but what excites me is having some sense of also liking the guy, or the character he’s playing, or the song he’s singing, or something. I can’t just stare at a centerfold and get a huge kick out of it. I don’t think that qualifies as objectifying, because I actually want to imagine there’s something likable about the man inside the body.

    I guess that’s how I define objectification: if knowing the person’s personality gets in the way of your fantasies, that’s objectifying. If you actually want a personality along with your nudity, then not so much.

  9. scarlett says

    For me, objectification is having no interest in either a personality or a context, only images as naked and overtly sexual as you can get. Centerfolds or porn doesn’t do much for me, but a character I like who bares flesh in a scene which has some context (even somewhat tenous) does.

  10. S. A. Bonasi says

    I see objectification as dependant upon the presentation of the nudity. If the presentation strips the nude person of identity/individuality, it’s objectifying. So if the person’s – usually woman’s – head can’t be seen in the shot, just her body, that’s objectification. Or if her face can be seen, but she has a completely blank look on her face, that’s objectification. If the fanservice is completely impractical to the context – say, battle armor that shows off cleavage – that’s objectification.

  11. scarlett says

    Or if her face can be seen, but she has a completely blank look on her face, that’s objectification.

    Just to quibble with semantics – what if she has a sultry expression on her face and the following love scene managed to kep the man almost fully clothed? That she appears to be into it but the male’s modesty is protected while hers isn’t?

  12. Jennifer Kesler says

    I just realized another thing I consider objectification in stories: when a story focuses on a man, and suddenly some woman in it goes to bed with him for no apparent reason. And the story’s not making a point, it’s just like that’s what women are for in that story.

    Which is usually precisely how the people who call the shots are thinking.

  13. says

    Funny, I just watched that episode the other day. And my boyfriend rolled his eyes when I said, “Wait for it… wait for it… Ohhhh let’s see that again in instant replay!” I don’t remember if I picked up on the Tigh-military-pants down connection the first time around, but I definitely got it on the second viewing. So it was a relevant bit of almost-nudity, but I would have enjoyed it anyway. I agree that I wouldn’t be turned on by a random model in the same situation… the familiarity with the character and the story is what makes it sexy.

  14. scarlett says

    Have you seen the Admiral Kane arc? It comes a few episode after TFC. The naked horseplay makes even more sense in that storyline because it illustrates the mucking around nature of the BsG military.

  15. says

    I do not get the impression that the Pegasus kids are running around whacking each other with towels, no. This is my second viewing and I’m almost to the end of Season 2. I find I notice more stuff on the second time round, and only have more and more love for Laura Roslin.

  16. scarlett says

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer – I meant I thought the Admiral Kane arc emphasises the point Final Cut makes about the BsG military being a somewhat ragtag dyfunctinal crew in the sense that they’re high on mucking around and low on dicipline by military standards, but they still pull together remarkably well in a crises. I couldn’t see the Pegusus crew being caught out like that and I think it emphasised the difference between them.

  17. Ruth says

    I remember thinking the same thing about that scene. I don’t know about needing a context, though. It depends on the woman, I think. I sure wouldn’t mind a random naked man showing up on screen. :)


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