You’re intensely watching your favourite Hollywood rom-com. Let’s say, Love Actually, you know, for visual purposes. Unlike your usual binge-watching days, on this particular day, you’re watching Love Actually on your television. Your mother joins you, sitting beside you on the sofa and trying to understand the movie. Then the moment comes, the kissing scene. You hear Instagram’s favourite Reels song “Oh no, Oh no, Oh no no no no no” play in the back of your head. You feel the tension in the room and you don’t know whether to change the channel or pray to god that the kissing scene doesn’t last for more than one minute. That awkwardness, I tell you!
This happened to me as a teenager. And boy, the two-minute intense makeout session on-screen was the longest two minutes of my life.
You know how the Central Board of Film Certification censors a lot of ‘intimate’ scenes because it is culturally immoral. Yeah, our parents are the censor board in our house. As much as our parents are open to exploring Hollywood movies, intimate scenes are a no-no. It’s embarrassing and not something you’d not want your kids to learn at a very young age.
Throughout our childhood, our parents have either purposely ignored or avoided the ‘sex talk’ with us. We have had to learn it on our own by watching Hollywood movies, porn, or from tales told by our really close friends. I remember my niece asking me about ‘sex’ one day, and I didn’t have a response. I just giggled and told her to ask her mother. As much as I wanted to normalise the ‘sex talk’ with her (just to look like the cool aunt), I seriously couldn’t. I mirrored my parent’s behaviour and created an embarrassing aura around sex. I am pretty sure my niece is going to portray that behaviour. Dammit! But I consoled myself by convincing my brain that it wasn’t my place to tell her about sex; it was her parents’.
Coming back to the kissing scene…our parents have had sex. It’s normal. How else do you think we are born? Yet, it’s embarrassing to talk or watch it happen on-screen. I usually let the kissing scene pass, looking straight at the screen or fake-scrolling on my phone. From what I have heard from my friends, they immediately change the channel, and pretend that the kissing scene never happened in the first place. Such tactics!
Skipping channels or forbidding children from watching kissing scenes is not the solution, dear parents. It’s teaching them the basics so that they don’t grow up being unaware. I completely understand that parents want to ‘protect’ their kids from getting spoilt, but that’s just going to aggravate their curiosity. It’s like asking a child not to eat candy, but they will do it, by hook or crook, because they’re curious to know why.
But, something’s changed lately. Technology!
We are no longer glued to one screen in the house. Everyone (at least most of us) have access to smart devices. Even 10-year-old kids have iPhones of their own these days. Shocker! That says a lot about the way technology is ruling our lives. That’s a story for another day. So, now, you can literally watch anything in the comfort of your own room or space without worrying about that awkward kiss. Also, we’ve reached a stage where even Malayalam movies showcase intimate scenes. It’s in a way slowly conditioning the audience’s minds to accept it is as normal. Maybe one day my parents will be all cool about cracking sex jokes and turn the awkward kissing scene situations into comical ones. One day.