If You Like It, Then You Should Have Put Some Clothes on It

Ballerinas.jpgBy now I know you have all heard about the dance competition in which a group of 7-year-old girls, dressed essentially as prostitutes, performed to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” And won.
But I can’t let this one slip past me without commenting. A huge mistake has been made.
The song choice was all wrong. I’m confident “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls would have been a much better pick for the choreography. You know that song. It goes, “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?”
You know what I wish? I wish little girls were not sexualized and made to perform provocative dance routines. And, I wish to know who thought this was a good idea?

Apparently, more than one person must have because five girls were on the team that performed in this national competition. That means at least ten parents thought dressing their little girls as strippers to perform an act congruent with the place of business associated with the outfits (minus the pole), was a brilliant idea. What’s worse is that a group of judges from the World of Dance competition agreed.
I want names and numbers.

The judges, I feel, deserve to be disbarred. And the parents? Clearly, their judgment is impaired. Is it not hard enough for the average parent to contend with the 15-year-old mini-celebrities monopolizing children’s television both in shows and music videos (and performing poorly at both)? Is it not hard enough to find an appropriate outfit for a little girl, one that neither has a sewn-in bra for a five-year-old nor a message written across the butt? Is it not hard enough to shut out the relentless barrage of media images broadcasting beauty ideals to women, and increasingly to young girls, that are impossible to attain and yet held up as the standard so as to make them feel perpetually inadequate and defeated?
But to enter this world deliberately, willingly and at earlier and earlier ages, I truly can’t comprehend. I wish I had never heard of baby beauty pageants. I wish I never learned of pole dancing parties (which, oddly, are held for women and not men). And, I wish never had the twain met. But now that they have, you can watch it on YouTube.
Or you could have a week ago. Strangely, the video of the girls’ dance routine is no longer available on YouTube. Wonder why.
(Photo: Flickr: Parksy1964)

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  1. I think you’re in the minority on this one Stacey. I am a father to 3 girls aged 10, 8 and 6. My girls love to dress up and dance to popular songs. I have cringed at times when hearing some of the lyrics, but the girls are oblivious to the content at this age and the outfits are certainly not “sexy” (except perhaps to a pedophile). This is what many little girls like to do – dress up and dance. They’re having good, clean, innocent fun. I’m not a fan of polls in general, but I’ll note that I just pulled up the article in the NY Daily News on this story and their poll has 76% of respondents agreeing with me and only 4% thinking it was inappropriate (with 20% unsure).

  2. You’re right that little girls like to dress up, but they will put on tutus, sparkly dresses,tiaras, etc. If YOU put tiny sequined, bra-tops and hot pants in their dress-up trunk, they’ll put that on too.
    The problem people have with this, unless they agree with you, is that the adults put these outfits on the girls and taught them provocative dance moves. It’s not the little girls who were acting “sexy” it’s the adults who taught them how to mimic sexy women.
    These girls are amazing dancers–no doubt. However, while they may be oblivious to the content of the lyrics and clothing being sexy, I would disagree that they are not being influenced.

  3. All good points Georgette and perhaps these parents did cross the line with their daughters. I haven’t seen the youtube video either, so I can’t really judge. I guess my point was that I’m sure you could label many things that little girls do as inappropriate if you viewed them through the “adult” lens. But more often than not, it’s just little girls being little girls. I agree with both of you that I hate seeing my daughter’s classmates with words written across the butt of their sweatpants or the like even if they don’t understand the “sexuality” of the message. I always think, “what kind of parent would buy those for their daughter?” I don’t want my daughters to date until their maybe 25, so maybe I agree with you more than not.

  4. I’m not saying don’t let them dress up. Let them dress up all they want. Just don’t dress them like hookers.

  5. The video is still up on Youtube. This clip also has an interview with parents of one of the dancers:
    The parents are trying to frame the controversy by saying the video’s been ‘taken out of context’ because it was part of a dance competition and not intended for a general audience–and further, that the routine was to show their ‘technical skills’ and the outfits were designed to allow full movement and show the dancers’ lines.
    This totally misses the point. The girls are excellent dancers for their age and much of the routine is age-appropriate, but they could have showed their skill, commitment, and talent without the portions of the routine that are, IMHO, very inappropriate (including the gyrating and shaking of non-existant breasts). And they could easily have been outfitted in clothing that allowed total range of motion and showed the dance to full advantage without
    We women get a whole adult lifetime to vex over how f%&kable we are. These girls are 8 and 9 years old. Do their teachers and parents not have a responsibility to teach them that at this age, being elite performers is plenty good enough? That they don’t need to be teacup strippers too?
    On a happier note, this video came up alongside the news clip about the little girls; these guys are *deeply* fabulous:

  6. This reminds of a movie that came out recently, won a bunch of awards, and was wickedly funny, too, I seem to recall…

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