There was a video floating around today of a girls’ dance troupe. It showed five seven-year-old girls, dressed in red satin boy shorts and crop tops, trimmed with black lace, dancing to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies. It apparently went viral, getting over 2,000,000 hits, although by tonight it’s been pulled down from YouTube for copyright infringement (by the video company, apparently). I did manage to find it again here:
First off, there is absolutely no denying the talent of these little girls. I’m astonished that girls that age can dance that well.
That being said, as a mom, I’m outraged. That any choreographer/dance teacher would find that appropriate for little girls is beyond me. That parents would allow their young daughters to do bump and grinds like that, wearing costumes that, quite frankly, make them look like hookers, is astonishing. Someone compared it to the pageant circuit, where apparently ambition for your child’s success often trumps common sense.
I saw CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewing Dr. Phil about this, and he had a good point: out of those 2,000,000 views, how many were pedophiles? Because it was ripe for that.
When I was seven, I was pining for a Cabbage Patch Kid (yes, I’m dating myself again). I was wanting to listen to Michael Jackson’s Thriller without upsetting my mom. I made houses out of cardboard boxes for my cats. I fought to get to stay up late enough to watch The Cosby Show. I wasn’t grinding my hips on stage wearing next to nothing. I may still have been wearing geeky corduroy pants made by my grandmother at that point, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Why do little girls have to get sexualized at such a young age? I don’t honestly even understand why letting little girls wear “bikinis” to go swimming is so cute. Aren’t we supposed to be protecting them? Teaching them some self-worth? Teaching them that they are more than just their bodies? Because if this is what they’re learning at seven years old, how will they rationalize saying “no” when they’re pressured as teenagers? “It’s okay, it’s no big deal.” Wrong. It IS a big deal.
The sad thing is, that those girls are so talented that they could have had tamer costumes and done a less provocative routine to that same song and it would have been just as good. Unfortunately we won’t get to see that version.
I’m very curious to see if, in the next few days, this dance school comes forward with some kind of response.