Parent, Teacher, Activist
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this news story. On YouTube, a video was posted of a bunch of little girls dancing to Single Ladies in what looks like lingerie.The moves they do are very provocative, as are their costumes. From my point of view, this is clear sexualization of children. Your providing them with the moves and clothing of much older women in a function that is clearly sexual.
In this video, the parents of one girl are interviewed. They are arguing that there are several reasons why it was okay for their children to participate in this dance. For one, the song Single Ladies has saturated our culture and appears in a popular children’s movie. They even say, “Of course, we’d never let our children watch the real Beyoncé video.” Um…okay. So, it’s not okay for them to watch it, but it is okay for them to do a very similar dance in a similarly scanty costume? Wow. That doesn’t even make sense.
They also say that the costumes are designed to “show the lines of the body,” and aren’t provocative. Listen, these girls are wearing bras, panties, and thigh high hose. That IS provocative! I don’t care if someone who designs costumes thought it was appropriate to put that in a costume catalogue for kids. As parents, we have to use our brains and make decisions based on what message we send to our children. Teaching your young daughter that it’s okay to wear lingerie on stage is not a good beginning!
Listen, these girls are extremely talented dancers. I feel sorry for them. It is the responsibility of the adults in their lives to stand up and make good choices for them. I love dance! But, I tell my kids’ dance teachers that I expect their costumes and dance moves to be age appropriate. If my kids come home from dance practice and start to bump and grind, those teachers will be hearing from me!
Parents, listen up. You are responsible for helping your child make good choices. Don’t let society pressure you into thinking something is okay that you know in your heart is not. Stand up for your kids and teach them that it’s good and appropriate to say “no” to things that make them uncomfortable. There should be no 8-year-old Single Ladies!