As if "Toddlers and Tiaras" weren't bad enough, a video of a children's dance team bumping and grinding has gone viral. Parents of young children, heed my warning. Teaching your children to be sexy is inappropriate and will cause severe problems for them and you down the road. Here is the link to the video – I suggest you watch it and take notes on how not to parent. And people wonder how their kid grows up to be an exotic dancer. World of Dance competition, you have been called out.
Is our society so desperate for entertainment that we dress our 7 and 8-year-old girls as if they were 28 and ask them to perform like burlesque dancers? How can one justify an adult's decision to parade half-naked children around in front of thousands of strangers? I understand that in the dance world, costumes are supposed to fit a certain way so that you can see the technique, but what technique necessitates bare midriffs and lingerie? A leotard and tights would have been age appropriate and just as effective when showing technique. Parents, who encouraged these costumes and the suggestive routine, complained the dance was taken out of context and was only meant to be seen by a small group of people. Earth to disengaged parent: No child should be coaxed into dancing like a stripper for any purpose. These parents are charmed by the almighty dollar so much so that they would pimp out their kid to be the next Britney Spears. I've never been in favor of screening people before they're allowed to reproduce, but I'm starting to come around.
I wasn't shocked to hear that Whoopi Goldberg stands behind the performance of these young girls. Besides her raging liberalism, this is another reason Whoopi shouldn't have contact with children. She compared the dance to a similar routine in the animated movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks." Isn't she insightful? Let me tell you, the minute you start taking moral cues from cartoon animals it's time to drop an ACME anvil on top of your head. Besides, the Chipettes wore more clothing on their tiny animated bodies than the real-life dancers that participated in this video, combined.
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Whoopi also made it a point to say, "We [adults] are putting the sexy on it. The kids aren't even thinking about being sexy." If we accept that as an excuse, we're as useless as she is. What about kids who have been victims of kiddy porn? If the kids aren't thinking about being sexy, does that make it OK? Of course not. It is the intent that matters. The intent of these costumes is to judge the child's appearance and to tie in to the overall theme. You can't tell me these outfits and theme were appropriate. Well, I suppose you could say that, but don't expect to be taken seriously. It doesn't matter if the child realizes it's sexy or not. What matters is the instructor allowed them to be perceived as sexy. These young girls, whether they acknowledge it or not, have learned that to be considered "cool" or "winners" they have to use their sexuality. I may not be a parent, and I know this will be a leap for many, but sexuality isn't something a 7-year-old should be learning.
Sexualizing children has become one of the most destructively vile actions around the world. We cry out against child sex trafficking, then curl up to watch shows like "Toddlers and Tiaras." Can you believe one of the pageant parents actually told their toddler to dance sexy? This should be considered child abuse! Spray tans, false teeth, exotic make-up, bikini costumes and sexy dancing are not for children. This gives little girls an unhealthy, unrealistic view on beauty and lifestyle. Suggestive dancing and looking perfectly airbrushed is not a skill, but a gross expectation of our society. As an adult in the pageant world, even I struggled with self-image. I can't imagine what life will be like for these little girls.
Our culture tells young girls to remain innocent and in the same breath encourages promiscuous dancing and engagingly demented child beauty pageants. Too many kids develop a negative body image and never feel content in their own skin.
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The New York Daily News reported, "One danger in letting young children learn and perform suggestive dance moves to great adulation is that they will be less prepared to fend off sexual advances later on because they see these moves as normal." Young kids are unable to separate why it's OK to dance sexy on stage, but not at school or at home. Tracy Dennis, an associate professor of psychology at Hunter College said, "If a pedophile approaches a child and says, can you do that dance for me, and can you do it rubbing up against me, that child is less able to distinguish that this is wrong." These parents are so blinded by their own inadequacies that they risk endangering their child. It is an attention-seeking habit that will send their child down a hazardous road.
My dose of honesty? Looks don't last forever, as demonstrated by some of the parents involved with these atrocities. Parents: think about what your children really need …protection. Protection from an unhealthy lifestyle, protection from growing up too fast and protection from sickos. Children face so many obstacles growing up as it is; don't add to their confusion by tolerating inappropriate behavior. As for the instructor who choreographed this routine, you are a shameful human being and shouldn't be allowed within 50 feet of a child. I'm all for artistic development through dance and music, but this routine was repulsive. It was a reflection of your character and you fell short. If you find yourself unemployed in the future, I'm sure any strip club would be happy to have you.