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Sexy Seven-Year-Old: Preteen Girl Named A Rio Carnival Queen

Sexy Seven-Year-Old: Preteen Girl Named A Rio Carnival Queen

It’s hard to see a leading role for children in Carnival, Rio de Janeiro’s annual mega-festival, for which the Brazilian government will hand out 55 million free condoms, in an attempt to promote AIDS awareness and safer sex.  But the naming of 7-year-old Julia Lira as the drum corps for the Viradouro samba group has stirred an intense controversy over whether children should be involved in the hyper-sexualized roles usually reserved for female Carnival participants.

The AP reports that “a judge is considering blocking Julia’s participation. A state agency that defends children’s rights says she’s too young to take on a traditionally sexy role.”  There seem to be some strange parental influences: Julia’s father, who just happens to be the president of the Viradouro group, “says Julia is a natural who can easily samba through the 80-minute parade route in Rio’s sweltering summer heat.”

The hyper-sexualization of children has been an issue in Brazil in the past, and some argue that permitting Julia to be drum corps queen will simply exacerbate the problem.  It “would increase the treatment of children as sexual objects in Brazilian society,” said Carlos Nicodemos, director of the Rio de Janeiro state Council for the Defense of Children and Adolescents.   “We can’t put a 7-year-old girl in a role that traditionally for Carnival has a very sexual focus.”

It seems unclear as to how revealing Julia’s costume will be, and whether she’s being coerced into the role.  When asked why she wanted to be drum corps queen, she said, “I’m happy because I like to dance.”  But there’s also a question of whether she can physically handle the 80-minute-long parade in sweltering Brazil heat. 

The decision will be made by a family court in Rio.  But this much seems clear to me: Julia’s health is at stake, and for that reason alone she should not be the group’s drum corps queen.  It also seems apparent, though, that a young girl should not be in the position of “sexy muse” – which is what Carnival queens essentially are.  Perhaps that’s not a role that grown women should be in, either.  And certainly, the fact that Julia’s father is the head of the dance troupe should set off warning bells in anyone’s head, simply in terms of power dynamics.  I’m glad that Julia loves to dance, and that she’s excelling in this field, but no children should be pushed into physically taxing, hyper-sexualized roles without their full consent – nor, indeed, should adults.

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Photo from Sfmission.com's Flickr photostream.

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687 comments

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1:54PM PDT on Aug 1, 2015

Sick...

6:47AM PDT on Aug 1, 2015

It's a problem when people think a child is sexy, sounds wrong to me.

11:26AM PDT on Jul 31, 2015

Too young..

6:16PM PDT on Jul 30, 2015

i think this child shoud be placed with more responsible parents who undersatnd how a 7 yr old needs to be raised

7:59AM PDT on Jul 30, 2015

test post

7:53AM PDT on Jul 30, 2015

apart from care2 only decisively supporting homosexuality and ''animal welfare''; giving disproportionately daft coverage to other issues no matter how straight-forward the moral implication, is the term '' sexy seven year old'' in the search engine not able to attract police attention, and is care2 making tracks for perverse sites by using these chain of words.

7:48PM PDT on Jul 29, 2015

Some of us mature...early lol. I'll leave it at that

12:14PM PDT on Jul 27, 2015

Umm, struggling to find a reason for this story. It is from 2010. I hardly see the relevance to today, slow news day? For the record, sexualizing children is abominable at any age - but that does not stop television, movies and popular culture from so doing. I see ads on television or in print and think, gawd, there's a pedophile's dream - and those are for clothing or sports or routine activities and I just wonder what the hell that photographer was thinking? And what was the editor or whomever approved the picture or story thinking? Business and media use women's bodies to sell everything and pretty much always have, but that has just crossed way over the line, it seems to me in recent years. A lot of that stuff I couldn't have watched with my grandma or mom in the room. Even now. Makes ones skin crawl does so much of what is out there today.

6:50AM PDT on Jul 27, 2015

I also think the only ones who will find a seven year old 'sexy' will do so regardless of what she's doing or wearing. But doesn't that ruin it all the other parade-goers who are expecting eye candy?

6:44AM PDT on Jul 27, 2015

So let me get this straight - it's not actually about whether or not a 7 year old should be allowed to lead a parade, it's about restricting her playing outside for just over an hour? Seriously? My boys run and run and run outside all afternoon in the Arizona heat, so please don't hide behind the real issue here.

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