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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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544 comments

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12:30PM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

Hyper sexualization of females? Really?

10:29AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

thanks.

7:39AM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

For those of you saying the girls look older, it's likely Care2 used a stock photo of Carnival.

4:28AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

stupid pool.

3:01AM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

So very sad....

11:22PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

7 is far too young to be involved in such an event. It is about sexuality, this is not a childs environment. She will have plenty of time to be involved in such things once she reaches sexual maturity, until then she should be involved in something more age appropiate.

2:17AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Those girls look a lot older than 7!

9:48PM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

NONE OF THEM LOOKS 7 YRS OLD.

4:53AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

four years later, why this shameful story is still here??? the government and the Brazilian people struggle tremendously against pedophilia and child prostitution. we fight mainly against sexual exploitation of children by foreigners. please protect the identity of this child. thank you.

10:11AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Is he really the child's father?...I dont think any sane person will do this to his own daughter. Please do not allow such dirty entertainments.....put that stupid parents behind bars......let the girl lead an innocent childhood....I really feel sickening ....

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