Stop Slutting Up Our Girls (Says this Digital Dad)

Last week I attended my first dance competition with my daughter. It was a lot of fun to see girls of all ages strut their stuff on the stage and do an amazing job at it. The talent in these young ladies was amazing to see.

What I wasn’t ready for was seeing young girls in fishnets, tight boy shorts and thigh high leather boots. The teased hair, fake eye lashes and gyrating bodies on stage. I talked about this on Digital Dads and was glad to hear that the other dads were equally upset by it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am the farthest thing from an uptight prude. But, as I sat there in the audience and watched the 6 & 7 year old teams shake things they didn’t have and perform moves that were more appropriate for a stripper pole then a school stage I had to stop and wonder. Why are we letting our kids do this? Worse yet, why were there parents in the audience hooting and hollering every time they did an extra sexy move? How is it that suddenly slutting up our girls is ok with parents?

If you need a visual to make this real for you, take a look at this video below. It hit the web yesterday and after Jessica Gottlieb wrote about it, I knew I had to share my thoughts. Keep in mind that the girls in this video are seven and eight years old.

 

I can appreciate the girls dancing skills (they are super talented in that video) and I’ve heard the arguments of “they are just costumes”, but all of it still pisses me off. If you can’t handle watching the whole thing, the last 20 seconds or so will be enough to make you scream.

I have a daughter. I see the way she is marketed to. I’ve taken her shopping and seen the outfits that hang on display. Most of it is fine, but so much of it is far from that. Sure, sex sells, but do we need to be selling it to girls so young that they haven’t even developed yet? There is no reason for that.

This is not going to be one of those scream at society pieces, because I firmly believe that it is the job of the parent to not let this happen to their own kids. It is up to you to say, “no you can’t wear that” and explain why something is inappropriate. We can scream all we want, but when I heard those other parents cheering on the girls on stage (just listen to the video) it made me shake my head in shame. I wanted to stand up and turn around and ask point blank, “what the hell are you doing?”

One thing, that this personal experience has taught me is that I’ve got to be more involved if Emily is going to continue doing dance. I had never seen the routines she was working on, until they were on stage. I had seen the costumes ahead of time and they were fine. But, if she had come home with some of the outfits that I saw other girls in what would I have done? I’ve been thinking a lot about that and I know for sure I wouldn’t have allowed her to do it. That would not have been easy as I know dance is turning into a bit of a passion for her, but I would have needed to do it.

My daughter is growing up with a deep rooted self confidence. I want her to know that whatever she ends up looking like that she is her own person. That she is beautiful, smart, awesome and unique. There is nothing wrong with being sexy and flirtatious. That is part of the fun of being a human and while I’m scared to death of when she figures that out, I know it is part of growing up.

Parents, you are the last line of defense here. The old saying that sex sells is a fact and we all know it. That is never going to change, but does sex have to sell in your house? No, it doesn’t. This is a problem that parents are allowing to happen. Complain all you want about what is happening in our world, but the more active you are as a parent and not allow things like this to happen the better we all will be.

This post by CC Chapman first appeared on Digital Dads.

PamelsVWhite via Flickr/Creative Commons
by C.C. Chapman of Digital Dads

637 comments

Jo SICK
Jo S3 years ago

I agree.
Thanks Cynthia.

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA SOMLAI4 years ago

thank you for sharing

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Bette-Ann L.
Bette-Ann Libin6 years ago

I am sorry to inform you that it is you, the parent, who are unimformed and grossly uneducated when it comes to dance as an art. I am a college degreed professional dance teacher, I have owned and successfully oerated both a ballet school and youth based ballet company since 1993. Commerical schools provide the fun, flirty costumes-make-me-a-dancer recital and professionals do quite the opposite! We do not "do" the annual "recital" we "train" our children in the art of dance beginning with age and level appropriate curriculum components who must adhere to strict attire requirements also. Our children must audition for roles with our performing company. Until parents decide to train their dancers in a professional, nurturing and caring environment, you will continue towards a path of dance illiteracy and grotesque costume choice to enhance poor dance training.

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LMj Sunshine
James merritt jr6 years ago

Thank you for article.

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LMj Sunshine
James merritt jr6 years ago

Thank you for article.

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Pat B.
Pat B6 years ago

I think it's obscene. It's not 'just' costumes, you're selling the message that your child must compete against other girls about who is prettiest. What kind of message does that send? There's no reason those little girls can't wear nice clothes and no make-up and do their dance acts. (It's the make-up I find most objectionable) That all goes far beyond playing dress up. I've even heard of at least one parent wanting to have cosmetic surgery on their child.

Those kids are wearing BRAS. Tell me that isn't sexualizing. I always wish I could tell those parents that they're a pedophiles wet dream. They should think about the fact that every time their daughter is on stage in front of a camera gyrating like a little strip tease, that there are eyes out there watching her, and that isn't love in their eyes.

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Joe R.
Joe R6 years ago

Well said.

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Patricia Y.
Patricia Y7 years ago

I totally agree and it is the parents who need to take control and say NO.

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Megan K.
Megan K7 years ago

I agree completely!

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Kim Stueck
Kim Stueck8 years ago

This is a great article. I have seen the show "Toddlers & Tiaras" once -- I was shocked at how much make-up these little girls wore and some of the clothing was very inappropriate.

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