December 2, 2009

Sexy Kids: What Do YOU think?

Please watch this clip on Youtube. I find it problematic. It's a clip of three seven year old girls dancing to "My Boyfriend's Back" at a dance competition. They are seven years old and very scantily clad, with sexy knee high stockings. Their choreography also resembles that of what you might see at a strip club. Not that there is anything WRONG with strippers. I am sex-positive and think it's cool to be a stripper and make money off of sex work. Sexuality is not dirty to me, having said that, is teaching seven year olds to dance like this okay?

I first saw this clip today in one of my PhD classes, where we debated where or not it is disturbing. The student who used it in her presentation is a mother of young dancer and she finds it troubling that young girls are sexualized this way in dance recitals. One student, however, argued that this type of dancing really isn't that disturbing; after all, even children are sexual, and we shouldn't teach kids to deny or be ashamed of their bodies and their sexuality, as that can have huge effects on body and sexual confidence later in life. I get both sides of the argument. I mean, we don't want young girls to think from the age of seven that they HAVE to be sexy to be entertaining and that their sexuality is all they have to offer; however, I don't want them to feel they ought to hide or deny their sexuality, either. If I had a daughter, I'm asking myself, what would I do?

What do y'all think? If you had a daughter, would you let her dance in false stockings and a bra top at the age of seven?

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