Seven Year Olds? Really?

My eleven year old daughter desperately wants to wear a bikini, and just this morning I explained to her (for the 800th time) that she would wear a tankini instead. A tankini shows a bit of belly, but essentially looks like a tank top and swim bottoms. I’d considered letting Jane wear a bikini this year. I figured she’d be so uncomfortable in it that she’d beg for a one piece, but the reality is that I can’t bring myself to sexualize my eleven year old daughter.

My job as her mother is to allow her age appropriate opportunities. Eleven is a great age, Jane should enjoy it.

Our kids attend a school where they wear uniforms each day. When discussing the uniform issue with a middle school educator he said, “I worry that girls put on clothing that they don’t really want to wear.” That resonated with me.

Here’s a video of seven year old girls dancing to the Beyonce Single Ladies song. These kids are clearly incredibly talented. The dancing is polished, and I’m sure the Laker Girls would be envious of more than a few moves. I just question the judgment of the parents. My daughter and most of her friends would not be allowed in that competition, I have a hard time imagining the parents who thought it was cute.

When is dancing too suggestive?

I have an easier time imagining Dita Von Teese wearing these outfits than a seven year old child.

I found myself very careful about the wording on this post, as I’m quite certain that there’s a ped0phil3 community that is searching for content just like this.

UPDATE: The video has been pulled due to copyright issues after it was viewed 2,000,000 times. Here is a link where you can see it.

I know at least one person will call me puritanical. I’m okay with that.

This just wouldn’t fly in my house, or in my friends’ houses.

UPDATE: The girls are actually eight and nine, per their parents.

UPDATE May 16: of course the video has resurfaced. It’s a fantasy to think that they’d get it pulled from every venue.

Facebook Comments

  • http://icouldcrybutidonthavetime.wordpress.com amyz5

    A friend posted this on facebook and it made me ill. I have lived through years of dance recitals and I don’t know what was worse, those who thought to dress and choreograph these young girls like this or the parents that cheer at the performances.

    Good for you!

  • http://www.classychaos.com OHmommy

    We are a tankini family as well. My six-year old knows not even to ask about bikinis because she knows I don’t agree with *that* much of her body showing.

    I am shocked, over and over again, when on Facebook my girlfriends post photos of their daughters in their “dancing” costumes. Very similar to those in the video. I agree they are talented but – just not my cup of tea.

  • http://joyunexpected.com Y

    I think I could be okay with the dancing itself were it not for the completely inappropriate (for a 7 year old) outfits. It blows my mind that parents were actually okay with that. Yiiiiikes.

    • http://JessicaGottlieb.com Jessica Gottlieb

      most of it was okay if they were wearing age appropriate clothing, but the last 20 seconds was deeply disturbing.

      • http://joyunexpected.com Y

        Confession: I couldn’t watch all the way to the end. It was just too much. THOSE OUTFITS! What the hell, parents of those girls?

  • http://www.blthelps.org dawn

    As mother of 13 and 15 year old girls, I burst into tears watching this. I know that sounds puritanical also, but, when can we as a culture let them just be little girls? They can dance their hearts out. But this isn’t cute. This is deeply upsetting.

    I think this is a great topic.

    • http://JessicaGottlieb.com Jessica Gottlieb

      It seems to me that the currency becomes sexuality.

      At any age that is frightening. In early childhood it’s unspeakable.

      • http://www.mybottlesup.com nic @mybottlesup

        “In early childhood it’s unspeakable.”

        agreed. entirely.

        ps- OMFG this was beyond disturbing.

  • http://jeniallen.blogspot.com Jeni

    My heart hurts!! I can’t even imagine having my daughter do something like that. At 7 years old, I hope she’s still playing with dolls and having pretend tea parties, not dressing like THAT and moving like THAT in a performance!

  • http://www.holisticnutritionconnection.com Mooreganics

    Talented yes….and the talent would have shown through just as much with more appropriate costumes.

  • http://www.letsbegreentogether.com Cathy

    I got about half way through and stopped the video. I would love to know what the parents of these girls were thinking. Wait, they obviously weren’t thinking when they allowed this and thought it was “okay” or even “cute”(cringe).
    The choice of song alone is way too provocative for seven year olds, but the costumes? OMG!

    • http://thesocialjoint.com Lucretia Pruitt

      A couple of the parents have been all over the TV “justifying” it. Sad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgyV_ooV9Wg 2 of the parents on GMA. They seriously don’t get it.

  • http://www.anymommyoutthere.com anymommy

    I’m pretty open-minded, I think, and I have to go puritanical on this one as well. There are a million ways to choreograph these children to showcase their incredible talent and avoid the suggestion that babies are selling s3x. It’s upsetting, to the say the least.

  • http://binaryblonde.com Binary Blonde

    I feel bad for them, both the girls and their parents, but especially their mothers. I am trying so hard not to pass snap judgements, but it’s
    way too sexualized. I am also doubly grateful that I have a boy.

    • http://www.fromdatestodiapers.com Christine

      As a mom of a daughter, I am sad by the way parents flippantly allow their daughters to wear scanty outfits and move their bodies in such a manner. (Sure, these girls are talented, but they should not be moving their bodies in this way at this age.)

      Now, as a mom of five boys, I could say I’m thankful I only have one girl, BUT we have to bevigilant to teach our boys to respect girls/women… How difficult is behavior like this making our job? It’s a BIG job!

      • http://binaryblonde.com Binary Blonde

        You’re right.. it makes our jobs much more difficult! I am appalled when I hear about “lipstick parties”, etc. for high schoolers and am terrified what the tween/teen world will be like when my son is of that age. He is a toddler still, but I know enough to start with general concepts. He is usually the tallest/biggest for his age, is very active and very sure on his feet already, so I make sure he plays gently (as this is the only concept relating to the subject he understands at the moment) when around other kids, especially when around little girls. We also have cats and they have been great with bringing out the gentle side of him. He is very gentle with all animals now.

        I am still SHOCKED that any mom would find what those little girls are doing and wearing okay in any way. Just say NO to whoring your little girl up, moms! Because, little girls who grow up thinking that is what they need to do for positive attention leads to them participating in those “lipstick parties”. NO NO NO.

  • http://blog.sugerjones.tv Sugar Jones

    Good LORD!

    I have a hard time seeing high school song teams doing those moves. I wonder if all these moms are looking to be the next Disney stage mom? I mean, what the hell? Wouldn’t it be great if the moms were cheering for some other outstanding feats from these girls? I wonder if they’ll be as cheerful when they come home pregnant some day… or worse.

    My daughter is 8. She still wears board shorts over her one-piece. Crossing my fingers for more than a few more innocent summers.

    God help us all.

  • http://katieeverybody.blogspot.com Katie Hall Papa

    Is ballet the only form of dance in which you can safely enroll your child?

    I begged to take dance, gymnastics, and pretty much every other group activity out there when I was younger. My parents never had the money for it, but I grew up always wishing I had been more involved in stuff like that, because I know it would’ve made me more active as a kid. I always think I will encourage my future children to be involved in whatever physical activity they choose. But thinking back, I remember my the outfits my cousin would wear to her dance recitals, and they are not at all appropriate! What’s the solution? Are there tap/jazz classes out there for little kids that don’t require the kids to dress up in these age-inappropriate outfits? There should be – the last thing we need in this country is for parents to have ANY EXCUSE to not enroll their children in physical activities like dance.

  • http://www.coffeewithjulie.ca coffee with Julie

    These girls are extremely talented dancers — extremely! I don’t see why it was necessary to sexualize them in those outfits and degrade them by having them bump and grind. The dancing should be able to stand on its own.

    I don’t understand why any parent would stand for it, let alone cheer in the audience as if it’s wonderful instead of shocking and disturbing.

    • http://monstergirlee.blogspot.com monstergirlee

      I would have written your comment word for word coffee with Julie, so I’ll leave it at that.
      holy shite.

  • http://www.juststopscreaming.com Toni

    OH MY GOSH! I am in shock of this performance . The outfits and dancing are not age appropriate in my opinion I was in dance for 15 years. It makes me think of the pageants where the girls are full of fake hair/teeth, under dressed and look more made up than RuPaul. WIth things like this I really think it’s more for the parents than the kids. My daughter wants to take dance but if the studio I put her in did anything like this well we would be finding a new studio pronto (yes this is competitive dance but it’s still no excuse)

  • http://www.notjustaworkingmom.com Nicole

    Always looking for reasons to be glad I don’t have a girl.

    All I can think is, as we are training my sons to be a professional soccer player who will buy me a mansion with their millions, these parents are looking for what will make their girls rich. Female sports just doesn’t pay the same.

    Seriously, I think there are plenty of dances and outfits which would have shown their talents.

  • http://www.phdinparenting.com/ Annie @ PhD in Parenting

    I’m with you on the video for sure. However, I would separate showing skin from sexualization. I don’t like sexually suggestive bikinis on little girls. But my daughter does have the option of wearing a bikini if she wants to. It just shouldn’t have a push-up bra, g-string or anything else that is overtly sexual about it.

  • http://theredneckmommy.com Redneck Mommy

    I went to my 13 yr old niece’s dance recital this weekend and there were dance groups from ages 3 all the way to 40. What blew my mind was how the dance teachers sexualized the younger girls (ages 3 to 15.) No adult stripper costumes should be on these kids, no matter what type of dancing or music their routines involve.

    I was absolutely dumbfounded and extremely grateful that I chose to keep my daughter out of such activities. It’s just not okay to me to have these kids wear more makeup and more lurid clothing than I ever have as a 34 year old woman. And I’ve skanked up plenty in my life but NOTHING like what I witnessed this weekend.

    I don’t understand it and I don’t think it’s necessary.

    *steps off soapbox*

  • http://www.themodchik.com Lindsey (aka modchik)

    1:49 seconds into this video is the borderline criminal.

    I am disturbed and distraught and feeling hopeless that so many girls are being sexualized at such a young age. Turn off the TVs and the music videos. My daughter is 4 and I already see some questionable mirroring – BIG WAKE UP call for me. Great post!

    My favorite kids advocate is http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/

  • http://immoralmatriarch.com Maria

    My girls have always worn bikinis, since crawling. They’ve also worn tankinis and one pieces. I don’t consider it sexualizing; I go by what’s cute, what we like. I don’t see sex when I see a baby belly, I see a baby belly. They don’t see it that way either – those sorts of thoughts don’t even factor in, as my girls are pretty sheltered when it comes to that sort of thing. My kids still look and act like children whether they are buck naked in a swimsuit or fully dressed and if someone else sees them sexually, they probably would see them that way in the winter in their bubble coats and snow boots too, no?

    Anyway, this video turned my stomach. The girls are obviously talented, but I’m not sure why they needed to wear those outfits, or do those moves with the ass shaking and all that. They could display their talents with more age appropriate moves, and without the thigh high stockings and the fishnet arm covering thingies. I don’t get it. Look at gymnastics or cheerleading – even when they were revealing outfits, two pieces and what not, and heavy makeup – we don’t see them as sexualized because they don’t perform in such a way. There’s the difference. My issue is with the way these girls have been choreographed to carry themselves: as adults, with attitude much too far beyond their years. It’s kind of sickening to me that there are grown ups behind this.

    • http://immoralmatriarch.com Maria

      Whoa! Leave out a comment and TOTALLY ruin the context of a statement.

  • http://meghankharvey.wordpress.com/ Meghan Harvey

    Jessica I don’t always agree with you, but this is certainly one place where I am 150% in total agreement. First of all I don’t know at what age I’ll let my daughter wear a bikini. But I do know that it will most certainly NOT be 11.
    And this video, while I think most of it would probably be somewhat OK if they were wearing something that didn’t make these girls look like pre-pubescent burlesque dancers. I don’t know who pisses me off more, the dancing coach/instructor who thought the outfits would be perfect. Or all the mothers who saw those outfits and said, “Umm, OK.”
    If that were my daughter I would have told them to change the costume or else I’d pull her from the performance.

  • http://immoralmatriarch.com Maria

    Goddamnitt. COMMA NOT COMMENT. I’m gonna need you to enable comment editing for a bit until my brain fart is over!

  • http://www.hokgardner.com hokgardner

    It’s terrible how fast some little girls are growing up these days.

    I got sucked into a Toddlers & Tiaras marathon the other day and was aghast at the outfits and “talents” the girls had. They all looked and danced like miniature strippers, and there were their moms talking about how beautiful they were.

  • Elizabeth

    Jessica:
    You are being so polite by saying “Really?” I say……..” Are you F’ing kidding me!!!!!”

    First of all, the costumes are SO inappropriate. I remember fighting with my daughter’s dance studio years ago when she too was around 7 or 8. They were going to put the girls in leopard halter tops, tiny dance shorts and go-go boots. I said my daughter would not be participating in an outfit that was a cross between Jonbenet Ramsey and Tanya Harding! Loooong story short, and lots & lots of phone calls back and forth, they changed the costume to something appropriate for that age group.

    Secondly, what were the choreographer and the parents thinking when they put this little “sex” number together? Again, I think we need to leave the bumping and grinding to the strippers that do it oh so well! There is a time, a place and an AGE where it’s acceptable. It’s NOT acceptable coming from little ones. NEVER!!!!

    Ay Yi Yi, that video made me crazy.

  • http://www.downscaling.net Nona

    I raised a girl who is now a young woman. I am not even remotely prudish or puritanical, but this crossed way over the line of taste and pushes the border of exploitation. The costumes and the choreography are far too sexually suggestive for children that age.

    How could their parents and their dance teachers possibly think this was appropriate?

  • http://www.museoddity.wordpress.com MuseOddity

    I agree with the gist of the above comments and I literally felt my stomach flip-flop the last several seconds of the routine. Sickening. I am Christian and was raised around family/friends that would never approve of this lack of modesty in a child, but I am glad to see women of all beliefs taking a stand against such exploitation. Regardless of your personal beliefs I feel this issue is not a “gray” area. The utter disgust I felt while watching this video of pure child objectification should really be felt by all, I think it should be pretty cut and dry. This is NOT ok parents!

  • http://3kidsandus.com Cat – 3 Kids and Us

    I saw this video on youtube this morning and had to pick my jaw up off my keyboard minutes later. It’s truly appalling that parents would allow such young girls to dance and dress this way. Maybe I’m prudish compared to general society, I won’t allow even my infant and toddler daughter to wear anything less than a full coverage one piece swimsuit and that rule will remain in effect until they turn 18 or move out, whichever comes first.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea

    Uh, HELL NO.

    Love the song, love the music (was it off on purpose? Or just me?) and some of the dancing was even OK. But the outfits are a NO-GO, and the moves like that? What the heck? Nope. No child of mine. There’s one part where they’re doing the moves Beyonce does, which is kind of cute, showing their talent, ya know? But the rest of it, uhm, nah. Thanks. I’ll stick to my 3-yo niece singing it waving her hand in the air. Music is music, it’s all about the beat. This is not *right* to me, either.

  • Sarah

    I am disgusted. The outfits are bad — standing still they’d be disturbing on girls of 7 years old, or even under 18 I think. They are meant to be sexually suggestive and since it is generally against the law to have sex with a minor, they are not appropriate in any way shape or form.

    The dance moves are truly awful. The screaming from the audience is gross. I was going to stop watching because I thought I got the gist but Jessica is right, the last 20 seconds are the worst part. How anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me. How did their parents agree to put them in those outfits and put them on on stage doing that dance? Teaching 7 year old girls to bump and grind? Gross!

    Thank heavens I have a son.

    BTW, I danced as a girl, in both tap as a toddler and ballet as a pre-teen. We always wore full bodysuits with just our arms and legs showing. Beyond that we usually wore tights to cover the legs and some embellishment over the bodysuit — a skirt, tutu, other costume.

  • http://www.absenceofalternatives.com subWOW

    OMG. First of all, I have to say I am extremely impressed by these little girls. Good job! A lot of hard works must have been put into it. And the memorization of the routines? Amazing.

    Now that we have got this out of the way… It’s hard for me to say what I really want to say since I have pledged the parenting oath “Thou shall never judge the other parents (well in most normal circumstances of course).” But it is very difficult to stay away from that in this instance. Perhaps the parents are surrounded by like-minded people so they can’t see what’s wrong in this? That they feel so secure in their close-knit dance group community that they don’t know the perspective of the outsiders? I am a mom, I don’t consider myself a prude, yet I felt I shouldn’t be watching this. It felt wrong somehow. And Jessica, bless your heart for making an effort to not attract attention from the wrong crowd that does searches by certain keywords. But I am sure this video has been emailed around the world probably 100 times already. You know there is a “support group” for these people right? That they are proud and they pass information to each other, including venues where they can find their targets, if not for anything “substantial” but for ogling and fantasizing about? I shudder to think that some of them may have been in the audience. Yikes.

  • http://www.almostallthetruth.com Brenna

    I saw this earlier today and was deeply disturbed. Not just the costumes and not just the dancing, although both were questionable. But most of all I am incredibly bothered by a society, and parents especially, that think this is appropriate for 7 year olds. I actually thought about posting about it myself, but decided not to. And how sad is it that we need to be concerned about a certain community finding this?

    Yes, the dancing is amazing. Is this the only way to show off these girls’ amazing talent?

  • http://www.theenchantedhunters.com Sarah

    This actually really upset me – it’s in no way accidentally provocative, but very deliberately so – crotch flashes?! How could ANYONE, let alone a choreographer and 5/6 sets of parents think these dance moves were OK, let alone their costumes? Even if they were 14 (twice the age), it would still be inappropriate and very clearly wrong.

  • http://gidgettm.wordpress.com Jenna

    I can’t even begin to think how a parent would be proud of this dance routine, much less allow their daughter up on stage dressed and acting like that. It is heartbreaking that at 7, these children were taught to dance like 20-something college girls on spring break. 7 is an age for ponies, dolls, and maybe sleepovers. In no world should 7 involve shaking any body part seductively in front of a room of strangers, especially not in something so suggestive (it’s not even that it is revealing, which the costumes are, it is that they have fringe and sparkles too). I’m sad because this is the generation of girls my son might want to date. Sigh.

  • http://allthingsmom-christina.blogspot.com/ christina

    The whole thing is frightening an a Jon Benet (sp?) sort of way. How do people justify sexualizing kids? How can that be a good thing. The costumes were bad, but LITTLE GIRLS bumping and grinding that “well” is sick! How, how, HOW can anyone think that’s “cute?” Aside, of course, from pedophiles.

  • http://specialsauceinthehouse.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I actually think bikinis on little girls are cute. Tho we are going the tankini route.

    BUT. That video was disturbing on so many levels, as many of the other commenters have already noted. What’s interesting is my 4 1/2 year old girl, who does dance (they are wearing very sweet tutus for their recital) saw the video and thought it was awesome! She thought the costumes were really great. Because when you’re her age, you don’t even know what sexualization IS.

    The parents do, however, as does whoever choreographed that dance. Did it bother anyone else that the girls were singing along with it?

    “I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips
    hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans
    acting up, drink in my cup
    I couldn’t care less what you think”

    Yeah. Makes me almost long for Barney.

    • http://JessicaGottlieb.com Jessica Gottlieb

      Which is one of the many many reasons we do not allow our 4 1/2 year old daughters to make big decisions.

  • http://themorrisbunchblog.com Gena

    Ok so here I was thinking that I thought the dances and costumes were a bit much when my own daughter danced. But the one thing that kept making my insides scream at this video was the fact that you could see EVERYTHING pretty much! It made me incredibly grateful that my daughter’s dances were a lot more modest and the dances were beautiful. This was just WRONG. These parents have to see this?? Why not stand up to the teacher and say “Hey my child will NOT be paraded around like this.” It’s beyond sick.

  • Tien Huang

    Even Beyonce wore more clothing in her video than these young girls! You’re right they’re really talented, I’d like to interview the dance teacher to see what he/she was actually THINKING!

  • http://www.peggysuesblog.blogspot.com Peggy Brister

    I don’t think putting a young girl in a 2 piece bathing suit is sexualizing them. 3 yr old girls wear 2 piece suits as well as 13 yr old girls. I would not have my daughter swimming somewhere there might be pervs looking at her in a sexual way. As for the video, what can oyu say. Some parents had to let these little girls dress like that and dance like that. But I feel as equally disgusted with parents who make thier daughters up to look like little street walkers and put them in pagents like Jon Benet Ramsey. I’m definitely not prudish. My daughter has only picked out 1 piece suits so far. I let her pick her own. She is 10 and doesn’t want a 2 piece yet, but if she does she can have one. We don’t go to public pools. I control who sees her in her suit.

  • http://www.peggysuesblog.blogspot.com Peggy Brister

    And just as a P.S to that. These little girls are EXTREMELY talented little dancers. The choreography and practice and hours and hours of rehearsals it takes to get all the little girls in sync like that, is amazing. It’s a shame they chose such an adult dance number for little bitty girls. They really are rockin it out. They could have done something age appropriate.

  • http://iamdez.com Dez

    Looking through the comments posted on the video it seems that most of the viewers had either of the following stances:
    1) Where were the parents
    2) Why would the dance instructor not do age appropriate dance moves, costumes, or song
    3) Why is the competition allowing this (apparently some dance competitions wouldn’t allow the entry)

    I don’t have kids but this seems rather ridiculous. I agree that the talent displayed by the girls (emphasis on that word) was immense and polished, but it could still look as such without being as provocative.

  • http://www.sowonderfulsomarvelous.com Michelle

    First, the girls are incredibly talented for that age group. Second, I’m a shocked at the content way more than the outfits… maybe dance is different, but I used to coach cheer at a national level and they are pretty strict about taking points for anything too suggestive when competing. This went WAY beyond suggestive, it was overtly sexual. I can not imagine what was going through the minds of the judges watching this.
    Just like the whole pagent circut with fake hair, fake teeth, fake tan for LITTLE children… I don’t get it.

  • Sue

    I’m 47. I lived in a bikini every summer when I was a kid. My daughter wore a bikini. My grand daughters wear bikini’s too (although not as often). I was always pretty comfortable in my own skin, and so was my daughter. The grand daughters seem to be too. I think it’s a choice that each family makes depending on their comfort level.

    But that video is wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.

  • http://wordsforhirellc.com/blog Karen Swim

    These little girls are very talented but the dance and outfits were entirely inappropriate. I have a problem with this even when it is an adult woman, one of the reasons I have chosen not to watch channels like BET. There will be those who seek to defend it as innocent but to do so is to deny that we are sexual beings. Men have enough temptation even without the suggestive dress and gyrations. I am pretty sure any healthy adult male would be made uncomfortable by this video so how would a predator act? We can spin it anyway we want but gyrating our bodies and exposing skin is to create arousal, allowing little girls to do this is unforgivable. Perhaps these moms should watch the GEMS documentary to understand the true fallout of sexualizing innocent children.

  • http://www.rockanddrool.com melissa

    i have put up a losing fight over the type of suits my stepdaughter wears. she dresses inappropriately, no matter what i buy her. whatever.
    my daughter, on the other hand, is under my control. i let her wear bikinis. i was allowed to wear bikinis. but…this is in the privacy of our own pool. she also has one pieces to take to camp with her.
    seriously though, don’t get me started about my stepdaughter. this is why i’ve started a private blog. so i can vent in safety.

  • http://www.rockanddrool.com melissa

    that video though? i’m so offended as a mother, a woman, a daughter…
    it’s horrible.

  • http://theartfulflower.blogspot.com/ Julie

    I want to say, after reading a few comments and seeing this discussion rampant across the InterWebz today, that’s it’s not DANCE. We don’t have to carefully keep little girls away from anything except classical ballet.

    We found a dance studio that pledges, in a mission, to use basic values in its studio and dancing. The idea is to teach positively and build confidence, while teaching age-appropriate and skill-appropriate dance.

    My 8 year old — the youngest in the class by at least 2 years — is doing an adorable hip hop number to a kid song wearing a cute *kid* outfit. The class always uses cute kid music — and there is *so* much of it out there.

    The key is to find a studio that fits with your values. I hear parents complaining abut being “pressured” or “forced” to accept expensive costumes that are abhorrent or uncomfortable to them. I say, why? Find another dance studio or be firm with the teachers.

    I’ll be honest and say that I found both the choreography and costumes deeply disturbing, along with the music choice. None of that is a lesson or message I want my little girls to hear, much less internalize through repeated practice and performance.

    And I do let my girls wear two pieces, though to date they’ve only chosen tankinis. I let them choose their own clothes but within boundaries — it needs to be good quality and age-appropriate (which means: little girl, not Paris Hilton Wannabe). Yesterday I left a store frustrated, unable to find a single age-appropriate sundress for my 8 year old. Apparently little girl clothes end at 6X and now she’s expected to dress like Hannah Montana…

    …which is a decent segue to her recent video. I actually agreed with Koda (name?) and Kathie Lee. That probably means I have seriously just turned a corner that frightens me but hey, they were right about it.

  • http://www.superdumbsupervillain.com Naomi

    I am not remotely puritanical and don’t have a problem with kids wearing age-appropriate bikinis but the combination of the slutty barmaid costumes and poledancer choreography would have offended me even if these girls were sixteen year olds. It’s just too much, too soon. Someone obviously coached them on the whole “put a ring on it” schtick but I wonder how far they delved into the whole paying-for-your-pretty message. Eeesh.

    Makes me kind of glad my six year old decided to quit dance class because she didn’t like wearing tights.

  • http://www.davidafterdentist.com David DeVore

    Based on my experience, I have learned to be less quick to judge. Having said that, I think the adults involved here are a bit misguided. The outfits dont bother me as much as the suggestive body movements. Thats just gross.

    Its almostt as offensive as Dita Von Teese marrying Marylin Manson. Dita, REALLY?!?

  • http://www.punditmom.com Joanne Bamberger aka PunditMom

    Agree. 100% Fortunately, 10 y.o. PunditGirl hasn’t asked for the bikini — yet. But this topic is one of my particular pet peeves as a mother of a young daughter.

    I’m down the tankini. As for the video, I have to ask this — YouTube felt videos and photos of moms breastfeeding were offensive and violated their terms of service, but not this?

  • Cheapsuits

    Seven is too young for this. They will be sexualized and objectified enough in society as they grow up. Sadly, our culture puts a premium or at least glorifies it if you ask me. Seems displays of overt sexuality get younger and younger these days. I don’t remember the outfits looking like that of Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus when I was their age. I am far from prude and would never turn in my man card over this issue but for under 21 females I think we should lay low on the overt sexuality. After all these are peoples daughters!

  • http://www.myhomemadehappiness.blogspot.com Tasha

    What astounds me is the cheering from the audience. I mean, they danced VERY well, but it’s just not appropriate for 7 yrs old to be doing moves like that! The words are awful and I can’t even move my hips like that. It’s sick, really.

  • http://www.minglemediatv.com Stephanie @MingleMediaTV

    I thought long and hard about this today and now have to chime in. (So glad I didn’t have a girl… but am an aunt to 4 nieces who need to be locked away until they’re 30!!)

    When I was growing up I was NOT allowed to wear a bikini until I was 15 and that was a modest one… I also was enrolled in ballet, tap and modeling from the age of 3. My mother was a model and I will tell you this, there is no way in hell she would have EVER let me wear a costume that looked like a french hooker from the Moulon Rouge at age 7 or 17. For that matter – she wouldn’t have allowed me to do some of those dance moves in front of a mirror, let alone a crowd of people who you don’t know who. WTF are those parents thinking. Do they even KNOW what those dance moves depict? NO, they don’t even care, they paid their costume fees, travel fees, volunteered to sell tickets for fund raisers and just go along like sheep.

    There’s a reason why at least 1 in 3 women are being raped, abused, beaten and worse – it’s because we allow our daughters (children) to participate in inappropriate venues and don’t care, recognize or want to rock the boat for them.

    You’d think with all the awesome technology that we have at our fingertips – freeing up time for us to actually pay attention to our children and who is GROOMING them – that we’d recognize what the dangers are and stand up against them and protect our kids.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    My daughter is going to be 6 in July and I wouldn’t tolerate this. Not even a question. If they wore age appropriate clothing I might let it go. But not like this, no way, not going to happen.

    I want my kids to be kids. Let them be children. They are going to be adults far too soon.

    This just reinforces the rules that I am going to implement for dating my daughter. If you can’t defeat me in single combat you can’t take her out. One more reason to remind the boys that I have a shotgun, shovel and own property in the desert.

    I really wonder about the parents.

    • http://greenbeingmom.blogspot.com Lisa

      Well said Jack! My daughter would NEVER be seen like this. She’s almost 8.

  • http://www.princessjenn.com PrincessJenn

    I’ll fully admit when I first clicked over, I admit my first thought was, ‘Oh here we go. Another rant about what girls are wearing.’
    I don’t believe in sexualizing my daughter. She’s only three, but I already find myself doing the ‘you have got to be kidding me’ while clothes shopping for her. But I’m not fanatical about it. I believe that there are times and places for things. A little bit of lip gloss on a special occasion is not the end of the world to me.
    Having said that… the video you linked to had me struggling to pick my jaw up off the floor. I know it’s for a dance competition. I understand that they are costumes and not something they’d wear everyday. But I still couldn’t help thinking ‘Over My Dead Body!’
    The moves were well choreographed but more appropriate to girls 10 years older. I don’t want to see ANY seven year old dancing like the only thing missing is a stripper pole.

  • http://www.misskcircusact.blogspot.com Kate

    Horrified doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now.

  • http://greenbeingmom.blogspot.com Lisa

    In my humble opinion, this is right up there with beauty pagents. I don’t get it? Can’t we just let kids be kids? Can’t they show their talent with some clothes on? I just keep shaking my head at this and wonder what their parents are thinking.

  • http://www.amyinohio.com Amy in OHio

    I….just have no words

  • http://www.absenceofalternatives.com subWOW

    Follow up: my coworker (who has 3 young daughters) and I pass each other YouTube finds. It’s part of our office ritual. I described this vid to him, to this, he replied, “Please don’t send it to me. There is no way I would be watching it.”

  • http://www.smartassmom.com traci

    I missed the boat on bikinis. I SHOULD have allowed them when Belle was younger and then tighten the rope as her body began to develop. Now we are at a cross roads. I find her in a bikini to be adorable. But she’s adorable to me in anything. I see her in a bikini and think of her in a public setting and I’d rather die. However, she wants to wear one, as do her friends. I had to find a line to draw and something respectful she and I could meet on. I still get the last say, but for us triangle tops-OUT. High cut bottoms-accompanying a tankini top or not-OUT. Padded anything-OUT. I am petrified that too much control leads not to respect on body issues, but rebellion.

    The girls in that video are nauseating. I practiced the first 32 counts of Single Ladies in my panties for 2 weeks and couldn’t get a hip pop right. AND? There is no high kick in the first 32.

  • http://www.rockandrollmama.com Rock and Roll Mama

    It makes me sad that the little girls are taught that the only way to compete is to sexualize themselves- that that’s how they claim their power. Long, long before they’re ready to wield it. So not OK. I accidentally bought a bathing suit for E when she was 4 with “Princess” written on the butt, and hubs nixed it. “Little girls don’t need people trying to read their butts” he said, and i tend to agree.

  • http://mylifeinperu.com Kelly

    This is what happens when parents try to find glory through the lives of their children.

    • Meryl

      You are so correct. The mothers of these children have “failed” somewhere in their own lives and think they can capture success through their young children. “Be careful what you wish for”…for it will come back to haunt them somewhere down the road.

  • http://www.findingfairytales.com andrea

    as a mother of 4 girls and 1 boy, this is a struggle EVERY summer when it comes to shopping for swimsuits with the girls.

    i struggle with the whole “this string bikini is going to be on you over my dead body” alongside “i don’t want you to be the kid that’s made fun of by all your mini slut classmates”.

    we managed to compromise in regards to swimwear this year…but not without great effort and scads of whining (them) and cussing (me…and probably them inside their heads) in scouring department stores for appropriate bathing suits. they wanted a bikini, i insisted on a tankini. then i thought about the ostracizing or ridicule they may experience at parties with their friends…and i had a change of mind. so, for once, *i* lowered my expectations…and i compromised.

    we bought bikinis. BUT with the knowledge of the girls that we would be sewing up the dip in the top to be less “look at my boobs” and more “what a cute and AGE appropriate bikini”.

    what pisses me off is that i had to adjust this piece of clothing. because there are minimal…if any…suitable compromise choices for “parents vs. child clothing conflicts” available.

    and in regards to the dancing? ’tis the media our children are exposed to. done. unless you want to socially retard your child all the way into and through adulthood, you cannot cut them off from the outside influences in this world.

    but if i catch my seven year old doing that booty shake? no more MTV. but probably i’d still be impressed because my 35 year old ass can’t move like that.

    andrea

    • http://www.facebook.com/skyebellematilda.brand Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      Please don’t call them mini sluts…it’s not their fault! They don’t know what they want, they just think they want to dress that way because they watch too much advertising laden tv programming & Mum/Dad are too lazy to say bo or don’t care if their baby girls looks like a whore. Blame the bad parenting, not the poor kid!

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    I’d be giving you a standing ovation if I could in a comment. Talented or not, those girls were dressed and dancing like little whores. I don’t use that word lightly. As a mom of 5 daughters and one son, I constantly fight over age appropriate clothes with them. I’m sure some would call me puritanical, but I am far from it. I just don’t let my girls go around looking like hoochies. My hubby and I have a phrase for the small children who do dress like they are on the cover of Cosmo…..Prosti-tot.

  • http://abbyandizzysmom.blogspot.com Erin

    My twin girls are only 4, but I’m already concerned about their tween and even pre-tween years based on things like this. I would never let my kids do something like this. Wow.

    That being said, I had a pretty cute basic bikini when I was 9. But I only ever swam at home in our family pool and with my girlfriends who came over….and I had nothing to put in the top of any bikini until I was much, much older…but times are different now.

  • http://www.momsdailyretreat.com Amelia

    Oh My- I have an 18 year old, 13 year old and 5 year old girls- call me a prude but my 18 year old wouldn’t be allowed to do this- nor would she want to exploit herself like this- this is just tragic

  • http://www.busydadblog.com BusyDad

    Oh hell to the NO.

    • http://binaryblonde.com Binary Blonde

      Best. Comment. Ever.

    • http://mattnando.typepad.com DC Urban Dad

      I second that one.

  • http://soulprncs2.wordpress.com/ SoMo

    I watched this on my phone, earlier, and thought the only problem I had were the outfits. Um, hell no. Who taught those girls to dance like that? Who allowed their daughters to be taught that dance? And to think my husband was upset, because our daughter was taught to shake her booty at 3 yrs old in her dance class. This makes her dance class look Quakers. I am shocked.

    I think this is a cyclical type of thing. I am not sure how to explain it, but sort of like when the pageants tried to do the “natural” look and the mothers were so upset. Okay, I only know that because of the few shows I have watched on the subject. I think most of these mothers are either living their dreams through their daughters and using them as living dolls. Either way they are creating little girls with a mixed up view about how they are perceived by the world.

  • http://lolitacarrico.com Lolita

    Everyone else has said what I would have. Appalled.

  • Emily

    Horrifying. On every level. But more appalling is that every media outlet bombarded us with this (Shame on you, HuffingtonPost). I’m raising a 7 year old boy to be respectful of women. But moms of girls you’ve got to step up and raise your daughters to be self-respecting or else…..

    So sad.

  • http://pottymouthmommy.wordpress.com/ PottyMouthMommy

    Admittedly, I let my daughter wear a bikini- within certain constraints. I believe in teaching that it’s ok to reveal your body in an appropriate manner. I point out to her the difference between tasteful and skanky.

    I NEVER in a million years could have imagined myself referring to a 7 year old’s attire as skanky- but the poor little dears in that video, while vastly talented, certainly fit the bill. And to have them dancing like pole dancers to top it off… I don’t think I’ve ever been so skeeved out in my life!!

  • http://Wwwlifeofsaucyb.com SaycyB

    I agree 100%! Totally inapropriate what’s happening in that video. I’m always equally apalled whenever that show toddlers & tiaras is on. I don’t know how anyone in their right mind could think it’s appropriate to put make up and skimpy outfits on 3 and 4 year olds. And believe me, I’m no prude.

  • http://www.extremeparenthood.com Sunday

    This is appalling. If you are puritanical than so am I. I will wear that badge with pride because letting a little girl dress like THAT and dance around in such a suggestive fashion is just WRONG.

  • http://www.MotherhoodinNYC.com Marinka

    I’m actually not okay with someone calling you puritanical because you object to that outfit. I didn’t watch that video, but unless they are standing still and reading the psalms, I’m not interested. What they’re wearing is appalling.

    On the other hand, I don’t think it’s inappropriate for 11 year olds to wear bikinis. But my daughter likes one pieces.

  • http://www.wendykianakelly.com wendy

    Tears streaming down my face as I watched, my 2 eldest sons (12 and 10) walked in and were equally horrified…
    But here’s something I find odd in our society: when my eldest son was in grade 3, he was in a lip synch competition. He chose a song by U2 that was quite political, albeit about peace. It was nixed by the teacher for being “too mature” fair enough, I thought, and we used the suggested Veggie Tales Pirate song…whatever.
    The girls in his class, however, somehow managed to sing an incredibly provocative song, scantily clad, make-up, the works…ever since that moment, I have been uber conscious of what we consider “too mature” and for whom in our culture.
    I only have boys, thank God, because I quite honestly don’t think I am mature enough to confront this stuff very often…
    Thanks for broaching this topic. The only reason I am not passing the video on anymore is b/c I think you are right that pedophiles will love it…

  • Jessica Elmore

    Wow!!! Some of those moves were taken straight out of Teazers Pleazers. The costumes were at least a bit more than what I’ve seen before but seven??? No way!!! I’m going to sound like a major prude here but people wonder why so many young girls turn to sex, get eating disorders, etc…the media is bad enough do we really have to encourage it in other environments??? I hate watching TV anymore especially shows like toddlers & tiearas. Some of these girls are barely potty trained & taught its beautiful to look like prostitutes on union ave. Sad. What’s horrible is it wasnt that long ago that Elvis shaking his hips on TV was so offensive let alone talking sex. Now that TV is plastered with Trojan Man commercials & enough skin to make a doctor blush. Pedophiles are definitely looking for this exact video!!!

  • http://adventuresinjuggling.wordpress.com Laura Scarborough

    as a mom of a dancer since she was 7, i don’t necessarily have a problem with the dance. WOW! those girls are very good! i do have a problem with the costumes. At that age it is definitely not appropriate and not necessary. i say let the girls’ obvious talent and their instructor’s choreography shine rather than the skimpy outfits.
    just an aside, most dance comps will deduct points no matter how perfect the dance is if the costumes, choreography and song choice is inappropriate.

  • http://anniegirl1138.com annie

    It was completely wrong. And yep, a pedophile is getting off on this as I type.

  • http://waterwatereverywhere.net MainlineMom

    Not in a million years. Things like this make me grateful I don’t have a little girl, as much as I’d have loved one. Puritanical? I don’t find that very insulting, actually.

  • http://www.adventuroo.com Melissa (@adventuroo)

    Sheesh- when I was doing a talent show contest in third grade, our BIG FINALE was a cartwheel. Wee!!

    Seriously though, the costumes were completely baffling to me. Some of the dance was cute; some of it was totally inappropriate. I can’t believe mothers would let their kids do this.

  • http://sahdinlansing.com Chris (@tessasdad)

    This is insane and I don’t understand the parents thinking this is okay. Every week there is something like this circulating around the web. Unreal.

  • http://tatertwins.com Jayme

    This little girls are so so talented, it’s a shame that their parents can’t find a better way to showcase that- something more age appropriate.

  • http://www.suburbanmatron.com Becky

    My husband came up over my shoulder while I was watching that and coined a new word: “adhorrible.” I took it to mean that they would be adorable if they were dressed like 7 year-olds should be dressed, but as it was the whole thing was a kind of queasy spectacle.

    I’m all for little girls feeling fashionable. I think that their desire to choose how they look can be shaped and directed by us parents. It seems like these parents were overly-willing to create an “edgy” performance at the expense of their daughters.

  • http://feathersfreesiasandfishingtackle.blogspot.com/ andrea

    These girls were just taught that their insane talent isn’t good enough on its own and has to be packaged as sex to sell. Which will, I have no doubt, translate into their own thoughts of self worth. They are good. They are very good. That should be enough.

    I would like to know what the judges told them, because in my days of competition we probably wouldn’t have been allowed to finish that routine. At the very least we would have been given a talking to before we were disqualified. There is a line. But these days? This is now an industry where they think they are conditioning people for a career that depends on being able to pull off sexy better than your peers. This is SO wrong. Is it really “retarding them socially” to keep this part of society from them? Really? Doesn’t that beg the question of what kind of society we are OK with? Is it our job to raise our kids with values? Or do we defer to MTV?

    I have gone to the few postings of this on youtube and read through the comments, and considering that there are always people who like to stir things up on there, I think it’s pretty clear… the VAST majority of comments, as in 99% were about how horribly inappropriate this was. I hope the parents read them. I would imagine they will be surprised. I hope it is a wakeup call. If not, and they were conscious of their choices, even more shame on them.

    ~A

  • Jennifer

    Our culture is and has taught young girls and women that we are only worth something by how beautiful, skinny, or sexy we can be. This is degrading and disgusting!

  • http://www.MarVistaMom.com Sarah Auerswald

    Ridiculously inappropriate. Who is teaching kids this dance and who is letting their daughter learn this dance? And the costumes are beyond ridiculous. I can’t imagine the moms who said yes to that.
    Need context, please: is this in Vegas? Are they stripper’s kids? Or is this is Peoria?

  • http://www.djmlife.blogspot.com DodiM

    Umm, wow. Not OK. I have two daughters, 10 and 7. They’ve both been dancing since they were three. The kids in that video had some impressive talent (they are much better dancers than all but the very best dancers at my kids’ dance academy – certainly better than either of my daughters), but that suggestive dancing and those outfits were uncalled for. I can’t believe their parents are OK with that, any why wouldn’t you encourage innocence at that age?

  • http://rebeccaclaire.com Claire

    I must say, those girls are very talented but how old are they? If it weren’t for the fact that they’re shaped like children, I would have thought they were adults. The costumes are ridiculous, the dance moves, while well performed, are entirely inappropriate. I wonder what Beyoncé thinks about this.

  • http://www.modernmami.com Melanie (ModernMami)

    The outfits are what’s making it overly-sexual. They really could have done that same routine with more clothes on. It wouldn’t have hurt for the choreographer to tone it down a bit and bring it down to a 7-year old level. It would have still (or even more) showcased their skills. Just because they’re dancing to Beyonce, doesn’t mean they have to do the same moves as Beyonce did in the video.

  • http://greeninoc.blogspot.com GreenInOC

    I have tears in my eyes.

    The MOST disturbing thing in this video is that the adults in the audience are screaming their approval. Sickening.

  • Kay

    Sickening–repulsive. Their talent is obvious, but their moves, their costumes, their sexual gyrations—child porn! Dress your daughter like a sex object and someone will treat her like one. Should we be so shocked when we hear about people preying on young girls when our culture is turning 7-year-olds into sexy pole dancers? I’m just appalled that ANY parent of a young girl would allow them to take any part in this!! Shame on them. Beyonce had on a more modest outfit than these girls. The poor girls don’t even realize what their moves mean to mature viewers.

  • Jill

    Yikes.. I read the first few replies and saw this:

    i struggle with the whole “this string bikini is going to be on you over my dead body” alongside “i don’t want you to be the kid that’s made fun of by all your mini slut classmates”.

    Can we please teach our children by example? The fact that someone is actually typing the words, “mini slut classmates” is horrifying to me. I have never thought of my daughters classmates like this. Especially when they were seven. How can you be a ‘mini slut’ when you are seven? No matter what the parents are allowing, I think we need to be a bit more tolerant of the CHILDREN.
    Your children know your beliefs. If you are thinking, “mini-slut”.. they are thinking it too.. thus beginning a vicious cycle of judgement.
    I allow my daughter to wear a bikini. I do not think she looks like a ‘mini slut’. She is not. She is 10. She has all kinds of bathing suits.. 2 pieces, bikinis, tankinis, you name it. It doesn’t bother me. She is not a “slut”. She is a little girl. The styles I buy for her reflect that. I help her choose ones that are appropriate.
    The video is disturbing because of the gyrating moves and ridiculously sexualized dancing. I do not agree with it. I would NEVER allow my daughter to be a part of something like that. I, too, think it is horrifying.
    Can she wear a bikini? Yes. Can she wear short shorts with teeny tops? No.
    There is a distinct line. I see it and enforce it.
    To read the comments of parents labeling 7 year olds as “sluts” is depressing, at best. The children don’t know any better.. blame the parents, but please, NOT the innocent children.

  • BD

    And people wonder shy children go missing…..

  • Melissa

    I’ve seen older kids who do this kind of dance. Mostly for dance competitions. And… who have no idea what they’re doing, save dancing. Do I think it’s a good idea? Absolutely not. And I think my husband would have a stroke. Because even if it’s just about dancing for them, for somebody out there, it’s not. And the fact that you can search it on YouTube? Even worse.

  • Pingback: Stop Slutting Up Our Girls | Digital Dads()

    • http://JessicaGottlieb.com Jessica Gottlieb

      Don’t miss this article. I love CC’s take on things.

  • http://lisabruder.wordpress.com/ Lisa

    I think some parents do this to fulfill an inner desire they must have had to become famous. Unfortunately they are using their children in a very selfish manner and not realizing that they are putting them at risk. I don’t mid talent shows, I think it’s great for self esteem. But parents need to realize what are age appropriate songs and costumes. And I agree with GrennInOC. It’s gross to hear the audience knowing some of these are guys and fathers!

  • http://www.karenchatters.com Karen Chatters

    We were at the beach last week and there was an 8 month old in a bikini. I mentioned to my husband that it really bothered me to see a baby in a bikini. He kind of laughed but I’m just as uncomfortable seeing a 4 year old or an 8 year old in a bikini. I’m 100% with you on waiting until their older to wear things like a bikini.

    I don’t care what my kids friends may be wearing, my girl will not be dressing like a two bit hussy because she thinks it’s cute or because her friends are. It may make me the “bad guy” but I’m the mom, not the best friend and that’s part of my job.

  • http://www.digginfood.com Willi

    I don’t have children yet, but I was recently at a public event and was sitting next to a dad and his little girl who was four. Tops. She was crying because she didn’t want barrettes in her hair and to coax her into putting them in he said, “But honey, it will make you look sexy.” She immediately stopped crying and let him put the barrettes in. I almost fell off my seat when I realized this little girl has already associated being “sexy” with being good. So sad.

  • http://www.wheeallthewayhome.com patois

    When my daughter (then 8) first started dancing, we went to the local studio that EVERYONE seemed to attend. When we went to the recital, I was appalled. Her dance was fine, as was the costume. Most of the dances for kids her age and younger were appropriate. But the older kids? And the adult teachers showing off in a few acts? No kidding, one of the dances had S&M: handcuffs, wrist ties, whips. And this is what my daughter was sitting through during dress rehearsals and the recital itself.

    She never went back. As I told the dance studio’s owner, “I’ll let her learn how to pole dance when she’s 18.” My daughter has been attending a far more wholesome studio which has seen an increasing enrollment precisely because the slutty nature of the other studio.

  • Sarah

    As someone who used to dance (way back when), I’ll step forward and say it is inappropriate. Yes, they are very, very good dancers and are doing some very complicated skills. However, the costumes, big fat NO on that one. And the choreography – it would have been a lot more polished and they would have been better synchronized had they taken the shimmying and booty shaking out. Just think, if they had done an age appropriate routine with the skill level they showed, it would have been downright amazing. I found it very interesting that this video popped up this week (at least that is when it was pointed out to me) and I’ve heard a lot of local stories of dads who are seeing their daughters perform in dance recitals for the first time this year and are horrified and are yanking their daughters out.

  • Kate

    I’m 24, and this past summer I went to the beach with my girlfriends from high school. Without any discussion beforehand, we all showed up in one-pieces. Not because we’ve grown ashamed of our bodies, but because we simultaneously realized we didn’t have to be naked if we didn’t want to. And we’re all pretty pro-nudity ladies. It’s the spectators that bother me, not the nudity itself. Point is, once we’re old enough to understand how other people view us, it becomes our choice how to dress and behave. Until then, we need some protecting.
    One caveat about bikinis, I routinely wore a two-piece bathing suit as a very young kid because it was so much easier for my mom to get it off of me when I had to pee. At the first sign of boobs, it was back to one-pieces for me. I think the tankini is the greatest possible compromise.

  • http://www.divahh.com jacquie

    I have less trouble with the outfits than I do with the moves. My daughters are in competitive cheer. The club they belong to (and most of the cheer community) are loath to have little girls gyrating on the stage. The kids in the vid are spectacularly talented but I’m pretty sure a good choreographer could have come up with a dance that was age-appropriate. Hip thrust just really aren’t for 7 year olds. I’d be disappointed if they won the competition. The judges would need to set the tone and not condone this sort of performance in order for instructors to get the hint.
    “Puritanical” you ain’t Jessica, pragmatic might be more suitable.

  • Tammi

    I am a dance teacher and I have to be honest, I could never get my 7 and 8 year olds to do any of this, not the triple turns, the sharpness of the moves, the perfect in sync movement…. I think the real problem is, that the same parents who are letting their 7-8 year old dance enough in one week to perfect real technique appropriate for 10-15 year olds, don’t mind whoring out their daughters. I am ashamed that these teachers are wasting their obvious talent for instruction on such trash… take the same time and teach them ballet, modern, jazz (that was NOT jazz… it was trash) and maybe how to be children. They dance better than 90% of my school, but I give my girls to be self confident… not slef depricating. Talk about teaching our children that if they are the sexiest thing out there that they will be “loved”. I absolutely love bob fosse and what he has brought to the world of jazz… but if this was suppose to be in his style, they missed some seriously important stylizing. Someone only heard, hip thrust… how about particular hands, the inverted legs, etc. Even in Sweet Charity, the moves were less sexual than in this dance and that show was about strippers! He could use one simple hip thrust and it read sexuually while not degrading the dancers… in fact… the dances were generally more about mocking this sort of movement… which needs a rather mature and aware dancer to be performing them… these 7-8 year olds should not even know sex exists… so my guess is they can not actually perform a Fosse piece to its full potential. I am absolutely disgusted. The worst part… if you listen to the words of the song… the moves do not at all belong.

  • http://mooshinindy.com moosh in indy.

    I danced for 12 years of my life, I’m not even *that* old.

    This would have never flown, it’s an insult to those little girls AND to dance.

  • http://www.jenlemen.com jen lemen

    this is why i skipped dance lessons for my daughter. it’s ten year training to be 1) disappointed you aren’t good enough to be a professional classical/modern dancer 2) or plenty good enough to be a well paid stripper, exotic dancer or 3) well-equipped with good moves in the bedroom for your fifteen year old boyfriend, moves you really don’t need for any authentic sexual experience with someone you don’t have to perform for, no matter what age you discover sex.

    • http://www.facebook.com/skyebellematilda.brand Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      Why can’t it just be fun? My 4 year old has wanted to go to ballet lessons since she was 2 (no prompting from me, I’m happy NOT to get up on Saturday morning for 8am lessons) & I’be decided that I’ll allow her to take classical ballet lessons. We’ll continue until it’s no longer fun for her.

      The same could be applied to anything (sport, art classes, etc) so why bother to enrol your kid in anything?

  • http://www.flashfree.wordpress.com Liz S

    Provocative at 8 becomes trouble at 12 and self-loathing at 20. I wore a bikini when I was your daughter’s age. However, our bikinis didn’t have strings or padding. Just saying. Regardless, I found this video pretty atrocious. I admire the girls’ skills but I think that they can be displayed in a more positive and less degrading way. At the end of the day, I blame the parents, who think that it’s okay for young girls to demean themselves and compete on a foundation of sex. So what do these girls need? Appropriate boundaries, more education about sex, more self-worth and self-esteem and a better view of what they can achieve without shaking their booties. Look, we can’t keep this stuff away from kids; that’s the world that we live in. But we don’t have to encourage it either.

  • http://www.tonyastaab.com * TONYA *

    GOOD GRIEF! 7 going on 17. Who are these parents? I grew up dancing and cheering from a young age and yes we wore a little too much make-up but we were CLOTHED and our ‘moves’ were extremely tame. It was more about dance and less about attracting sexual predators.

    As for bikinis. There will be no bikinis worn in this house. I only allow my 3 year old daughter to wear a tankini because it makes going to the bathroom easier (and less chilly) for her. Otherwise she’d be in a one-piece, just like her mama.

    Boundaries people!

    • Lauryn

      The problem I have with the dance is not the moves – which, like the original, are not really very sex-oriented at all, but more acrobatic and complicated – but the costumes. Even in the original video, Beyonce wore a full leotard, which is exactly what girls at dance recitals should be wearing, minus the heels. I have absolutely no clue why the costume designer would put them in such inappropriate costumes. That’s the main glaring problem with the dance.

      And “good grief,” let your 3 year olds wear European-style bathing suits, which are bottoms only for girls too. Making her wear a tankini top only unnecessarily sexualizes the non-sexed prepubescent body as well!

      • grammar cat

        Funny, I actually found the moves more disturbing than the costumes – as you say, the boy-short-type bottoms and wide tops are only sexual if you sexualize 7 year olds. I don’t like or encourage either the dance moves or the costumes – but the moves had serious hip and chest shaking and moves like sex – it was disturbing to see them move their bodies that way.

  • Alison

    Good Morning America had the parents of one of the girls on the show, you can can watch the segment on their website. It didn’t change the the fact that I would not allow my daughter to participate in dance like this. It did, however, illuminate the reality that dance competitions in this vein have their own culture (not one I need to be involved with!) Also, the group is from Los Angeles, many things here are skewed when it comes to pop culture.

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  • http://www.minglemediatv.com Stephanie @MingleMediaTV

    Postscript… watching the 2 parents on GMA this morning proves one thing. They’re out of touch with reality. To say you didn’t intend this performance to get on the Internet? Really? Who put it up there? To say that the dance clothes were designed for MOVEMENT and to show the girls definition / body clearly is ridiculous. A costumer with decency would not have created something for the “Boom Boom Room” as is now being referred to online. Yes, they are talented and if that is what it takes to be successful with a competition then I say it’s time to not participate and find something else for our daughters to be involved in.

    • http://iamdez.com Dez

      From GMA interview with a few of the parents: “The video wasn’t intended to be seen by millions”.

      My Response: Then WTF did you allow it to be put on Youtube?

  • http://www.musingsfromme.com MusingsfromMe/Jill

    I wish my girls wore a school uniform. As a kid/teen, I secretly liked wearing a school uniform. I did not like the way I looked in clothes. The shapeless pleated skirt, baggy v-neck sweater, and knee socks hit the spot with me.

    My tween and teen girls regularly tell me of girls who wear micro shorts to school or spaghetti straps. Sometimes the girls are caught, sometimes not. Sister Victoire — my school’s headmistress — would have solved the problem of inappropriate clothes at school by requiring girls to change in to clothes from the “lost and found and never-washed bin.” Girls who flaunted the school uniform dress code had to dig around for a replacement uniform item in the lost and found bin. Most of the girls were not repeat offenders.

  • Amy

    Having taken dance lessons for years, I know for a fact that these little girls should never have been taught this dance. Most sane people would be wanting their little girls being taught tap, instead of this smut. Its more likely that the dance instructor is to blame, since they’re the ones teaching the dance, but the parents also have a responsibility to know what is being taught and to speak out if its not appropriate.

  • http://isawyournanny.blogspot.com Lesley

    Great article. The video started out bad and got worse. The ending was sickening. I can’t imagine what the parent’s excuse for letting the children participate in that program was. Little girls have been dancing and winning awards for a long time. Selling the sexuality of seven year olds is a gimmick, it isn’t relevant to being a dancer or a great dancer.

  • Jill Hilliard

    What the heck is malfuctioning in these parents heads.
    I dont even want to think of how many child molesters
    watch this video for their “Enjoyment”…and you idoit
    stand around wondering why our little girls are getting
    raped and molested when you hand out perv candy such
    as this….. common sense people come one!!!

  • http://www.diaryofafirstchild.com Luschka

    We danced when I was a child/teen. We did our own moves, and they had to be okayed by teachers and parents before performances. They were never ever sexual. It wasn’t even an option, and anything REMOTELY suggestive would be scrapped. As a mother to a seven month old, this makes my blood run cold. True, the girls may not think they’re doing anything wrong, but there will be plenty of the wrong kind of people getting way too much of the wrong kind of pleasure from it. And it really freaked me out when that girls dad (on your next post) said that this was meant to be viewed around family and friends, not on the internet – does he not know that most sexual abuse is BY family or friends?

  • http://katietalksabout.com Katie

    I completely agree that this is age-inappropriate. I am not a fan of dance lessons to begin with (maybe because I have 2 left feet myself, but more likely because there is the possibility that something like this will be taught to my daughter). Sex is everywhere in the media – we don’t need to encourage it further by dressing our kids like this or telling them it’s ok to dance like that at that age.

    These girls are super talented, there’s no doubt about that. But what’s wrong with a little modesty and acting your age?

  • http://www.mommyreporter.com Mommy Reporter

    Considering how many young girls are abused and assaulted, I think this is highly inappropriate. I’m sure all the pedophiles are having a field day with this video…

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  • http://www.gardenofeagan.blogspot.com Leah

    Question the parents? What about the dance instructor who came up with the routine? I wouldn’t even want that person around my kid if she’s thinking it’s cute to have 8 year olds dance this way!

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  • Mary

    Parents should have been there prior to the actual performance in rehearsals to see what their children were learning. It’s the parents’ fault for not being more attentive to their children’s type of dancing that is age appropriate. Children grow up too fast as it is, without putting them into dance routines that are not appropriate to their age. You’re only a child for such a short time, children should enjoy it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/skyebellematilda.brand Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      Unfortunately, most dance classes simply will not allow parents access to the studio while classes are in session. I’m currently trying to find a school that will teach RAD or cacchetti classical ballet to my 4 year old (with no jazz or contemporary component) & allow parents in the studio…it’s proving difficult!

  • http://www.zoewinters.org Zoe Winters

    I don’t think you’re puritanical at ALL. I am certainly no prude, but little girls should be little girls. Not tarted up trollops in stripper training. It’s one thing for a grown adult woman to decide she wants to dance this way. That’s fine. It can even be empowering to showcase one’s sexuality like that.

    But it’s not empowering for a seven year old child. It’s child abuse. Plain and simple. I honestly feel there should be charges brought here. And I’m not a person who thinks there should be laws against everything. But this is sick and disturbing.

    A society that feels this is okay very much troubles me.

    I also like your comment about school uniforms. I got out of high school the year before uniforms were instituted. And I’ve always been against things like school uniforms because it seems too controlling.

    I hadn’t stopped to consider the emotional freedom it might give a young girl who doesn’t WANT to dress like a slut at school but who is afraid she won’t be popular if she doesn’t.

  • Barbara

    I watched the vedio of the little girls dancing and i thought it was just darling. We must remember that they are just little girls. If some of the dads have problems with their little outfits, maybe then they are veiwing the dancing from a too adult point of view. I know when i was just a little girl that age, i did not even realize the sexuality in many of the dancing or the lyrics in music playing. I just like the beat and the excitment of the music. These little girls probably feel the same way and they probably just like the prettiness of the outfits. I think that parents should let their children be free in their minds. Usually if parents don’t make abig deal about something, then the child will not think so far in advance as we do. The little girls have a lot of talent too. Those dance moves were pretty hard to move to and keep up with. I bet some of us adults could not move that fast and in beat. That is what the parents were suppose to notice is their little girls talent, not of the sexuality of the outfits. Remember the children are the center of attention, not the clothing they have on. Parents go home and tell the little girls how talented they are and how proud of them you are. They will be so happy because that is what they want to do is please their parents. Dads especially. Notice your daughters talent and mentally promote them. That way they will always stay daddy’s little girls.

    • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

      It is because I am a father that I am concerned about this. I am not a prude by any means. I enjoy many moments of being loud and crass, but as an adult among other adults. I understand that the girls don’t recognize their outfits or moves as being adult in nature, but that doesn’t make it right.

      I think that masturbation is perfectly normal and could careless if my kids do it, provided that it is done in an appropriate time and place. By your logic it is natural for them to start playing with themselves anywhere. I disagree. Little Johnny doesn’t get credit for stroking faster or more gracefully than others.

      The routine and clothing could have been adjusted to reflect something age appropriate. Hell, if the outfits were appropriate the dance routine would have passed muster with me. But that combination, nope.

    • Larry A.

      Barbara I agree the girls are athletic and the timing is very good. But these kids are forming their minds as well as their bodies. To say the girls aren’t learning how to attract attention with this thing they aren’t sure of – yet – called, “sexuality” is naive. When kids get screams and shouts of approval for anything it forms a big part of “How to get what I want out of life.” When those screams and shouts are tied to overt sexuality it is beyond naive to think at age 12 and 13 they won’t tie using their developing sexuality to get what they want. And how to use it? Why it’s on any computer, many magazines, and they will remember those screams and shouts of approval.

    • David

      Barbara, what a load of baloney. Their outfits are HIGHLY inappropriate by any sane person’s standards. The problem is with people like you who are unable to know where to draw the line, perhaps because of your own lack of parenting skills.

      My daughter has been taking dance classes for 10 years, and they’ve never done anything this crass.

  • Tracy

    Watching this video made me concerned for these young girls 5-7 years from now. When I was a teenage girl, I was really shy about my sexuality and felt embarrassed by the fact that I remained a virgin while many of my peers were having sex. I can’t help but think that examples like this video create an expectation on girls that they should be overtly sexy and sexual whether or not they are emotionally and psychologically ready. Societal expectations and pressure are NOT a good reason for young girls (and boys) to go out and start having sex or to act sexy. That’s not to say I think it’s a good idea to institute rules that unnaturally suppress teenage sexuality and make young people feel embarrassed or shy away from normal sexual urges and feelings. But this video swings way too far in the opposite direction.

  • http://thesocialjoint.com Lucretia Pruitt

    Should’ve known you’d already have weighed in on this and that we’d be on the same page.

    The girls dancing don’t (or shouldn’t) know at that age that what they are wearing or doing is sexualized or provocative. But the adults in the equation should. Shame on the choreographer and the parents (who have been all over TV trying to justify it after the fact.)

    My daughter got a tankini this year too. Not because she has been begging for a bikini for the past 2 years (she’s 7 now) but because it is cute on her without being sexualized and it makes the whole ‘sudden trip to the restroom’ easier.

    Thanks for going the extra mile NOT to make this post attractive to the pedophiles and predators. There’s enough easy material out there for them without adding to it.

    L.

  • Lauryn

    The problem I have with the dance is not the moves – which, like the original, are not really very sex-oriented at all, but more acrobatic and complicated – but the costumes. Even in the original video, Beyonce wore a full leotard, which is exactly what girls at dance recitals should be wearing, minus the heels. I have absolutely no clue why the costume designer would put them in such inappropriate costumes. That’s the main glaring problem with the dance.

  • Riff

    I find it appalling when parents not only allow this kind of crap, but actually encourage it. Beauty pageants for girls below the age of 18 should be outlawed, and if someone catches a child doing these sorts of things I do believe there should be some option for the parents to be flogged.

    Life AIN’T an opportunity to appear on E! folks…

  • msladydeborah

    I want to say that my teenage granddaughter was not allowed to dress in just any style or manner before she hit her teenage years. She had input about the types of clothes that she would wear but if it was too mature for her at that time the answer was no. I think that if you’re not comfortable with your daughter wearing a bikini at this time-trying to compromise is the best way to work it out.

  • http://www.dancepanorama.com Julie

    I got here too late to see the video, but that’s ok. I don’t need to see any more of these dances. I am a ballet teacher who taught for several years in these “competition schools”. I was initially horrified when I saw what they were doing. I tried to be tolerant and keep an open mind. I watched these young girls learn to swivel their skinny little hips, watched them put on their mini Madonna costumes, and watched them enjoying the certain kind of attention they got when they strutted their stuff, as instructed. I sat and listened to the families hoot and holler in the audience when their little daughters played sexpots. And I’ve sadly concluded that our culture is just sinking to the bottom. The studios sell what they think people will buy. The families buy what the studios are selling. The competition organizers should kick this stuff off the stage, but it’s all about the money, so they don’t. For those that would still like to find a decent dance education for their kids, I want to tell you that it’s out there … somewhere. You will have to look harder, because these places are generally small now, and they don’t have a high profile like the competition studios. They might look a little run down because they don’t have as many students, and they struggle with expenses. But there are a lot of excellent, committed teachers who really care about sharing the art form as they learned it, and giving their students a good fundamental education, with lessons they can use throughout their lives. It will be harder to find but KEEP LOOKING! Dance, when properly taught, is a wonderful way to learn about oneself, about a work ethic, about art and what it means for the soul, and is a beautiful foundation for a child’s life.

  • Jordan

    Dear God, what is up with those outfits? UGH!! That’s the WORST part of it. the dance wasn’t that big of a deal all up until the last 15-20 seconds of the video. The gyrating their hips down to the floor, and doing the pelvic thrusts were too much definitely. but the pirouettes were fantastic, all of them were. They’re fantastic. But the instructor that taught them the thrusts needs to be dragged out into the street and shot. That’s too much adult dancing for 7 year old girls.
    I’m a mom of one 5 year old and one 2 1/2 year old. both girls. (and one 3 month old boy) but I cannot imagine allowing my 5 year old to go on stage in a recital wearing THAT and dancing like THAT! two years from now. i would be raising hell at that dance school. Parents are their children’s advocates, and if we don’t stand up for them, and their rights as children, who will? We are the ones that need to be telling ANY instructor that “Hey, my kid is far too young to be seeing and doing this.” those parents are idiots.

  • http://senilemomentia.com/reviews/2010/05/7-year-old-single-ladies-little-girls-gone-wild/ Kat @ For the Love of Chaos

    JG: I cosign your feelings on this. I actually posted my thoughts on this video yesterday; this morning, someone on MomDot directed me to your entries on it. I think it’s HORRIBLE. I wasn’t aware that they are 8 and 9 – I heard they were seven initially, as you did; but them being 1 and 2 years older makes no difference. It’s disappointing that ANY parent would condone this – then turn around and JUSTIFY it. Context? I’m with you on this one – this is absolutely NOT an issue of context. It’s an issue of piss poor judgment on behalf of these parents and a society completely devoid of any hint of morality as well as an absence of a sense of protection when it comes to our children’s innocence or preservation of their youth. In short, it’s a sad day… we live in very confusing, unfortunate times when children can be exploited in this way without anyone having to answer for it.

  • http://www.ontheeveof30.blogspot.com M.R. Miller

    That’s just wrong. I couldn’t even watch the first 15 seconds of the video without wanting to throw up and then cry. How can parents, or dance teachers for that matter, possibly think this is acceptable?! My heart breaks for those girls.

  • Trixie

    I’m mortified watching that video. The obsession with fame in society is killing our culture and robbing kids of their childhood. Heck, it teens and adults of the ability to be authentic. Everything is done for the camera, for the spectator, for the crowd.

    Those outfits were horrific. I can’t imagine any parent thinking that this was appropriate or cute. The dance? Talented dancers, for sure. But that dance was completely and utterly wrong for even a 14 year old. What is the push to make our daughters such objects? Why are people (aka media, advertisers, and retailers) pushing little girls to act like mini-adults? Money.

    When my daughter was younger we could never find clothes that were right for her age. Even as a teen the shorts have a 1″ inseam, and the tops are completely revealing, and the bathing suits and camisoles all have padded bras. Okay, and don’t even get me started on 4″ heels for teen girls.

  • Heidi

    I have 3 daughters. I wanted to sign them up for dance a couple of years ago. They’re 8, 5 and 11 months. I went to see a few performances of difference dance studios and was shocked. I’m about as liberal as it gets in many ways-but watching little girls be dressed up like Britney outfits with full makeup, hair and sexy moves horrified me. The dance teachers aren’t teaching from traditional dance moves-they’re teaching from music videos.
    Needless to say, I never signed my girls up for dance. My two oldest play a mean fiddle instead. :)

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  • grammar cat

    This video was so inappropriate that I feel dirty having watched it! And can’t watch it again!

  • Larry A.

    The timing is great and athletic – but is it necessary to teach the girls how to bump and grind? I hope the parents don’t complain too loudly when their daughters make what they’ve learned their profession.

  • Belle

    Oh my… Okay, hate to begin with praise, but these girls can dance! Imagine if they were actually doing a clothed routine – much easier to appreciate. It’s sickening to see such young girls be so talented… and waste it on little red straps of clothing and provocative moves. Seriously – they are insanely talented. All their hard work and dedication is evident – but they’re doing things I wouldn’t even dream of doing. And 1:42 – I think so anyway… WHY THE HELL ARE THEIR PARENTS LETTING THEM LOOK LIKE TOTAL TARTS! They look sixteen. At first glance, I thought it was all a piece of bull, and that they were in their late teens. Nope. They’re missing the things they’re shaking. Totally disgusting.

    I do hope these girls go far – just with a different dance school, and clothing.

  • jessica brecker

    Those outfits are a bit skimpy but the girls don’t have anything to cover up anyhow. I would not go so far as to say it’s sick…but I don’t have a child so I don’t know how it would make me feel. I do think that all the attention and views this video is getting because of the spot light that’s been put on it by the media and all the “concerned” people is sick! That’s why everyone is watching the damn thing! I also think all the parents who say they are trying to save these girls from being “slutted” up are putting that onto those kids… I just know that somehow those words will get back to those little ears (I’m sure their peers will have a field day with it) and everything they worked so hard on and felt so innocently proud of will be replaced by a dirty feeling. (Isn’t that child abuse?) And that is something I don’t think they will ever forget. The girls are innocent and this is bound to hurt them a lot more than the actual dance competition ever could. It’s a parents job to protect their child but this is a very hypocritical way of going about that don’t you think? I’m sure they are getting tons of attention but not the attention they thought they would get from this. Kid’s aren’t stupid.

  • http://www.ColorfulChildhoodStore.com Stickers

    Yes, I wouldn’t want my daughter to be dancing like that, and I also blame the parents. But there have always been and will always be girls who dress and act way to sexy for their age and parents who encourage it (or at least do not try to stop them). There are also parents who let their little kids drink soda and bring candy to school for lunch. We just need to teach our kids to make their own choices, not to follow the crowd and know the difference between good and bad.

  • Cypress

    As a fourteen-year old dancer, I am disgusted by this. I would never do something like this. I would never allow a child to do this. Every one of my routines has been approved by my parents, along with costumes, always. When choreographing my solos, I frequently show my parents what I’m working on to get their approval. The idea of allowing something like this is horrible. In a few years, they will all deeply regret this, I’m sure of it.

    • http://JessicaGottlieb.com Jessica Gottlieb

      I hope the kids never feel bad about it, but I fear they will. Those are talented girls. I hope the parents and the dance teacher feel awful.

      Actually, I don’t care how they feel. I hope the parents and the dance teacher behave better next time. That would be a good outcome.

      • Cypress

        Yes, they are quite talented. They have excellent mastery of skills, and their fouttes are great. Those skills need to be put into a more appropriate dance, however. And yes, change of behavior in parents and dance teacher would be an excellent outcome.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SHJHY2K3FPZPFOGFT5NDGVBTIQ vcc

    It seems the first thing young girls want to do once they get a webcam or camera is to act and dress like total sluts and make a video for all to see.

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