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This is my last comment on the subject, and I'll shut up. I'm honestly shocked at the number of posters who seem to think this whole thing is somehow acceptable because it's art... it has a message...

That the director and all the powers of the entertainment industry behind this film thought a GREAT way to raise awareness about sexual exploitation of girls is to—literally—sexually exploit girls say

For comparison, here is a clip of a dance troupe that won their category at a dance competition. The freeze frame in the link doesn't begin to show the extent of the sexuality in this dance (including

This thread is the first I've heard of this.  In general I'm all in with choreography so I thought "how bad can this be" and that The Hive is fairly conservative.  I watched some YouTube commentary.  I will not be watching the movie.  Oh HELL no.  I can't even take the clips.  I am a person who teaches belly dance classes to children.  I'm not afraid of a midriff OR moving hips.  Some cultures just have more hipwork in their traditional dances and I'm FINE with that.  This was not a technique variation that is "fine in the context of a culture."  This was just gross. I can't believe the mothers of these children let them do this movie. I can't believe it made it to Netflix. 

I watched "Netflix cuties has gone too far" on Youtube.  That guy did watch the film before evaluating it, which I generally prefer to do, but I just can't. I saw more than enough with the clips in his talk-through evaluation. It feels icky.  The girls are too young.  I think myself a very liberal-minded person when it comes to art and dance, but this is just  . . . ugh!  You never need multiple crotch shots of tween actors. Sometimes I thought Dance Moms went a bit far, but it never ever approached this line.  This is just tone-deaf in a world where the Epstein trials are happening now.  It's tone-deaf regarding France's racial tension towards muslims.  HOW did it make it to Netflix? I'll bet it gets pulled soon.  A lot of people are still stuck at home and have time to write letters.

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1 minute ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

I know the leader of the dance troupe was 12 in real life, and that at the time of the film release, the lead was 14.

 

That's a little young.  I probably wouldn't have allowed my kids to participate in it, but I don't think it's horrific that someone else did.  A lot of scenes I've heard described were not shown graphically.  I mean, the girls were smacking each other's butts and sucking on fingers provocatively, but they clearly had no idea what they were doing.  In fact, from a few conversations in the movie, it's clear that none of the girls really are well informed about sex.  They really need a lot more adult guidance than they got.  I would have drawn the line more conservatively over what to show, but the point of the movie was really not about the sexuality; it was about trying to float between her family and find friends.  She does lots of inappropriate things to try to fit in:  not just sexualized dances but stealing.  I find it very unlikely that this movie is going to drive child trafficking.  

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1 minute ago, KungFuPanda said:

This thread is the first I've heard of this.  In general I'm all in with choreography so I thought "how bad can this be" and that The Hive is fairly conservative.  I watched some YouTube commentary.  I will not be watching the movie.  Oh HELL no.  I can't even take the clips.  I am a person who teaches belly dance classes to children.  I'm not afraid of a midriff OR moving hips.  Some cultures just have more hipwork in their traditional dances and I'm FINE with that.  This was not a technique variation that is "fine in the context of a culture."  This was just gross. I can't believe the mothers of these children let them do this movie. I can't believe it made it to Netflix. 

I watched "Netflix cuties has gone too far" on Youtube.  That guy did watch the film before evaluating it, which I generally prefer to do, but I just can't. I saw more than enough with the clips in his talk-through evaluation. It feels icky.  The girls are too young.  I think myself a very liberal-minded person when it comes to art and dance, but this is just  . . . ugh!  You never need multiple crotch shots of tween actors. Sometimes I thought Dance Moms went a bit far, but it never ever approached this line.  This is just tone-deaf in a world where the Epstein trials are happening now.  It's tone-deaf regarding France's racial tension towards muslims.  HOW did it make it to Netflix? I'll bet it gets pulled soon.  A lot of people are still stuck at home and have time to write letters.

I think the difference between Dance Moms and Cuties is that in Dance Moms, an adult did the choreography.  In Cuties, the theme of the movie is little girls with no guidance from adults (about anything really, but including sex, the internet, making friends, and difficult situations with their families) and how kids don't really make the best decisions on their own?  The kids are inventing their own dances with movies they learned from watching inappropriate stuff they shouldn't have been watching (because nobody was guiding them).  It didn't feel like it was celebrating the crotch shots.  I'm not going to be upset if Netflix pulls it, but I don't feel like it was above the pale either.  

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16 minutes ago, Terabith said:

That's a little young.  I probably wouldn't have allowed my kids to participate in it, but I don't think it's horrific that someone else did.  A lot of scenes I've heard described were not shown graphically.  I mean, the girls were smacking each other's butts and sucking on fingers provocatively, but they clearly had no idea what they were doing.  In fact, from a few conversations in the movie, it's clear that none of the girls really are well informed about sex.  They really need a lot more adult guidance than they got.  I would have drawn the line more conservatively over what to show, but the point of the movie was really not about the sexuality; it was about trying to float between her family and find friends.  She does lots of inappropriate things to try to fit in:  not just sexualized dances but stealing.  I find it very unlikely that this movie is going to drive child trafficking.  


Like I said, the dancing was not the really bad part, even though it was hypersexual and based directly off porn. It was the conversations the girls were having, having the young teen watching what was either porn or an NC-17 music video, and another where they're all either watching or listening to it in a bathroom - not sure, having girls that young attempt to sexually entice men to get what they want even though they have no idea what they're doing, etc. I don't think it was horrific, but a bad parenting decision. I feel more strongly negative about their child "experts." 

Honestly the floating between family and friends doesn't come through as the main thing because it is SO dark and there is so much inappropriate stuff coming at you. Like I said, I think the idea was there, but the filmmaker lost the thread by going for so much shock value. It could have been really good.

It definitely is not going to drive trafficking. That's looney. It's just a bad-decision avalanche.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

The reason the woman made the movie was that she saw girls dancing this way and was deeply shocked. So she made a movie that was meant to shock in order to bring out a conversation about it. Netflix really botched the marketing on a number of levels. 

 et.

I heard her reason for doing this - but it could have been a documentary instead of bringing in a bunch of kids and getting them to act in ways seven year olds shouldn't.  sure, some would probably see that stuff at home if they've got moms who watch music videos among other things.  that doesn't mean the producer needed to use kids that weren't already doing this to show what is happening.

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1 hour ago, MercyA said:

I think this exactly.

Random thoughts because it is late. 🙂 

The movie does not *promote* pedophilia, other than the fact that pedophiles would surely enjoy watching it.

Just quoting for this because you are 100% correct.

We can all acknowledge pedophiles would enjoy watching kids do any number of things that are otherwise innocent.

This is different. Every single scene in the trailer of the film and the 10 seconds of the link here that I was able to stomach looks like it was written expressly to arouse someone's sick fantasy about young tween girls. The tickle fights and wrestling in midriff shirts, the mother slapping the girl for being "dirty" or "shameful", one girl practicing on her own, girls spanking each other...and thats like 2 minutes of the whole thing!

Honestly, the dancing competition scenes are really the least of the problematic stuff.

These are real girls acting this stuff out for the enjoyment of pedos. That is what this movie is. They put a thin film over it of how it supposedly shows how bad this is, but these actors should have never been asked to do any of this. There should not have been a whole crew of people watching and filming it. Their parents should not have allowed it. They have been groomed by this. The fact that people don't see it as the straight up Humbert Humbert fantasy world is even more disturbing.

I am not in some QAnon save the children pizzagate conspiracy world. This movie is made for pedos to enjoy.

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I don't think the movie depicts the girls doing things that are really unrealistic for kids those age doing.  I've certainly seen girls of those ages who watch inappropriate material online and use it to make up dances with their friends that they shouldn't.  And I've DEFINITELY seen tween/ young teen girls trying to flirt with older boys, both in real life and online and try to do shock value by saying things like tits.  It doesn't make it okay, but I think the movie is exploring things that are not unusual for the age group.  

The girl's relationship with her mother and father and grandmother and her desperation to fit in and have friends actually came through to me as the strongest themes.  

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I've had several jobs that put me around kids and the only place I have seen this kind of behavior from kids that young was when I lifeguarded at a pool with an entirely at-risk population. None of the other ones, just that one, where the parents were watching hardcore porn as children wandered in and out, among other things. It's not innocent tween exploring behavior. 

I do not know of any 11 year olds who have asked a boy if he wanted to see her breasts who were not troubled kids, or who were watching porn under their veil at church.  Nor any that have posted pictures of their privates on social media. Nor any who attempted to seduce grown men to get out of trouble. And by seduce I mean unzipping clothing and gyrating, not flirting.

You and I have met very, very different sets of 11 year olds.

Edited by Sk8ermaiden
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I haven’t watched it and probably won’t because no one in our house is really into dance or dance type movies.  I have seen criticism coming from some people who I wouldn’t think of as pearl clutchers (medical people who I’ve followed for covid stuff not homeschooling people)  Saying basically just because a film claims to be exposing something doesn’t mean it justifies displaying that thing.  However I have no personal knowledge.  I have to be honest I was relieved when dd didn’t get into dance

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I am the Father of a Daughter. We have had Netflix service for years. I am not generally one to advocate boycotts. I have not watched this movie and I am not planning to do so. Anything that might appeal to Pedophiles is to me unacceptable.

Recently,. my wife had expressed some displeasure with what's available now on Netflix.  After reading what I have in the past week about this movie on Netflix, I suggested to her, twice, that if she can find an alternative streaming service, available here in Colombia, for approximately the same cost, that she consider moving from Netflix.

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5 hours ago, EmseB said:

These are real girls acting this stuff out for the enjoyment of pedos. That is what this movie is. They put a thin film over it of how it supposedly shows how bad this is, but these actors should have never been asked to do any of this. There should not have been a whole crew of people watching and filming it. Their parents should not have allowed it. They have been groomed by this. The fact that people don't see it as the straight up Humbert Humbert fantasy world is even more disturbing.

I am not in some QAnon save the children pizzagate conspiracy world. This movie is made for pedos to enjoy.

It's really not. 

I agree with you 100% that the actors should not have been asked to do any of it. But it was not, in my judgment, deliberately made for pedos. 

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5 hours ago, Terabith said:

The girl's relationship with her mother and father and grandmother and her desperation to fit in and have friends actually came through to me as the strongest themes.  

Yes, exactly. Anyone who watches it will see this. 

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6 hours ago, Terabith said:

I think the difference between Dance Moms and Cuties is that in Dance Moms, an adult did the choreography.  In Cuties, the theme of the movie is little girls with no guidance from adults (about anything really, but including sex, the internet, making friends, and difficult situations with their families) and how kids don't really make the best decisions on their own?  The kids are inventing their own dances with movies they learned from watching inappropriate stuff they shouldn't have been watching (because nobody was guiding them).  It didn't feel like it was celebrating the crotch shots.  I'm not going to be upset if Netflix pulls it, but I don't feel like it was above the pale either.  

Except it isn't a documentary--an adult DID do the choreography for Cuties. An adult coached those crotch shots. An adult filmed them. For other adults to watch.

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I have not seen the movie, just the trailer linked in this thread. IMO, this is the result in a culture that praised a 50-year-old woman pole dancing in a thong for Superbowl and Shakira wrapping ropes around her wrists while dancing sexily. They were praised for “looking good”, especially JLo, “Still f***able at 50!”. I was one of those prudish people who were very uncomfortable with that p@rn-related performance at an event known to be a huge trafficking event. (Even though it seems crazy to recall arguing about Superbowl shows just 8 months ago...)

Anyway...just my two cents. As a nation, we have said we “celebrate” sexually evocative performance and “we” have tolerated that appalling Toddlers in Teiras so...this is what we get. 

I think boycotting Netflix because of it is stupid and probably has more to do with trying to crash their stock price than anything else. 

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That the director and all the powers of the entertainment industry behind this film thought a GREAT way to raise awareness about sexual exploitation of girls is to—literally—sexually exploit girls says a lot about how messed up our culture is. 

If someone wanted to raise awareness about animal torture and made a movie that included scenes of animals actually being tortured, (not clips from elsewhere, not simulations, but actual torture of animals planned and executed for the film), Hollywood would rightly be aghast. But this? A shrug and a mocking smirk toward objectors. 
 

 

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56 minutes ago, Hyacinth said:

That the director and all the powers of the entertainment industry behind this film thought a GREAT way to raise awareness about sexual exploitation of girls is to—literally—sexually exploit girls says a lot about how messed up our culture is. 

If someone wanted to raise awareness about animal torture and made a movie that included scenes of animals actually being tortured, (not clips from elsewhere, not simulations, but actual torture of animals planned and executed for the film), Hollywood would rightly be aghast. But this? A shrug and a mocking smirk toward objectors. 
 

 

Or teen suicide by showing the act like they did in 13 Reasons Why? 

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I feel like there's two conversations going on here: one about the experiences of the characters in the film and what that experience says about our society -- and one about the making of the film, including the use of real tween girls who are really acting out the scenes depicted, and what that says about our society. 

It's a really interesting display of the phenomenon Scott Adams calls "two movies, one screen." I wonder what THAT says about our society? 🤨

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1 hour ago, happi duck said:

I vote it was a cousin.  (Mom says on the phone "your nephew set up the bedroom".  I'm assuming to the dad.)

Yes, you are right!! I realized this too late but didn't have time to post again earlier. Thank you! 🙂 

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2 hours ago, Hyacinth said:

If someone wanted to raise awareness about animal torture and made a movie that included scenes of animals actually being tortured, (not clips from elsewhere, not simulations, but actual torture of animals planned and executed for the film), Hollywood would rightly be aghast. But this? A shrug and a mocking smirk toward objectors. 

This is a very good point. Well said.

I do believe some objections are more valid than others.

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I agree that the children who acted in the film were exploited and asked to do things that *I* find inappropriate.  What I am arguing is that they were not MORE exploited than kids doing other things we have decided as a society that we are okay with.  Kids who are in dance recitals and things like Toddlers in Tiaras and stuff like that.  I can totally see being opposed to this movie on that basis.  It just seems hypocritical to do so while also putting your 7 or 8 year old in competition dance with performances like other people have posted.  

And yeah....I've taught at schools with very high percentage of at-risk kids, so maybe a different set of 11 year olds than other people have.  I mean, I haven't seen any watching porn under a veil, but the kinds of dances they came up with in the film?  

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13 hours ago, Terabith said:

I'm saying that while I don't like 11 year olds twerking, and I refused to put my child in dance classes that did it, I have been to a lot of dance recitals that had 11 year olds twerking and doing other things that felt very sexually suggestive to me.  So while I don't like it, it doesn't seem outside what our society has collectively decided is appropriate for 11 year olds.  

My ninth grader's dance class in public school consisted of a LOT of twerking.  Again, I don't like it, but it feels like that ship has sailed.  

 

13 hours ago, Corraleno said:

Personally I find that kind of dancing in young kids really gross, but I think it's been really common for a while. I've been to lots of sports competitions in the last 7 or 8 years where there happened to be dance competitions in the same hotel/convention center, and there were lots of little girls running around in skimpy outfits and gobs of makeup. And I've seen little kids dancing that way on mainstream TV shows like America's Got Talent, Dance Moms, various shows about child beauty pageants, etc., which most Americans seemed to have watched without much complaint.  The current outrage over Cuties is definitely linked to the QAnon/#savethechildren thing, and was greatly exacerbated by a very suggestive poster/promo thing that was supposedly very different from the actual content of the film.

 

13 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Hypocrisy is the word I think you're looking for.

Of course, standards of what's "too much" also change through time. LOL, when the waltz was invented it was a shocking and daring dance, just the sort of thing to do if you wanted to make the old folks mad, because you spent so much time pressed right up against your partner - the same partner the whole time, no less! How perfectly vulgar and sinful! For that matter, conservative commenters of the day loved sniffing about the foxtrot - why, I never heard it called that before! And here they are in full view of everybody!

But there are standards, I know, and this might actually violate current standards of decency for young children. I doubt it really is as bad as it's being made out to be, because things usually aren't. But I guess I have to be wrong one of these days.



I'm highlighting these comments to highlight the issue I find problematic and that is this: We have reduced morality to a subjective matter.  It has become: (shrug) "Well, if it's societally acceptable, than I guess I'll roll with it."

I have zero understanding what in the world this show has to do with the LGBQT community.  It seems more like the producer, director, writers, or broader Hollywood community has increasingly approved and advocated the sexualization of children and it's abhorrent.

Reject it.  It is wrong to accept that our society sexualizes children.  CHILDREN! These kids are 11.  This is part of accountability and maybe we *should* be more verbal about this, thus asking our friends, "Don't you find your coach's choice of dress unacceptable?" Most often, if you ask, then YES, they do, and more likely, so do other parents!  But it generally takes one person saying, "I don't like this," for others to take a stand.

So often it doesn't take a lot of people making bad choices. It takes one enigmatic person to lead the others who are willing to just not make a wave.  It is people's natures to go along with a group.  We do not have to accept the degradation of society.

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1 minute ago, Terabith said:

And yeah....I've taught at schools with very high percentage of at-risk kids, so maybe a different set of 11 year olds than other people have.  I mean, I haven't seen any watching porn under a veil, but the kinds of dances they came up with in the film?  

I grew up in an idyllic small town with smart, polite friends who all had good families. We still looked at a pilfered Playgirl magazine and read the stories to each other and acted out things with Barbies and gleefully sang pop songs with dirty lyrics, all when we were in middle school. Not unusual at all in my experience.

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Exploiting and sexualizing children so that you can make a statement about the exploitation and sexualization of children doesn't strike me as particularly altruistic or award-worthy.

As far as the dance classes, inappropriate costumes and dances may have become the norm. But, if so, it's because people/parents have gone along with it for what I'm sure are a variety of reasons. If enough people started saying "enough" and refused to pay for costumes, routines, and competitions they believed promoted the wrong things for their children, wouldn't the market (which still wants to make money) respond and offer alternatives?

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15 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I agree that the children who acted in the film were exploited and asked to do things that *I* find inappropriate.  What I am arguing is that they were not MORE exploited than kids doing other things we have decided as a society that we are okay with.  Kids who are in dance recitals and things like Toddlers in Tiaras and stuff like that.  I can totally see being opposed to this movie on that basis.  It just seems hypocritical to do so while also putting your 7 or 8 year old in competition dance with performances like other people have posted.  

And yeah....I've taught at schools with very high percentage of at-risk kids, so maybe a different set of 11 year olds than other people have.  I mean, I haven't seen any watching porn under a veil, but the kinds of dances they came up with in the film?  

So because they were not more exploited, that makes it OK? Isn't "whataboutism" something people on this board often condemn?

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12 hours ago, Terabith said:

I honestly don't agree about young people and children having seen so much sexual content.  The families I know, their young children don't have cell phones and aren't seeing sexual content, but the choreography of the five year old girls at dance classes are highly sexualized.  Like, dance class is their introduction to sexual content?  

This is why we did not continue "dance" classes after 1 class at a local studio...  the moves would be considered mild by what's been described above, but I could see where it was all headed by the teenage years. 

I have no problem calling out what I believe to be inappropriate sexualization of children when I see it.  We aren't going to take part in any of that.  If you (general you) have a niggling feeling with an activity your children are in -- whatever type, don't downplay it or minimize it.  Speak up or withdraw, but protect them and make your beliefs clear to them.  

I guess I had been naiive about what goes on at even small town studios...we don't watch TV, so I probably wasn't as "informed" as the average American our there on the "world of dance".

13 hours ago, Fifiruth said:

The dance world is just not something I’m familiar with. It sounds like it’s terribly sexualized, too. What is wrong with parents? 

I am not aware of the "dance world", nor am I interested in it.  It seems like this "world" probably has a spectrum.  I do think there's a value for society in productions like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and other classical ballets.

We've supported our children taking ballet at a different studio that does classical dance.  At this studio, there is:

- a clear curriculum, all spelled out

- classy dress code (down to the acceptable colors of tights, shoes, leotards, hairstyle) that is required for each and every class

- professional, adult teachers

- high expectations for attitude, treatment of fellow dancers, care of the facility

- a general attitude of respect, good work ethic...goodness and beauty

Most importantly, I discussed my moral viewpoints and expectations (as in, no sexual or suggestive content) with the director prior to our children enrollment.  Director is upstanding in the community, classy, and a great role model for youth.  

Just my .02 because when you post comments like this, you need to know that you are describing some studios out there, not all dance classes.  It's certainly possible to find high-quality, classy, classical, beautiful, dance classes that don't degrade humans.

(This post is an aside, and probably written to parents out there looking for an alternative to mainstream culture for their children interested in dance.  I'm not trying to derail the thread, but I think some of these distinctions should be made vs making sweeping assumptions about dance classes / the dance world.)

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12 minutes ago, Valley Girl said:

So because they were not more exploited, that makes it OK? Isn't "whataboutism" something people on this board often condemn?

Honestly, it seems like a shade of gray to me.  It feels exploitative to me, and I wouldn't allow my kids to participate in it, but I'm just confused about why this movie is getting all the attention?  I'm not saying it's okay; I'm just genuinely confused.  

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42 minutes ago, Valley Girl said:

So because they were not more exploited, that makes it OK? Isn't "whataboutism" something people on this board often condemn?

Right.

And movements for change have to start somewhere.

Do we say of the protests sparked by George Floyd's death "but people didn't come out in thousands to protest x and y and z police killing" so protesting now is not valid?

Are there some people behaving hypocritically? Sure. There always are. And frankly almost all humans live lives with aspects of hypocrisy. I deplore conditions on poultry farms but I'm not up in arms demanding folks boycott egg companies--nor am I even boycotting them myself. I deplore the realities of working conditions in the factories that make many products I buy yet I still buy the products.

I give my own hens a free-range life, I enroll my children in activities that do not sexually objectify them, I try to treat people around me with kindness and respect. I put time and resources towards some causes at times when I think my efforts will most likely have an impact.

But I let a lot of things go. I can't protest everything that is wrong all the time nor can I fight for everything I perceive as right. 

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7 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Honestly, it seems like a shade of gray to me.  It feels exploitative to me, and I wouldn't allow my kids to participate in it, but I'm just confused about why this movie is getting all the attention?  I'm not saying it's okay; I'm just genuinely confused.  

I don't think it should matter why. What matters is that...finally!...maybe a line has been crossed that is waking large numbers of people up to a serious social problem. We've recently had massive protests in the streets because a line was finally crossed that worked up enough people to demand change. God willing, the crossing of THIS line will ignite much-needed change and social reflection, too.

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5 minutes ago, maize said:

Right.

And movements for change have to start somewhere.

Do we say of the protests sparked by George Floyd's death "but people didn't come out in thousands to protest x and y and z police killing" so protesting now is not valid?

Are there some people behaving hypocritically? Sure. There always are. And frankly almost all humans live lives with aspects of hypocrisy. I deplore conditions on poultry farms but I'm not up in arms demanding folks boycott egg companies--nor am I even boycotting them myself. I deplore the realities of working conditions in the factories that make many products I buy yet I still by the products.

I give my own hens a free-range life, I enroll my children in activities that do not sexually objectify them, I try to treat people around me with kindness and respect. I put time and resources towards some causes at times when I think my efforts will most likely have an impact.

But I let a lot of things go. I can't protest everything that is wrong all the time not can I fight for everything I perceive as right. 

I replied before seeing your post. May I just say I agree?

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14 hours ago, Corraleno said:

For comparison, here is a clip of a dance troupe that won their category at a dance competition. The freeze frame in the link doesn't begin to show the extent of the sexuality in this dance (including twerking). These girls are EIGHT years old. Personally I think it's incredibly inappropriate, and I would never have let my DD dance like this at 8 (or 13 for that matter), but the sad fact is that this is very very mainstream in the competitive dance world. This is what wins competitions. 

 

 

My oldest was a competitive dancer for 18 years (from 4 years old until graduating high school, then 4 years in college).  And that is over the top and way more inappropriate than anything I saw in all those years (we even did StarPower competition).   I definitely saw some questionable things, but nothing that went that far.   

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So I don't have Netflix (cancelled over my issues with their content) and won't be seeing this. Have seen maybe 5 seconds of the trailer then decided I was out. Basing my thoughts off of this thread and a few descriptions/synopses I've read around the internet. 

So, regardless of what the movie was trying to do, it sounds only partially successful. Because yes, while it did start a conversation and put a highlight on the hyper-sexualization of children and dance, it missed the mark in two ways from what the director said was the intention.

1) it made it about children doing this on their own, when dance competitions are adult-led and choreographed, so it is shifting the blame onto the children, and not what adults are doing to children. If this was supposed to be a "horrified" reaction about dance competitions, make it about the guilty parties of dance competition choreographers and judges, not about the children's wanting to please/be liked by those around them.

2) it's NORMALIZING this type of behavior for tweens to an adult's perspective. We are saying "well, these issues are very common and normal things for kids to struggle with" and then accepting this type of dance as something that, even if it isn't preferable, it's okay because the child is "exploring their identity." This isn't about exploring an identity, it's about figuring out how to objectify oneself and do what is pleasing to others to get attention. We are normalizing this even more into our society's mind. How many people a few years from now will say, after seeing a kid do something hyper-sexualized, "Well remember that movie a few years back, this is pretty normal for kids to do at this age." It's not normal (or shouldn't be) for children to be watching porn, choosing clothing to reveal their bodies, and basing dances off stripper moves; these should be red flags about the child's environment, not "just their age". Just because children want to be adults doesn't mean that adults should be okay with or tolerate certain behaviors being imitated, or thinking that children understand those behaviors past "being grown up". Linking this to my first point and back to the supposed criticism of the dance world, It's normalizing the exploitation of children for adult gain, because we can now say, "well, but children do this type of thing on their own even without a choreographer".

 

eta to change a sentence, having trouble explaining myself.

Edited by Moonhawk
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There is an interview available that goes into how they handled the filming with the actresses involved.   They evidently did a lot to make sure the girls were okay and comfortable with the process.   I haven't seen the movie so I don't really want to say anything more until I do. 

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40 minutes ago, vonbon said:

 

…  I do think there's a value for society in productions like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and other classical ballets.

We've supported our children taking ballet at a different studio that does classical dance.  At this studio, there is:

- a clear curriculum, all spelled out

- classy dress code (down to the acceptable colors of tights, shoes, leotards, hairstyle) that is required for each and every class

- professional, adult teachers

- high expectations for attitude, treatment of fellow dancers, care of the facility

- a general attitude of respect, good work ethic...goodness and beauty

I just wanted to support this perspective. My younger daughter has been heavily involved in dance since she was a little girl. She attends a true classical dance school, which teaches jazz, modern and contemporary, but with its biggest focus on ballet. In all her years there (she's a senior this year), she has never been taught the style of dance often taught at competition type schools. Research would show that true versions of these styles of dance do not involve any of this. Her classes in jazz, modern and contemporary were never taught this way. In fact, modern dance can sound as if she were being taught a lot of "modern" movements, but her teacher is a true Martha Graham instructor and this style is nothing at all like what one might perceive it to be. Her school did offer hip-hop sometimes (something she has never been interested in learning), but even these classes were about hip-hop dance and not about sexualized movements.

I just wanted to share this, so that those who are unfamiliar with the dance world do not think that they are all alike. Definitely do your homework to be sure that the school teaches dance within your family values, but know that dance schools have a multitude of goals and purposes. We also have a local Christian dance school as well as an assortment of competition dance schools. And just to be fair, many of the competition schools also focus more on dance quality than showmanship and sexualized movements. My daughter just happens to have no interest in learning dance in order to compete. 

 

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14 hours ago, WoolC said:

 

This twitter thread contains several of the clips with scenes I mentioned above.  I hate to post it because it really is disturbing to watch.

https://twitter.com/GhostJim4/status/1303771909356650496?s=19

 

Some of those clips were shocking and I didn’t go into this on the “cancel Netflix” bandwagon. 

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17 minutes ago, Kfamily said:

I just wanted to support this perspective. My younger daughter has been heavily involved in dance since she was a little girl. She attends a true classical dance school, which teaches jazz, modern and contemporary, but with its biggest focus on ballet. In all her years there (she's a senior this year), she has never been taught the style of dance often taught at competition type schools. Research would show that true versions of these styles of dance do not involve any of this. Her classes in jazz, modern and contemporary were never taught this way. In fact, modern dance can sound as if she were being taught a lot of "modern" movements, but her teacher is a true Martha Graham instructor and this style is nothing at all like what one might perceive it to be. Her school did offer hip-hop sometimes (something she has never been interested in learning), but even these classes were about hip-hop dance and not about sexualized movements.

I just wanted to share this, so that those who are unfamiliar with the dance world do not think that they are all alike. Definitely do your homework to be sure that the school teaches dance within your family values, but know that dance schools have a multitude of goals and purposes. We also have a local Christian dance school as well as an assortment of competition dance schools. And just to be fair, many of the competition schools also focus more on dance quality than showmanship and sexualized movements. My daughter just happens to have no interest in learning dance in order to compete. 

 

Dd danced at a studio that had a specifically stated value of not sexualizing in dress, choreography, or song choice. The quality of the program didn’t suffer one bit. 

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14 hours ago, Frances said:

But it seems like it would have been better then to make it as a documentary, filming something that is already happening. It does seem worse to me to make a film where young actresses are being instructed to act this way for the sake of the film. I mean it is all bad, but this does seem worse to me.

Exactly

4 hours ago, maize said:

Except it isn't a documentary--an adult DID do the choreography for Cuties. An adult coached those crotch shots. An adult filmed them. For other adults to watch.

This

4 hours ago, Quill said:

I have not seen the movie, just the trailer linked in this thread. IMO, this is the result in a culture that praised a 50-year-old woman pole dancing in a thong for Superbowl and Shakira wrapping ropes around her wrists while dancing sexily. They were praised for “looking good”, especially JLo, “Still f***able at 50!”. I was one of those prudish people who were very uncomfortable with that p@rn-related performance at an event known to be a huge trafficking event. (Even though it seems crazy to recall arguing about Superbowl shows just 8 months ago...)

 

Yup. It's just another part of the spectrum.

4 hours ago, Hyacinth said:

That the director and all the powers of the entertainment industry behind this film thought a GREAT way to raise awareness about sexual exploitation of girls is to—literally—sexually exploit girls says a lot about how messed up our culture is. 

 

 

Exactly. 

And I'm not okay with how girls dance in competitions either. I've seen just the staged photos from "picture day" that highschool friends post of their daughters and I was nauseated. I felt dirty seeing the photos. It was basically child porn. And that was just the still photos!

So not okay with that, and not okay with coaching actresses who are underage to do things like that. Even if they don't knwo what they are doing at the time of the film, they will someday. And look back and realize that they were being sexually exploited. That can't feel good or be healthy. 

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1 hour ago, Valley Girl said:

I don't think it should matter why. What matters is that...finally!...maybe a line has been crossed that is waking large numbers of people up to a serious social problem. We've recently had massive protests in the streets because a line was finally crossed that worked up enough people to demand change. God willing, the crossing of THIS line will ignite much-needed change and social reflection, too.

I do hope the conversation in broader society will move beyond this particular film and to things like inappropriate dance costumes and choreography, child beauty pageants, clothing, etc. But I’m not very hopeful that it will because I think there are other agendas out there driving much of the criticism of this film. 

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Sadly, I think the timing for this is very poor.

While all these people are going on social media talking about how they've just cancelled netflix, they're also going on about how the dance industry is an exploitive mess for children and parents should take better care than expose their kids to such garbage.

Today.  While the dance and arts industry has been literally shut down since March.  Businesses are folding left and right and no one knows how the arts community is going to survive.  I have one child in college who wants nothing more than to teach dance and I wonder if there will be dance studios for her to teach at in two years! I have a son in high school who wants to dance professionally- will those opportunities still be there for him?! He already has a difficult road being a male dancer for so many reasons.  

I really appreciate those who have watched the movie and shared what it's about- I just wish they'd figured out a different vehicle to present the subject matter than the world of dance.  The industry is on a precipice right now and I fear that the outrage may tip things in the wrong direction.  

We will not be cancelling Netflix.  I won't be watching the movie, it's not the type of thing I would watch in the first place. But I am going to spend some time not on social media for a few days so I can stop seeing so many people bragging about how they're cancelling Netflix and that they think parents who let their kids participate in competition dance are scum.  Nice.

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1 hour ago, Where's Toto? said:

There is an interview available that goes into how they handled the filming with the actresses involved.   They evidently did a lot to make sure the girls were okay and comfortable with the process.   I haven't seen the movie so I don't really want to say anything more until I do. 

That is called grooming in any other context. 

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5 minutes ago, EmseB said:

That is called grooming in any other context. 

Seriously. “Here honey. Rub your vagina like this  You're okay, right? You’re doing great. Now put your finger in your mouth and pretend to suck on it while you stare into the camera. You’re comfortable, right? This is going to be a great movie because of you.”

People would be outraged to find out some random man persuaded these girls to do these things for his own pleasure. But in service of a movie it’s okay? To be defended and applauded? Please. 
 

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1 hour ago, Where's Toto? said:

There is an interview available that goes into how they handled the filming with the actresses involved.   They evidently did a lot to make sure the girls were okay and comfortable with the process.   I haven't seen the movie so I don't really want to say anything more until I do. 

 

Sitting down with a child and explaining them how to dance provocatively, suck on their fingers, frame their vagina for the camera, etc and then talking to them about how they feel and that it's all okay because it's for a good reason is textbook grooming.  This is the exact thing abusers do.  "It's just this little thing.  It will make me happy.  See, nothing bad happened.  How do you feel?  Doesn't that make you feel good that you made me happy?"  Just because a director, psychologist or parent is the one saying it doesn't make it any less grooming and child exploitation than the sex offender down the street that everyone imagines as some creepy old guy.  Because most abusers are in fact people who put themselves in positions of trust.

This movie DID normalize this for these girls.  Making this movie had them doing all of these actions and told them it was okay if it was for a good reason.

 

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47 minutes ago, Lady Marmalade said:

Sadly, I think the timing for this is very poor.

While all these people are going on social media talking about how they've just cancelled netflix, they're also going on about how the dance industry is an exploitive mess for children and parents should take better care than expose their kids to such garbage.

Today.  While the dance and arts industry has been literally shut down since March.  Businesses are folding left and right and no one knows how the arts community is going to survive.  I have one child in college who wants nothing more than to teach dance and I wonder if there will be dance studios for her to teach at in two years! I have a son in high school who wants to dance professionally- will those opportunities still be there for him?! He already has a difficult road being a male dancer for so many reasons.  

I really appreciate those who have watched the movie and shared what it's about- I just wish they'd figured out a different vehicle to present the subject matter than the world of dance.  The industry is on a precipice right now and I fear that the outrage may tip things in the wrong direction.  

We will not be cancelling Netflix.  I won't be watching the movie, it's not the type of thing I would watch in the first place. But I am going to spend some time not on social media for a few days so I can stop seeing so many people bragging about how they're cancelling Netflix and that they think parents who let their kids participate in competition dance are scum.  Nice.

I hope things work out for your DD. Really. Talented teachers are needed. Lots of businesses are struggling right now though and may not be around when the dust settles. If the outrage causes parents to demand a change in how things are done or if it forces dance studios or the people who run the competitions in question to have to rethink how they do things when they eventually reopen,  that's a win. I keep going back to the other protests. Businesses are being affected by that, too. Does that mean the timing is poor there are well? (I'm not expecting you to say "yes" to that. Just pointing out that ALL of these things affect individuals.)

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I agree with those who call it grooming, though it’s stretching the term. Even though they aren’t trying to set the girls up for future sexual acts to meet their own sexual needs, they are setting the girls up to act in sexual ways for their own artistic needs. They might not be sexual needs, but they are needs nonetheless that aren’t in the girls’ best interest.

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