cuties

Cuties

Is the new Netflix movie Cuties, hypersexualising little girls? Cuties is a new French movie is due for release by Netflix on the 9th of September 2020. The movie tells the tale of 11-year-old Amy Youssouf, as she struggles to find her place in life. At home, Amy has to please her mother, a Muslim from Senegal, but she’s drawn to a group of friends who have their own dance troupe.

“Oh My God , what am I seeing?”

Maimouna Doucouré, is the award winning director of Cuties. In June said, “Cuties” partly came to her after she attended an event in Paris. She watched a group of 11-year-olds performing a highly sexualized dance. “I was so shocked,” she said. “For me, it was just, ‘Oh my God. What am I seeing?’” Many of the children’s parents, who were also watching the show, wore traditional religious dress, she added, and the culture shock fascinated her.

Movie Backlash

The movie has a Mature or over 17 year old rating. The release of the movie in French cinemas on the 18th of August, drew little by way of criticism. However, the proposed release of the movie on Netflix has received a backlash among children’s advocates. Many of whom are particularly critical of the promotional campaign for Cuties.

Sexualisation of young Girls

As a result Netflix has changed the promotional image for Cuties, after it was accused of sexualizing the young girls featured in the movie. “We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Cuties,’” a spokeswoman for Netflix said. “It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”

cities hypersexualisation

Designed to Shock

Regardless of the updated promotional posters, parents are still horrified that this movie is still set for release on Netflix on the 9th of September 2020. One movie critic Fionnuala Halligan of Screen Daily said, “The sight of twerking preteen bodies is explicitly designed to shock mature audiences into a contemplation of today’s destruction of innocence,”. However she added that the film ultimately failed because it tried too hard to provoke censure.

It keeps becoming more extreme

We can’t continue to close our eyes to the hyper-sexualisation of children online, or through more traditional forms of media. However, the content in this movie can be seen on TV shows such as, America or Brittan’s Got Talent every week. Each passing year the level of sexualized dance becomes more extreme than the year previous. This has led many commentators to shout for an end to children being sexually objectified or performing like strippers. This is not appropriate, nor is it childhood dance.

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Mary Bawden

Without doubt, many parents are saying that there is a scary trend happening in children’s dance. Mary Bawden, the founder of Soul to Sole Choreography and DA:NCE (Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited) has some expert knowledge in this area. She is a passionate advocate for the protection of young children.

Negative dance move patterns

In an article published in 2019, Mary explained what she describes as sexualisation or objectification in dance movement. “The APA (American Psychological Association) report identifies several key components to unhealthy sexuality. These components set it apart from healthy sexuality. When their criteria is applied to dance studio choreography, it’s important to identify negative dance movement patterns.

These include booty pops, lip-licking, finger licking/sucking, breast or groin stroking, patting or pointing towards breast or genitalia, crotch-grabbing, obscene gestures, suggestive grinding, and seductive props and looks.

Is this movie appropriate?

All of these negative dance movements for children feature highly in Cuties. So the question that we need to address must be, is this content appropriate? Should it be hosted by Netflix. Many say no. There is a global campaign to have the launch of the movie online prevented. The National Centre on Sexual Exploitation has launched this initiative. They make a very important point in their argument.

“A sexualized image should never be the price for mainstream success in media, and it certainly shouldn’t be spreading so low as to affect 11 year old children in the process”. Outside of this concern, there is the issue of depicting children of colour in such a stereotypical, dehumanising and sexualised way.

No benefit to child advocates

Netflix has claimed that Cuties will raise awareness about this issue. Yet it has offered nothing by way of suggesting that any income raised through Cuties would be given to child and female advocates. If anything, release of the movie will only be another step forward in the continued objectification and sexualisation of children.

Judge for yourself

We would like to invite you to consider whether the release of Cuties on Netflix on the 9th of September is appropriate or not. If you believe it’s not then, please add your name to the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation petition. Become part of the global campaign to protect young women and children.

The trailer on YouTube has received almost 1 million Dislikes. You can view the trailer here to see for yourself, what has caused upset to so many people all over the world.

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Add your voice to prevent the movie release

Become part of the global movement of parents to prevent the release of Cuties on Netflix on the 9th of September 2020. Add your voice to this very worthwhile cause.

 

 

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