Earlier last week, a video came out of what were allegedly seven year old girls bumping and grinding in tiny costumes to Beyonce’s Single Ladies. It took place at a dance competition and while the moves were impressive, the fact that little girls were wearing lingerie-type outfits and gyrating their hips was disturbing. A lot of people wondered what the hell their parents were thinking and how they could allow this.
It turns out that the girls were eight and nine, slightly older than we heard, and that at least two of their parents think it’s our fault for watching the video in the first place, and that the outfits and dance moves are fine. Two parents were interviewed on Good Morning America and they said that they never meant for the video to go viral and that it was never supposed to be viewed by large audiences. The girls were doing what they needed to do to win the competition, and the costumes were designed for “maximum movement,” one mother explained:
Decked out in red midriff-baring tops and hot pants, dancers at a recent competition earned whoops and praise for their skilled moves and obvious talent.
Parents say video was taken out of context and wasn’t intended to go viral.
But what was an exhilarating performance has turned into an Internet firestorm — the dancers gyrating on a Los Angeles stage to Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” were as young as 8.
The girls’ parents defended their daughters’ performance at the World of Dance, billed as the largest U.S. urban dance competition, saying their daughters’ moves and outfits were appropriate for competition.
“This is taken completely out of context,” Cory Miller, father of one of the girls, told “Good Morning America” today. “The girls weren’t meant to be viewed by millions of people.”
Miller said they have tried to slow the spread of the video, but viewers need to understand that the girls’ performance was “completely normal for dancing.”
“On behalf of the parents, our best interest is for the kids,” he said. “Just know that the kids are doing something that they completely love to do. They compete in dance competitions … in front of family and friends.”
Melissa Presch, a mother of one of the 8-year-old dancers, said, “We’re very proud of our daughters and their accomplishments…”
Presch said her daughter has never seen Beyonce’s video, only the cartoon performance in the recently released children’s movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.”
“It’s one of the most popular songs probably of the decade, said Presch . “The costumes are designed for movement, unrestricted movement and to show body lines.”
Presch also defended the girl’s costumes, saying that judges need to be able to see the girl’s movement and technical skills.
These parents have no clue that there’s anything wrong with the way their daughters were dancing. They weren’t even defensive about it and were just kind of matter of fact, like “you just don’t understand.” Maybe the international attention this video has received will be a wakeup call to them, and to a lot of other parents who are putting their children in sexualized costumes and situations. As many of you pointed out, this is all too common in child competitions like dancing and pageants. It’s not that outsiders don’t understand, it’s that insiders have created a situation that is unacceptable and exploitive. They need some oversight that has obviously been sorely lacking.