Thursday, April 28, 2011

Question of the Day

Today's question is inspired by a piece I recently saw on competitive cheer teams for girls 10 and under.

What do you think about little girls in pageants or little girls on competitive cheer or dance teams who are dressing in things like booty shorts, midriff tops and wearing tons of make-up?

Do you think it is something that helps them in life? As in confidence or teamwork? Or do you think in some cases it's parents pushing little girls to grow up too soon?

As I know this can be a sensitive subject with strong opinions, please respect your fellow commenters!


J.L.S. said...

I personally cannot imagine, but Scott's little sister did competitive cheer for years (she is taking some time off right now... more like, Scott's mom is taking some time off). I also have a little second cousin who does competitive cheer. Both started well under the age of 10. And in both cases, it's the girls who want to do it and the moms who just support them. Scott's mom is very laid back and was a tomboy growing up. She has a diva of a child and she just supports her.

I really think it is a case by case thing, but I could see where some cases would be the parents pushing.

Emily's Going Nuts said...

Not too long ago, I watched a video of this tween dance team dressed up like Beyonce in her Single Ladies video and dancing to that song... these little girls were shaking their booties like adults. I was impressed because they were really good, but I was also completely horrified. When I danced competitvely as a kid, we didn't dress up like adults and shake it like 20-something party girls. My mom never would've let me dress/dance like that.

If I ever have a little girl, I wouldn't let her do the booty shorts, midriff tops and makeup thing. Girls like makeup and dress up, but I don't think pageants and cheer teams at such a young age are necessarily good for confidence.

And this picture you posted of that little girl is really creepy. :(

Mrs.B said...

I was on an All-Star Competition team in High School and I swear we were more dressed then half the little girls there.
Personally, I wouldn't allow my daughter to be on a team that has uniforms that don't even cover her butt.

Amanda said...

I think the makeup, slutty outfits and the pressure many parents put on their children is absolutely DISGUSTING.
BUT I think natural pageants and competitive cheer CAN be a great oppurtunity for the kids if they have loving and supportive parents, NO or natural makeup (depending on the age), and modest dress.

Amy Young said...

I think there is a good and bad side to this! The only reason why I say good is because I grew up with a girl that went through all the padgents etc... and she is very confident and well spoken with great manners. On the bad side, I do think it makes the lil girls think they have to have make-up and the fancy clothes to be beautiful... :/

Lisa said...

I think the competitions themselves are a great thing to build confidence and manners.

The clothes are unnecessary and part of the reason we have such an issue with over sexualized teens. I mean, Abercrombie was selling a push up bra marketed at 7 year olds! (They revised it and it's now 12, but c'mon!)

I think it's gross, and not cute to see booty shorts or worse on little kids.

Anonymous said...

The competition and team work is good to build a child up but I don't find it acceptable to dress them or allow them dress up as hoochies or wear scantily clad clothing.

Dana said...

It's' just wrong. Let them be children. There is plenty of time for competition and make up and butt shaking and the like later, for God's sake. Little girls need to play, play, play. They need to socialize and dress up in play clothes and shoot baskets and bake cookies and ride bikes and watch Tom and Jerry. This hyper-competitive culture coupled with the sexualization of little girls makes me sick.

Well, you asked ....

Doris said...

Having a little girl myself. I don't think i would personally feel comfortable letting my daughter dance and booty shake in scantily clad clothing.

But I grew up cheering and in dance classes and recitals and I plan on signing my daughter up for classes when she is old enough and letting her try out everything from contact sports/to dance and let her decide if she likes it or doesn't.

I felt the same like another commenter did about those tweens dancing to beyonce..kind of amazed at their coordination and moves but then horrified at the look of their costumes/makeup/ dance moves and song choice as a whole probably not the most appropriate.

after watching that pageant show on TLC..I don't think i would ever enter my child in a Pageant. Probably not even the natural kind. lol but that is just me.

Caitlin said...

What scares me about a lot of these kids (the ones you see on TV anyway) is how insane their parents are. Often the parents say outright hurtful or abusive things (I heard one mom say to a 4-year-old, "well just stop being so ugly!"). Also I watched one episode where one of the little girls was clearly headed straight for psycho-town. She was furious if something wasn't "perfect" and always got her way.

So I think it definitely depends on the parents and the kids, but I don't think I would ever let my little girl do it.

JG said...

I think there is a HUGE difference between pageants and cheer/dance! I mean, I'm not going to go so far as to call cheer a sport, but if it wasn't for my dance classes as a kid, I would have gotten no physical activity at all. Running or playing "real" sports like softball or soccer didn't interest me in the slightest, but being involved in cheer/dance as kids can give girls a good way to develop healthy levels of fitness. As with all things, common sense and moderation, but guess what? That's easy to do and in 99% of cases that's what happens. It's the few nutjobs that make it on TV shows.

Alicia Nicole Lovett said...

I really like this question, it's a good one. I believe that both of these can be taken way too far, and that is for any age group. I am a dancer, and I also did cheerleading when I was in school, but we never did any kind of dancing that was considered too "raunchy". I've definitely seen little girls dance in a less than tasteful manner and yes, it's absolutely sickening. I don't think that all dance or cheer teams for younger girls are terrible, unless they are teaching that being sexual at such a young age is okay. It's not, and I feel like with this, it's teaching our youth that you have to be a promiscuous person to be acknowledged or successful. That is so not true. Now, pageants just freak me out…especially when they are so young. It's brainwashing to me, and the little girls usually seem to grow up to be self-centered and extremely "snotty". :/