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Little Girls: Put A Leotard On It

I've been following the dust-up in the news about the 7 year-olds dancing to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" during a dance competition clothed in, well, "costumes," to put it politely. First, everyone was disgusted at the inappropriate clothing and too-adult dance moves. Then, the dance moms fired back and, with an assist from Whoopi Goldberg on "The View," took viewers to task to question themselves if they saw something that was inappropriate -- this was a dance competition, after all, so if they read more into it, well, shame on them.

Hmmm. So, in the interest of trying to inform myself, I viewed the video on YouTube as well as Beyonce's video for "Single Ladies." I think the little girls' dance moves were better than Beyonce's -- I don't think Beyonce can do a pirouette. But I don't think this was age-appropriate dancing for girls their age.

Therein lies the problem. Little girls shouldn't be dancing like grown women, or dressing like them for that matter, even in a dance competition. Here's why, or at least one man's take on this.

I spoke to a trusted male friend of mine, Trevor, who just shook his head when discussing the video of the little girls dancing. Trevor is absolutely certain that the choreographer of the girls' dance had to be a woman. No man, especially a man with daughters, would have allowed his little girls to dress and dance in that matter, in his opinion.

Now, what I'm going to paraphrase from Trevor's remarks is controversial, so don't blame the messenger.

"Women don't understand how men think, otherwise they wouldn't let their daughters dress and act in certain ways." Trevor went on to state that men are "hard wired" to think sexually and are visual beings. "A normal guy can look at those little girls and take a step back, remember they're little girls, and treat them accordingly. The problem is that a lot of guys aren't normal. For them, if you act like a grown and sexy woman, they're going to treat you like a grown and sexy woman -- like an equally sexual being. And that's okay if you're a grown woman and you make that choice knowing there's a chance that someone will treat you in that manner. Little girls don't understand that and don't understand the consequences of dressing and acting in a sexually suggestive manner. That's why parents have to step in and draw the boundaries for what's age appropriate for their young girls." Trevor's concern was for how those little girls might be treated off the dance floor for what they did on the dance floor.

Now, Trevor isn't one of those guys who think that women "deserve what they get" when the dress and act in a sexually suggestive manner. He believes that ""no" means "no"." But, he cautions, "That's the way it should be. That's not the way it always is. And grown women understand that and understand the risk they take when they dress and act in a sexually suggestive manner. It's unfair to little girls to make them think that dancing in that manner is just "dancing" and is without consequences. It's unfair to sexualize them without them being able to understand the consequences."

So there you have it. One guy's opinion.

Quite frankly, I thought the girls could have demonstrated their excellent dance abilities in a dance that was age-appropriate. And, if you compare what they were wearing -- bikini tops, short shorts, and knee-high stockings -- to what Beyonce wore in her video -- a one-sleeved leotard and panty hose -- it's Beyonce who actually looks more like she's dressed like a dancer. And more modest, too.

Maybe I'm just getting old. I thought little girls still danced in leotards.

And therein lies the problem. They should.

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