Yes, I am referring to poles, the kind people dance with for a profession. No I am not personally prepping for a pole, but today’s theme of my blog is going to discuss my opinion on the mindless prepping of youngster to become professional pole dancers (not exactly, please read on).
OK, before you click off my page or dismiss this post as controversial or offensive I am not supporting the actual prepping of youngsters to be pole dancers, HOWEVER, I will be discussing my personal experience of looking into a dance studio for my 3-year-old.
Not too long ago I was running some errands with my toddler in tow. She is a fun little child, and any time we are out and about you can be sure she is singing or dancing if we are waiting in line. On this particular occasion I was filling forms out while standing in line when a strange woman (not weird just someone I didn’t know personally) approached me and made several comments about how beautiful my daughter was, how adorable and precious blah blah, “thank you”. After about 2 minutes of non-stop praising my daughter the woman let me know she owned a local dance studio and gave me a card and asked if I had ever though about enrolling my dear little beauty in dance class.
My first internal reaction is “hell to the no” because all I picture is crazy moms like the ones on Toddlers and Tiaras. But I quickly mind slapped myself because I know several people who have little girls in dance class and I know they are not crazy. So I smiled at the woman and said, “well I’ve thought about it but have not really looked into it, I think maybe gymnastics is more up our alley”. She told me I could call her cell phone directly (she kindly wrote it on my card) if I wanted a tour and free trial class. I thanked her and went on my merry little errand way.
When I got home I decided to take a little look-see at her studio. My first reaction “holy mother of Jesus, who lets their little girls dress like that!”. These little girls (10 and under) looked like miniature hookers, and that is being nice. They were sporting more make-up and less clothing then Victoria Secrets models. Some outfits were decent, but the majority had bare mid-sections, with bikini style bottoms, mini-skirts and sport bra coverage tops with accessory vests or behind-less pants showcasing the bikini style bottoms. When did this become acceptable for our young girls!!!!
Now before a dance mom starts in on me let me clarify my opinion here. I find nothing at all wrong with being in dance class. I find nothing wrong with cute little outfits for competitions. I don’t find anything wrong with the little ones slapping on some make-up to enhance their natural beauty (a little mascara and light lip gloss, maybe a little blush so they don’t look washed out under the lights). What I do have a problem with is the level of inappropriate attire and level of make-up applied for the age groups I saw from this ONE studio. These girls had so much make-up on they looked like little shrunken adults auditioning for a role as Tammy Faye Baker!
I wanted to know if all dance studios were like this, so I looked up several other dance studio’s in my area. To my relief there were several studios that did not share the level of inappropriateness (in my opinion) as the one I first looked into. A few outfits were on the edge for me and only a few, not all the little girls were plastered in make-up. Many outfits that “showed” skin area where actually covered in the flesh-colored material.
I also looked up different dance costume websites since I figured these outfits were purchased somewhere, maybe that’s the type of costumes selling now. Curtain Call, Wolff Fording and Weissman all had very cute acceptable outfits for youngsters. I did not find any controversial style costumes (for the young girls) on these three websites. I couldn’t help but question, with so many resources out there selling adorable outfits that don’t show off 80% skin….why would a dance studio pick out several outfits for little girls that were two piece skin show offs, and why would parents be ok with this type of outfit?
If we teach our daughters starting as toddlers that it’s acceptable to wear next to nothing in a dance competition, that they need to wear gobs of make-up to “look pretty” we are ruining their self-image of natural beauty. We are teaching them that it’s ok to act provocative and look sexy. If they act this way in a dance class and competition, what the hell makes parents think their daughter will not grow up thinking as a teen “I’m not attractive unless more skin is showing and more make-up applied. I’m not beautiful just as I am”. And we wonder why we have shows on TV like Teen Mom. We dress them like adults and have them act out sexy routines like adults….then little ones think that it’s normal and start acting like adults way to early in life.
Toddlers and young girls are beautiful just the way they are. Cute little dance outfits that cover their bellies and don’t show too much booty action, along with a little natural accent make-up should be all that’s required. Since I am not a dance mom, I’m not sure who is in charge of the outfit and make-up decisions. I do know one thing, if I enroll my daughter at a dance studio I will definitely give my two cents about the outfit choices and I will choose not to make-up my daughter to look like a future pole dancer!
(The picture used in this post came from a blip in Teen Vogue May 2010. The girls are 8-9….I think my point was made perfect with this picture)