Cute or Disturbing?

That’s a young girl dancing to Beyonce’s Single Ladies song, a viral video circulating with people talking about how cute the whole thing is (the original video did not contain the side-by-side view with the music video).  Here are the lyrics.

She could grow up to be a rocket scientist, I suppose, but I fear for our collective future on so many levels. Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong and you let your 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-year-old watch MTV for its valuable dance lessons.


25 Responses to “Cute or Disturbing?”

  1. mapsgirl says:

    Sorry…no MTV here. Or Much Music for that matter (we’re in Canada).

    Initially, yes, it is cute. Cute little girl dancing.

    Do I think she should have watched it enough to know all those moves and want to wear a similar outfit? Um..NO!

    Sure there have been times when watching a music channel on TV that something not-so-child-friendly has come on, but my 4-year-old has not copied the moves of a 1/2 naked woman.

    December 19th, 2008 at 4:20 am

  2. Kathleen says:

    Do I think it’s right for 4 year olds to watch MTV…No way. However, I also think that it is possible that she is destined to be a dancer and that should be encouraged. Not every person is going to grow up to be a rocket scientist or doctor no matter how much they are influenced at an early age.

    December 19th, 2008 at 6:44 am

  3. Molly says:

    Surprise surprise a little girl dancing. Disturbing? No.

    People said the same thing about Madonna’s influence on little girls when I was a child. We were all going to be floosies destined to flaunt our bodies and never use our brains. I LOVED Madonna. dressed like her, listened to her music, danced like her… I have a 1 college degree and 2 master’s degrees and have a professional career. I hardly think I was ruined by the music.

    December 19th, 2008 at 6:57 am

  4. thordora says:

    My daughter does weird little dances all the time that are….disturbing to me, but she never watches any music channels…she just likes to dance.

    The choreography creeps me out regardless who is doing it.

    December 19th, 2008 at 8:17 am

  5. Pippin says:

    I think it’s pretty disturbing. My little girl (19 mos) LISTENS to music all the time and “sings”.

    I guess letting her watch Tom Petty concert DVD’s (which she watches for about 5 minutes), or letting her listen to Tom Waits might not be the best thing, but she does listen to a lot of Hot Peas and Butter (thanks for the CD, Thinga), and Dan Zanes too. Plus, hubby and I play many instruments between us, and we play every day for her.

    The little amount of TV my child watches does not include MTV or any other half-naked girls shaking their assests. If she had an interest in dancing, then we would choose other ways to encourage that instead of Beyonce videos. Something about a baby girl shaking her hair around, not to mention her bottom, just really really bothers me.

    December 19th, 2008 at 8:46 am

  6. Pippin says:

    I would also like to add, there’s something even MORE disturbing about filming your child dancing like that and putting it on the internet.

    Just sayin’….

    December 19th, 2008 at 8:51 am

  7. molly says:

    I think dancing is a wonderful way for kids to learn coordination, muscle memory and to have fun. This post has got me thinking though because I love to dance to hip hop music but I do not condone the lifestyle that many of the lyrics promote (not specifically Beyonce, just the genre in general). I encourage my kids to dance and often dance with them and use what I consider age appropriate music (no swearing, no violence, etc.)

    I agree with the comment that I would not film my daughter, but I don’t want to be too judgmental either because everyone has a different way of making parenthood work.

    December 19th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

  8. Jennifer says:

    I guess the dancing is harmless in one’s own home, but there are just too many weirdos out there. I wouldn’t want to put my children on the Internet for millions of people to see.

    December 20th, 2008 at 7:55 am

  9. Susan says:

    I agree with Molly. When my sister and I were about the same age as this little girl, we didn’t even have MTV, but we somehow saw Madonna on TV and would always try to dance “sexy” like her. We just loved her and looked up to her for her music. We are the least whorish of any of our friends! How about….all you people stop being so prudish and paranoid and just make sure you (especially FATHERS) pay attention to your child and let them know what is acceptable behavior, so they don’t do things (when they are old enough) to try to fill a VOID using only their bodies to attract men.

    Also, for GOD SAKES! Beyonce could look much more whorish…and she NEVER does. The kid is wearing a onesie that fits her. DIdnt any of you ever take ballet classes?? They wear the same thing.

    Also, the hip hop (lowercase) molly is referring to is not REAL hip hop. She is speaking of RAP and BS HIP HOP where they only talk about HOES, MONEY and killing people. Unfortunately these are the songs your kids will grow up hearing because they are just dance-y which helps it make it to mainstream radio. Real hip hop is unfortunately not dance-y enough to be mainstream, and the real hip hop MCs are the ones with a real message. I also remember knowing all the lyrics to mainstream dance-y hip hop songs at a very young age….and they were HORRIBLE lyrics that degraded women, but i certainly don’t condone that now as an adult. But, when i think about those lyrics now and how my sis and I would go around singing them, i think its kinda funny…mainly because we didnt know exactly what the artists meant by them, but our parents did a good job by not letting us know exactly what they meant.

    If you think the little girl imitating Beyonce is disturbing, i think you need to get your head checked. You shouldnt be looking at this little girl as a potential whore/sex symbol. She is just a little girl who likes to dance and is darn good at it.

    December 20th, 2008 at 10:38 am

  10. A Father says:

    This may come down to the definition of a whore, but when a woman dances somewhat scantily clad and sings about how a guy should have married her if he truly enjoyed her body for sex, yeah, I’d call that whorish. Others might call it a mainstream ideal, but it’s one of the last things I’d ever show a young child. If your child watches such stuff, rest assured my kids would never visit your home again.

    December 20th, 2008 at 10:52 am

  11. Susan says:

    To “A Father”: I agree about the lyrics. The song is STUPID, but the little girl doesn’t even comprehend what Beyonce is singing! TRUST ME. She just wants to dance because she feels the music.

    There is also something to be said for fathers who are too over protective. I’m not saying you in particular ARE, but I went to an all girl catholic school and saw this constantly. If you shelter your kids, or don’t let them have any freedom or room to learn from their mistakes (that they will make because they are only HUMAN), they WILL rebel. We all want to do what we are not supposed to by nature…especially KIDS (teens). Talking to your kids and just simply giving them plenty of healthy attention is the best way to go. I have an AWESOME father who was somewhat protective, but he still let me make mistakes. I am not and have never been anything remotely close to a whore and its because my father made me realize exactly what I’m worth. There are some home videos or me dancing similar to this child, but its just because since i was a child music has really touched my life.

    December 20th, 2008 at 11:13 am

  12. A Father says:

    How far have we fallen as a society when criticizing the exhibiting of teen/adult media to toddlers brings up notions of being overly protective? My kids watch Dora, not Beyonce or Madonna. There is such a thing as providing age-appropriate entertainment.

    You shouldn’t expose young minds to adult ideas precisely because they won’t comprehended them a full and proper manner. Spend one day in a daycare and you’ll get an earful of adult language, ideas and physical acts that the children voice and/or attempt to act out. Where do they get this stuff? From their parents who are not protective in the least.

    If your kid wants to dance, Beyonce should not even be a consideration. MTV is not the only outlet for dance material, especially for this age range.

    December 20th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  13. Miss X says:

    Cute and disturbing. Especially when she slapped her bum – so inappropriate.

    I hope this kid gets dance lessons soon b/c she clearly enjoys it and it’s great exercise.

    It’s possible this kid has older siblings, in which case it’s likely she’s getting exposed to more mature tv, attitudes, clothing, etc.

    December 21st, 2008 at 4:59 pm

  14. Marcy says:

    Some moments that were a bit mature. And although she isnt old enough to understand why its inappropriate, she will be soon enough and parents should consider that as she gets older.
    We listen to a lot of popular music like that but not so much music video watching.
    The girl SHOULD be enrolled in a dance class though for sure!

    December 21st, 2008 at 7:51 pm

  15. Patti says:

    *shrug* Eh. I agree with bits and pieces of folks, including the “I don’t like parts because I’m an adult and know the overall effect is inappropriate and I feel uggy see a little kid doing it” reactions.

    But… I think it’s great she’s so good at muscle memory and mimicry and coordination and rhythm and joyful expression. I take it for what it is.. a little girl having fun and feeling good at being able to execute a task — a task which is in the end HARMLESS — like a big person. My final reaction, even taking into account my bits of uggy, is to let it be what it is and move on about it.

    I don’t see a need to ascribe any higher meaning to it, nor the fact that her parents decided to share. What does my approval or condemnation mean, anyway? Yup, about that much.

    December 29th, 2008 at 7:49 am

  16. grendel says:

    @A Father
    Being shocked by how violent, foul mouthed and sexual children are is nothing new.

    Playing Cowboys and Indians? Cops and Robbers? D&D? Kids have acted out violent scenes for as long as there have been kids. If things were so bad, the world would be getting more violent, not less. The US has gotten significantly safer in the last 15 years. For that matter, there are a lot fewer teen pregnancies now than there were 15 years ago.

    IMO, my job as a parent is to help my son understand the world in a healthy way. That involves neither feeding him too much childish crap that makes the world look like unicorns and rainbows, nor tons of adult material. However, either is ok UNDER SUPERVISION. Y’know, having the old “this is a movie, not real life…please don’t stab your brother in the neck” conversation.

    Once you say your kid can’t see violence or sex, you’re pretty much ruling out Opera, the Blues, Film Noir, 95% of classic literature and most of your local art museum.

    December 29th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

  17. teb says:

    i used to do this stuff when i was a little girl, too. so i don’t think it’s disturbing.

    to an adult, they look like sexualized dance moves, but to a child, they are just having fun bopping around to the music and exercising.

    December 29th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

  18. Joe says:

    Yes that is disturbing. Beyonce sucks and nobody should watch her.
    But seriously, get over yourselves and your own insecurities. She likes the song and obviously has some talent. She should be put in dance class, and you should put yourself in therapy for your own issues of shame and repression.

    December 29th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

  19. Heather says:

    Three things that are disturbing about this video:

    1) The woman (most likely her mother) says ‘Go’ at the beginning which means this was planned, she was encouraging her to dance like this, and she intended on putting this video on YouTube (where millions of people can watch her daughter dancing provocatively – including pedophiles). It’s not like the little girl just so happened to come across this MTV video, and keep rewinding it over and over to learn the dance moves.

    2) The unattended baby in the background.

    3) All of the beer bottles on the table next to the couch.

    Taking these factors into consideration, it just doesn’t seem like the harmless video that people are making it out to be.

    December 29th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

  20. Queenie says:

    I’m sorry, but seeing a two year old smack herself on the derriere is neither cute nor should it be given any positive reinforcement whatsoever.

    She’s obviously a bright little girl (I don’t have nearly the coordination that she does), but if I were anywhere near that child’s family, I would smack her mother upside of her idiotic head and tell her to go teach that little girl to read.

    Parents seriously need to stop letting the TV babysit their children. Cute? Psh. Cute, nothing. Tell me that’s cute in fourteen years when she gets knocked up.

    December 29th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

  21. Sly says:

    Interesting. People thinks it’s cute. I wonder what pedophiles think of it?

    December 29th, 2008 at 6:49 pm

  22. Upton says:

    I agree to save it for the home collection to embarrass her when she grows up and not publish it for the world, but there are a lot more videos out there that she could be watching and imitating that are a worst influence than Beyonce’s music video.

    December 30th, 2008 at 6:39 am

  23. Mommy says:

    I think it’s a little odd to put a video up like that of your child. I personaly wouldn’t there’s a lot of freaks out there. But on the dancing note I don’t see it as that big a deal she doesn’t know the moves by heart if you really stop and pay attention to both sides the little girl is about 5 seconds off she’s just copying what she sees. Monkey see monkey do. I agree with Upton there are a lot worse things she can be watching on tv now a days. I mean come on even Disney movies has their own little wtf sebliminal stuff in it that we never knew about until we got older. (i.e. like in Aladin where Aladin clearly says to Jasmine “Take off your clothes”)

    December 30th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

  24. stezton says:

    I think it’s more horrifying that someone would listen to that slop called “music”.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 8:33 am

  25. Anna says:

    Hm, honestly, I don’t know. The basic idea of it, a little girl dancing, isn’t disturbing, but the fact that she’s watched that video enough to know the moves is a bit disturbing.

    Still, I think people are overreacting. I highly doubt this is going to cause this little girl to grow up to be a whore.

    April 19th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

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