Eleven-year-old girls twerking, touching each other’s bottoms, watching pornography, and dancing erotically. When we heard that this was what the new Netflix movie Cuties was all about, we obviously had no desire to watch it or support the hypersexualized pedophilic film. However, as several other commentators have already declared, “We watched it so you don’t have to.”
After viewing the short clips that have been shared across social media in recent days, it seemed impossible to understand why many people, organizations, and businesses (including Netflix) have championed this movie. Our minds could not comprehend how anyone could support the pornification of young girls. Now the struggle between right and wrong is clear.
The Plot of ‘Cuties’
If you’re not familiar with the movie or its plot, Cuties (or Mignonnes as it was originally titled in France where it was produced) follows the story of a poor eleven-year-old Senegalese girl named Amy who has just moved into a new run-down apartment in Paris. She feels great oppression from her Muslim family and is therefore drawn to a group of rowdy girls her age who dress scantily, behave indecently, and dance together in an amateur dance group they’ve named The Cuties. Shy Amy feeds off her new-found freedom and becomes completely enthralled (maybe addicted?) with learning seductive poses, erotic dances, and purchasing sexy clothing that she is sure will draw the attention of the male gender.
Throughout the movie, these young girls: watch pornography and discuss oral sex, they force Amy to go into the boys’ bathroom to take a picture of a boy’s penis, they watch videos of erotic lesbian dancing, they lie to much older boys about their age saying they are 14 when they’re only 11, they offer to show their breasts to a boy they chat with online, they practice seductive poses, they twerk, they rub each other’s bottoms, they dance seductively to get out of trouble for two much older male security guards, etc. Amy steals money, steals a phone, tries to strip for her male cousin who is angry she stole his phone (thankfully, he stops her), and takes a picture of her private parts to post on social media to show her bullies that she’s a grown girl after they pantsed her, showing off her little girl underwear at school.
The Problem with ‘Cuties’
There are no words to adequately describe the brokenness and sadness one feels when watching these young girls spread their legs wide and place a single finger in their mouths in a pouty fashion while dancing provocatively at a local dance competition. This awkward and uncomfortable film forces viewers to look straight into a hell hole most of us would like to pretend doesn’t exist. MANY scenes depict this lewd and suggestive behavior from these girls, even though the purpose of this film was obviously to criticize the sexualization of young girls.
That’s the kicker.
This film condemns the sexualization of young girls by sexualizing young girls.
It denounces child pornography by displaying child pornography.
While the storyline itself is rich and complex (we understand why the writing has received awards), the child actors in this film have been exploited and we are not ok.
You and I may struggle to watch this film without averting our eyes, but pedophiles are ecstatic that this film is available to them for free without any fear of getting arrested. Don’t think for a moment that there aren’t thousands of depraved adults watching these little girls over and over.
And it’s not just perverted adults we need to worry about. If our children have access to Netflix, they have access to this film, as well. The media has hyped it up so much that there will be many young girls (and boys) that will be intrigued enough to watch this film. Preteen girls are not going to understand or embrace the overarching theme of this story which says young girls are exposed to too much hyper-sexualization. Instead, they are simply going to be exposed to hyper-sexualization.
The Verdict on ‘Cuties’
You can’t use violence to call for peace.
You can’t use evil to promote good.
You can’t use child pornography and exploitation to denounce child pornography and exploitation.
There’s nothing cute about it.
The Call to Action
It’s refreshing to see so many people raising up to speak out against Cuties (whether they’ve seen it or not), but the conversation shouldn’t end there. It’s hard to talk about this topic without sounding judge-y or critical. Yet, we can’t stay silent about this growing problem. Girls are becoming hyper-sexualized because the adults in their lives are allowing it. Most of the time they’re even funding it and flaunting it. Think about the images we post on social media of our daughters in costumes, uniforms, and every-day clothing that tries to make them look older than they are. Pictures of their pouty lips and flirtatious smiles attract the wrong attention.
It is not ok for young girls to be sexy. When we allow seductive clothing and makeup which makes our girls look older, we are increasing their likelihood of becoming victims. Provocative clothing and non-age-appropriate makeup attract the wrong kind of attention and lure in even more human trafficking groomers and pedophiles than are already watching them.
Did you catch that?
Our children are already being watched by people who want to do them harm. If our children have a device, there is a 100% chance that a trafficker has already targeted them. The way our girls dress ABSOLUTELY affects the kind of attention they receive and who they receive it from. Our children deserve better.
Let us be perfectly clear here: It is NEVER the victim’s fault if they are exploited, trafficked, assaulted, or abused in any way. Never. The blame falls entirely upon the one committing the crime. We only want to encourage parents to help their children minimize their risk of negative attention by dressing in a way that isn’t arousing and enticing to adults. We cannot stop the sick and perverted thoughts and actions of sexually deviant predators. We only have control over our own actions. It’s our responsibility to help our children understand the dangers from both the outside world and the negative self-image they develop when dressing provocatively.
Let’s protect our children. Let’s protect our daughters. Let’s teach them to appreciate the age they are and to embrace their beautiful bodies by showing self-respect and self-control. Telling them, “No, go change” is a great start but they need to hear more from us. They need to hear that their worth does not come from their clothing or from other people’s opinions of them. They need to hear that they deserve better than the kind of attention they attract in sexy clothing. They need to hear that women don’t need to shed their clothing to make it in this world and that girls don’t need to pretend to be women. They need to know WHY their clothing matters and why THEY matter.
They need to know they are valued, loved, and cherished by the safe people in their lives so they don’t go looking for affirmation from unsafe people.
Would you like to use your voice to see Cuties removed from Netflix? Sign the petition from Change.org: https://www.change.org/p/netflix-cancel-cuties-on-netflix?signed=true
By Heather Tabers & Tina Kadolph