Good job, Beyonce.

Unable to sleep, I decided to catch up on one of my favourite YouTube channels – The Young Turks. The following video shocked me. And the reaction by the two anchors – Cenk and Ana – shocked me equally.

Yeah.

Now – yes, they’re amazing dancers. I was amazed at their ability to so succinctly emulate Beyonce’s moves from Single Ladies. They were in synch, they were hitting all the moves and every single one of their moves was tight – nothing loose, nothing sloppy. They just hit it.

But.

They. Are. 7. Freaking. Years. Old.

Does that really not mean anything anymore? Cenk and Ana mention how while the dancing can be forgiven, the clothing is going too far. Why? Because it feeds into the fantasies of Pedobears all around the world.

I think they should have gone further. First of all – that dancing is not for a 7 year old. Opening your legs and thrusting your dare-not-be-mentioned area in a circular motion can never be innocent nor ‘cute.’ Not really the first word that comes to mind. Popping your teez back and forth while dropping it to the ground, like something out of a BET video, is also not ‘cute’ or ‘innocent.’

Nothing in that routine was ‘cute’ or ‘innocent.’ I find it so infuriarating that it could even half-jokingly be characterized as such. While I was watching the video, I completely forgot that I was watching 7 year olds (the whole reason I watched the video to begin with!) – their bodies may physically be 7 years old but those moves and those barely-there-outfits were completely resonant of a completely sexualized young woman. Through their clothing and their moves – they completely lost their innocence, in a sense, as children; they were sexualized – pedobear or no pedobear.

I’m so disturbed by this. So disturbed. There are so many points I could bring up but my frustration precedes me. It bothers me because we still continue to deny the negative effects of a hypersexualized pop culture is having on younger generations. The effect it’s been having on young girls is most apparent, with sexualization being defined as the following:

  • a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
  • a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
  • a person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
  • sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.

The above was taken from an executive summary of the work done by the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls: Click here. You can find the entire report here.

I think it’s sad that we don’t call this sort of cultural exploration what it is – exploitative and oppressive. Both for young girls and boys. These things only create hard-to-reverse psychological traumas and tendencies which reinforce gender and sexual stereotypes that persist in our culture. Young girls are being forced to objectify themeslves earlier – to be prettier, sexier, thinner, more attainable. And young boys are being forced to accept these characteristics as primarily, and sometimes solely, desirable (on top of the enforcement of power roles).

BLAH.

I do, however, want to learn these gyrating moves – seem to make for excellent leg and ab workout.

6 thoughts on “Good job, Beyonce.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Good job, Beyonce. « Aristotle's Lackey: Sana Saeed -- Topsy.com

  2. Yep Sana, but not only that, we can think about the effects on pedophilia if little girls are represented as women and sexually objectified ! This video makes me want to throw up

  3. Sana, interesting…My reaction was similar to the anchors’ – I found the clothing disturbing, the dancing less so…And here’s why:

    When I was 10 or 11, I was in a jazz dance class with a bunch of other girls my age. The dance moves weren’t Beyonce-provocative, but there were certainly hip movements.

    One day, during a school assembly with music, some of the girls and I were doing our dance moves. That night, the school nurse (who to this day I will call a meddling bitch), whose daughter was amongst the dancers, called my mother and told her that I was behaving too sexually at school. Pressed, she admitted that, although her daughter was doing the dance too, my body was more developed, thus my behavior was inappropriate.

    I can tell you that I had no idea, and that to this day, that woman did more to shame me about my body than anyone else. There’s certainly ickiness in teaching little girls that type of dancing, but my guess is that the little girls have no idea, and that, so long as Beyonce videos exist, little girls will emulate them. From my own experience, I tend to think that calling the girls out for being too sexy might do more harm than good.

    (That said, there is a difference between girls emulating the dance in their living rooms and doing it for a live audience; I don’t know how to differentiate)

  4. I think the moves matter a great deal – and I’m not blaming the young girls. At all. I’m blaming the choreographers and the other adults involved in this, who were unable to see how and why this sort of dance is inappropriate. Fact of the matter is, our mainstream sexual culture is becoming more and more based in pornography – just watch and compare music videos today compared to when you were a young kid/teenager. Heck, even when I was. Softcore porn is spread all over our screens and we’re not seeing how the lines are being blurred between the different arenas of sexuality (Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs is a great book that traces the ‘rise of raunch culture’ as the mainstream engagement with sexuality, in the United States).

    What i mean to say is – these girls are not at fault, in the least. They don’t see themselves as “Sexy” (although, mind you, sexiness IS being targeted now at younger and younger girls – check out the APA report) per se, but what they’re doing and what they are being forced-fed IS creating a young sexiness and is just, as I mention, upholding exploitative sexual roles.

    The difference between doing it in your living and doing it in front of an audience is exactly that – the audience. You control the audience that may be in your living room, if at all. You can’t control the audience at a dance/talent show. It’s about accessibility. If we want to make it an issue about predators – which it also is – then we have to recognize how accessible these girls are now (in terms of this video) to perverts out there.

  5. Pingback: Good Job, Beyonce. Aristotle’s Lackey: Sana Saeed – Astronomers Do It With Stars

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