This weekend I witnessed something that may actually scar me for life. I went to a birthday party for a five year old who has an older and a younger sister, so there were little girls and boys there raging in age from a few years old to ten or eleven years old. The party was fun and I stayed late into the night visiting with my friend who is the mother of the birthday girl. A sleepover was being held that night, so we all piled in the living room and dragged a mattress in for all the little kids to sleep on – and incidentally jump on – and put the television on one of those stations way at the end of the channels that plays just music; no videos or anything. The channel the kids wanted was of course the pop music channel and so they all danced around and shouted out the wrong lyrics to a bunch of top 40 songs. Two of the girls had taken ballet for a bit and whirled and twirled like ballerinas to every song that came on whether it was a Bruno Mars love song or an Eminem rap song and two of the older girls were taking hip-hop classes and busted out some of their moves. All in all, we were having a pretty good time, laughing and singing and dancing. Then...
One little girl, whom I found out is in 2nd grade, which means she is six or possibly seven years old, had not had any dance lessons and was apparently not content with jumping around and making up her own moves. My friend had gone into the kitchen to make some food and I was left alone with all eight kids. So, this little girl ran up to me with her little freckled face beaming at me and her eyes shining and her soft little hair pulled up in a pony-tail and said “Hey watch me! Watch me!”. I said okay and I watched. This tiny child was in a purple t-shirt and hot pink tight shorts; the shorts were made like leggings, only they were short. This child proceeds to spread her legs, touch her fingertips to the floor, stick her tiny butt up in the air and, lets face it, her ooh-hoo all exposed and starts twerking. I was shocked. It was the most repulsive and heartbreaking thing I have ever witnessed. For those of you who don't know what twirking is, it's what Miley Cyrus did at the Grammys that grossed everyone out. It is a dance that looks like you are having sex from behind, as the twirking is usually done with your ooh-hoo mashed up against a man's pelvis and you bounce and grind. My mouth just hung open for a second as I watched this little bitty child bend over and bounce her butt up and down as fast as it would go so it would jiggle. Then she varied her dance by bringing her fingertips up from the floor to about waist high, still bent over twirking for dear life. My stomach actually rolled. I have no idea who's child this was or even what her name was, but I had to tell her she had to stop doing that. I wanted to put her in time out and take away her MTV privileges, but not having any idea who she is, it might be hard to enforce that.
Then after I swallowed the little bit I had thrown up in my mouth, I looked at her and she looked so hurt that I refused to watch her anymore. She kept running in front of me doing this and I would deliberately look at one of the other kids and pretend this child was invisible. I felt mean. I could just tell she was one of those kids that didn't get a lot of attention. You know how you can just kind of tell? They try too hard or something. She desperately wanted to impress me and the other kids, she needed that attention and I just couldn't watch what she was doing. I couldn't have been more sickened if I had been watching this six year old have sex. I know this is a graphic blog today and not particularly funny. I had started out trying to make it funny, but I find that I can't joke about how inappropriate this was.
You know, I didn't care when Miley Cyrus did it. She wasn't the only one, no one said a word about Robin Thicke who is married and has a kid; the female was the one called nasty names of course. But her career and all the people who work for her, agents, assistants, make-up artists, wardrobe designers, stage crew, everyone, depends on Miley getting publicity. Well, that is just what she did. She was talked about for days and days afterward and still gets made fun of and has jokes written about her on every on-line forum I've been on. Good for her. She is a grown woman who must stand out from a million other pop singers and she did it. She's no more vulgar than Madonna or Cher or Jennifer Lopez or any of the other women who have to use their bodies to sell their music. I don't hold her responsible for being a role model for anybody. I made sure I was the role model for my own kids and turned the television off when someone was doing something I didn't want my kids copying.
So my question is, who are the parents of this child? She's supposed to be innocent and playing with Barbies and Legos right now; not imitating rear-entry sex! She was so hungry for attention that she grabbed onto the first grown-up that looked like they might pay her some and did anything she could think of to earn praise and compliments like the other girls. And no child ever has made up that dance. Not the way she was doing it. You'd have thought she had taken twirking lessons or something. Obviously she is seeing these music videos and imitating what she witnesses. I guess if there is a moral to this story it is this: Please, parents, pay attention to what your kid is watching. My kids didn't have TVs in their own rooms until last year. My son bought it with his own money and he is going to be sixteen this month. So, clearly a child in the wild can survive up to 15 years without having a television in their room with unlimited access to shows. Put one TV in the living room and monitor what those six year old eyeballs are seeing. You'd be surprised.