Babies in bikinis; sexy 7-year-olds dancing to ‘Single Ladies’: Which of these is age-appropriate or neither?

Yesterday morning I ran across a blog asking if babies in bikinis were cute or icky? Strollerderby found the original conversation on Café Mom where the moms were pretty evenly divided on the topic. Here’s a sample of the conversation.

From Strollerderby:

“What’s interesting to me is how the debate is framed from such vastly different perspectives. For some moms, it’s an issue of modesty and for others, it’s a question of the sexualization of girls. A few moms expressed concern about sexual predators, and others said that bikinis should be reserved for grown-up women.”

“The majority of moms who weighed in seemed to think it was “no big deal,” but several voiced strong opposition.

“ ‘The point of the bikini being created was to show off as much body as possible including boobs and butt, hips, etc… the parts men find sexy. Bikinis are lingerie that have been accepted to be worn in public. Why would anyone put publicly accepted sex attire on a child?’ wrote one mom.”

I sort of chuckled at the discussion. I don’t really have a problem with a baby in a bikini as long it isn’t a thong or have padded cups – a la the bikini marketed to tweens with padded cups.

I usually get my girls tankinis – which cover a little bit more than a true bikini – because it’s just so much easier to go to the bathroom (or change a swim diaper) in a two-piece suit.

But I digress.

Later in the day I ran across another blog with something a bit more shocking than the babies in bikinis.

The Huffington Post picked up a You Tube video of girls identified as  7-year-olds not only dressed scantily but dancing fairly suggestively to Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies.”

Now they are good dancers. I am amazed by their dancing.

However, I don’t think that some of the moves they are doing (some of the straight legs bends or should/chest shaking) were really appropriate dance moves for their age. Especially not in red and black “bikini” tops and hot pants.

So what do you think about the video? Is there a line crossed here? Could this be made right if they weren’t dancing as suggestively or they had on more clothes?

What do you think about the babies in bikinis? Anything wrong going on there?

An AJC reporter is seeking parents who own a drop-sided crib for a story. See this blog for more details.

235 comments Add your comment

Andre

May 13th, 2010
9:12 am

This is horrible, the fathers are probably there, but they’re spineless. I’m sure they wanted to say something, but they weren’t allowed. I really hate seeing this, maybe I would be more understanding if they were from another country and that’s apart of their culture, but I doubt it. I really hate when I see videos like this on Youtube, especially with little boys doing it as well. That’s just horrible.

Dancemom47

May 13th, 2010
9:14 am

If you don’t like dance costumes or bikinis on small children, then don’t let your daughters wear them. That is your choice. But who are any of you to try to push your ideas on other parents, or to judge them for their choices? If you spent more time on your own issues, and less time judging other people, the world would be a better place.

TechMom

May 13th, 2010
9:16 am

I think you are simply getting a glance into the average routines for dancers. The girls like to dance to today’s music but the problem is that the choreographers and teachers think it’s OK to make them dance and look like today’s pop stars as well. I like Beyonce but do 7-year olds need to dress and dance like her? Nope. And to further the issue, the parents (mostly moms) won’t say anything about it for fear of looking like a prude instead of trying to protect their daughters.

cat

May 13th, 2010
9:16 am

This disturbs me. They are very talented dancers. the outfit with the thigh highs, NOT good. The ass shaking and some other moves, NOT good. I am sure tons of sex predators will love this. Keep in mind Im very open minded, could care less how somebody dances (when older) what they where or what they do with there body….again this is very very disturbing.

Wounded Warrior

May 13th, 2010
9:18 am

As a mom of 2 girls, no way!!!!! They did wear bikinis when they were babies. They don’t listen to that type of music and certainly don’t dance like that in public.

Did anyone else think of John Bennee Ramsey? Just very creepy. Miley Cyrus with her pole dancing last summer, and recently the video of the birds’ nest…girls watch her.

Wonder how many of these girls will be prego in 10 years??? Just add a pole to their routine…very sad situation.

RJ

May 13th, 2010
9:25 am

JJ

May 13th, 2010
9:31 am

Absolutely DISGUSTING!!!! Sluts in Training.

But what do you expect? Look at what we are constantly bombarded with that is now mainstream. Look at any music video. It’s all about sex. Always has been, always will be.

It’s up to us as parents to guide our kids into adulthood. To guide them to make reasonable decisions, and to realize those decisions have consequences.

I don’t know one single father in my vast diverse group of friends who would allow their 7 year old to dance like this. But then again, I run with a moral crowd who actually parent their kids..

JO

May 13th, 2010
9:33 am

Very sad that their parents would think this is ok. I felt embarrassed for the parents and very sad that these girls are being raised like this. The parents are just acting for trouble.

momofone

May 13th, 2010
9:37 am

I agree the majority of the posters–the costume and dance moves were terribly inappropriate. My daughter took a dance class when she was four and, even then, I felt like many of the performances at the annual recital of all the classes (ages 3-9) seemed inappropriate. While I’ve known people who studied ballet through their teens, and always thought it was beautiful, graceful and took great strength and flexibilty, what I’ve observed through the class my daughter took as well as some that friend’s kids have taken is that there’s too much focus on the looks and the “pageantry” of it. The little girls are being taught to “look pretty” and dance suggestively, at times, and it’s only training them to value themselves by their looks. It was odd to me, that none of the other parents seemed to have a problem with it though.

I was happy my daughter had no interest in continuing her dance classes.

TechMom

May 13th, 2010
9:43 am

@Wounded Warrior – go check your daughters’ iPods. Too many parents want to say my kid doesn’t do this or that or listen to this or that but the likelihood is that they do (that song has been played on the radio about a bazillion times since it came out so even if it isn’t on their iPods, they probably still know every word). There is nothing inappropriate about the song – quite frankly I like the song and the meaning of it.

And I don’t think all these girls will end up pregnant, prostitutes or strippers in 10 years but what it does do is that it puts such an emphasis on their physical attributes that it shadows their intellectual ones and possibly distorts their values.

DanceMom47- take off your ‘dance-colored glasses’ and look at this routine and tell me that you don’t think these little girls are trying to look like 20-somethings? Our society constantly pushes kids to look, act and be older than they are but mentally & emotionally they aren’t. These girls likely see nothing wrong, sexual or lewd about this act because they have been taught it by adults, encouraged by adults and applauded by adults. But how many adults look at these girls as sexual objects because they’re made to look like them rather than little girls? Could these girls have put on a routine, even to this same song, that wasn’t quite as provocative? Could they have worn costumes that were more age appropriate? But what would it have taken for that to happen? Likely several moms would have had to stand up together and protest and that simply won’t happen in a pack.

mm

May 13th, 2010
9:45 am

What are their parents thinking??? Are their mothers trying to project themselves on them. In other words, when the little girls are dancing in such a provacative way in their fringed hotpants and bras, do their mothers feel like THEY are the ones dancing? The moms are probably obese and could never dance or look like that. It’s sick! If you’ve ever seen the show about “toddlers and tiaras” you know what I’m talking about. Their moms start sexualizing them when they are babies.

T

May 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Teachers have noted that these days, in the schools, the sexual aggression is most often exhibited by the GIRLS, not the boys….and you wonder why?! I guess I could go either way with the bikinis on little girls at the beach, although if I had girls I would definitely go with a one piece, but this video was very disturbing. I would not want my 8 & 10 year old boys to watch these little girls dance in those outfits. I don’t see HOW Mothers could have condoned that. They are just robbing the little girls of their childhoods. Sad.

ATL

May 13th, 2010
9:51 am

I think this is just sad,whats wrong with these moms today.letting there little girls shake and move like that, I think this video is just awful and something IS WRONG WITH THERE MOTHERS.I hope the moms are making sure they stay up on there education. Thats why the Teachers At school CAN’T teach and the kids are not learning, but we as parents want to blame the world because we are not training our kids.

So MANY CHILDREN ARE SO DISRESPECTFUL, HAVE NO HOME TRAINING AND NO MANNERS. MOTHER THESE ARE STILL BABIES AND YOU HAVE LOST CONTROL ALREADY.

TT

May 13th, 2010
9:54 am

A&KMons – well said. I think bikinis were made to hold boobs. If you do not have them, there is no need for the bikini. I rather see a kind in a diaper than in a bikini. Bikinis is nothing more than adult clothes on little kids. I have seen so many 6-7 year olds in teen clothes – tiny skirts and “barely covering” tanktops. And i totally agree why manufacturers produce them – it is because mom’s buy them!

itamazesme

May 13th, 2010
9:57 am

WOW!!! I don’t think it is so much as an entertainer having a bad influence as it is wrong for a mom to allow her 7 yr old to be shaking her “IMAGINATION”. As the parents, they should have drawn the line on some of the moves. Talented group of young ladies, BUT they really needed to tone it down a little.

JJ

May 13th, 2010
9:58 am

TechMom – LOVE your last paragraph!!!!!

Fred (with a capitol "F")

May 13th, 2010
9:59 am

It is somewhat amusing reading all of the comments. I find with my girls that talking to them about why I feel the way I do about issues such as these works so much better than pontificating. The youngest and I had a very similar conversation recently about prom dresses and the pictures posted on AJC. There were some very pretty dresses that were totally age/location inappropriate, at least in my opinion. I have had the discussion with bit of my girls that my preacher did with the teen groups way back when. His point was that you always go forward in your relationship, never backwards. You hold hand this time, you expect to handle hands next time and maybe hug or kiss. Next time hug or kiss and so on, You don’t expect to kiss this time and not be allowed to next time. This is true of relationships and of growing up. You can always relax a little and do more but you can never go back and undo something. It is better to be more conservative growing up and ease into things. They both agree and have made great choices.

Wounded Warrior

May 13th, 2010
10:00 am

@Techmom–my girls don’t have ipods, and we listen to country, and christian rock.

ALC

May 13th, 2010
10:03 am

Ladies and gentlemen………… here’s a peak at part of the next generation of leaders!

CDW

May 13th, 2010
10:13 am

Wow. I’m NOT a parent and I found this video disturbing. Never mind the bikini question, there is so much going wrong here:
- 7 year-olds bumping and grinding
- The title of the video “little girls going hard…” sounds like a pedophilia-fest.
- The number of adults complicit in the making of this video: the parent(s) of each child, their dance teacher, the cheering crowd, etc.
- To their credit, the girls are talented dancers (some of those turns are highly advanced), but their facial expressions, while appropriate to the choreography, seems out of place on an elementary-aged child.

I just don’t think that “sexy” should be a target trait for anyone who hasn’t hit puberty and the age of consent.

@Dancemom47 – “judging” is what society, as a whole, does. It is one of the ways we determine what is acceptable. Different societies have different standards; as an example, in some parts of the world girls are routinely married at 10 or 12 years old, often to men 10, 20, 30 years older, with the full expectation of marital “duties”. In the US, we would find that a reprehensible and jail-able offense. I think the vast majority of the comments above are a clear indicator that at least a vocal segment of our society finds the “sexualization” of elementary-school children offensive and problematic.

Whether dressing your child in sexy attire or encouraging her to engage in behavior that is explicit or sexy will lead to promiscuity later remains to be seen (be sure to let us all know). But what can be reasonably predicted is that at some point she will encounter someone who will find her dress/behavior sexy, not cute. When she does, will she have the emotional maturity to understand and handle it appropriately? Probably not, if her sexually-charged activities start in SECOND GRADE.

In an era with studies reporting girls engaging in sexual conduct at remarkably early ages, including elementary-school girls reporting participating in oral sex, “sexting” reported at all ages, etc, it is not unreasonable for society to “judge” these behaviors as unacceptable and subsequently condemn activities that appear to have a causal relationship.

So cover ‘em up. Encourage little girls to be/act like the children that they are, not mini-adults.

JATL

May 13th, 2010
10:15 am

I think the babies in bikinis is ALL about the style and look of it. The baby “bikinis” I think are cute are more suitably termed “two-pieces” and have ruffles, gingham, big sunflowers -that kind of thing going on. There’s a little tummy showing, but the bottoms and tops are pretty big. There’s NOTHING sexy about it -it’s just cute.

I also have no problem with regular kids dancing along to Mom or Dad’s music at home or on the radio, but in a choreographed dance number wearing costumes that look like stripper attire -NO. The sexualizing of children through clothing and actions makes me SICK. There’s a certain group of parents out there that seem to think it’s SO CUTE to dress their daughters (doesn’t necessarily apply to sons so much) like they’re 21 and ready for a night of bar-hopping. While pedophiles and rapists have NO right to ever do the horrible things they do, I can’t help but wonder why certain parents want to display their children in “sexy” fashions? What’s the point? Why do you want your 5 year old daughter to look like a carbon copy of you? If they’re having a fit for it, let them look forward to something when they grow up! I wasn’t allowed to wear high heels as a kid. Fortunately back then, no one was designing or selling fashions for children that looked like slut-wear, but I certainly wouldn’t have been allowed to wear it! My parents weren’t strict -I wore shorts and two-pieces and started shaving my legs VERY early, but as far as wearing adult-looking clothes -NO. I looked forward to growing up and wearing the stuff I couldn’t wear then.

Voice of Reason #1

May 13th, 2010
10:15 am

Uh…Dancemom47(at 9:14AM)…read your post and all the others. Who is likely not seeing things objectively, maturely and in the best interest of their child and the greater good of society and respect for women? You, I expect, are part of the problem with our overly-permissive and over-sexualized society. It is NOT good/or PROPER for 7 year olds to be shaking their butts in such a manner. just because someone CAN do something (i.e., girls acting/dancing like young hoochies at 7 y.o.), doesn’t mean they should.

momofone

May 13th, 2010
10:17 am

I’m with JJ–Well said TechMom!

HM

May 13th, 2010
10:18 am

I am not a parent, but even I know that the costumes and dance moves were HIGHLY inappropriate for seven-year-olds to perform. I teach middle school and I see similar dances like this all the time and these kids are older, yet it still bothers me. We need to allow them to be children. I do not blame Beyonce for her song since she is an adult. However, I do blame parents for not watching what their kids are doing or listening to what music they’re listening to.

Donna

May 13th, 2010
10:37 am

If one of my sons (in their 40s) down loaded that video the cops would take him to jail. It’s not just a question of “where are the mothers?” It’s a question of “Where are the fathers?” If any mom is too naive to know what men think about when they see this kind of dancing, then the dads need to step up and say, “NO,way. Put your your clothes on!”

Ryan

May 13th, 2010
10:39 am

Forgive me for being judgemental but the parents of these girls are very bad people.

itamazesme

May 13th, 2010
10:45 am

@dance mom – i am not juding or pointing a finger – i stated my opinion….if you look at it – the moves are stripper moves – that is where THOSE type of dances come from. You have to understand in today’s society – we have sick individuals who prey on young ladies like this – to them this is sexy not cute. I had a problem when my daughter became a cheerleader for recreational football and some of the moves they were doing. I did something about it – I became a coach because I didn’t want a 8 year old moving like she was shaking her money maker. We had great dance moves without all the “dropping it like its hot” – the “scrubbing the ground” – the “rop down get your eagle ons” – those are some of the moves that these young girls performed – AND PLEASE DON’T ASK how i know – LOL

Helen Lovejoy

May 13th, 2010
10:53 am

Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!!!!!!

motherjanegoose

May 13th, 2010
10:54 am

Again, the issue is the value ( we as parents) place on things. If it is all about your body and how you can get others attracted ( to you) by what you wear and how you wiggle, then so be it. Just know that this message will stick with your daughter. SEEMS LIKE YOU ARE SAYING;
LOOK AT ME!

I was at a conference, in a hotel , last month. I stayed over night ( after the meeting) and the next day observed 2 other venues in the same hotel: a teen dance competition and a state girl scout meeting. To me, the contrast could not have been more obvious. The dancers acted like they owned the place and that everyone should be in awe ( even on the elevators). The girl scouts were humble and not strutting around in their costumes. They sported vests with patches that SHOULD have made folks realize they were investing in their community ( through service) and not asking others to invest their eyes on them.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and those girl scouts were far more beautiful, to me.

Michelle

May 13th, 2010
11:07 am

Well, I haven’t seen the video (it’s blocked at work), but from I can gather, I think I would shocked to see some of the dance moves! I think if the kids are talented enough to do difficult moves, GREAT…however, let them be age appropriate!

Parents today just want their kids to grow up so fast and be little “adults”. For goodness sake, let them be kids while they can! They have a lifetime of responsibility ahead of them! They shouldn’t be practicing moves they shouldn’t be using for YEARS to come! I think having boys seeing these moves just puts more ideas into their heads…and not the good kind either!

I am VERY thankful that I do not have girls! :o)

MJG-I was at a confernce in CA by Disney when they held their cheerleading competition! WOW…some of the girls and their behavior were totally inappropriate. I think they totally lacked any type of self modesty. They were all about “showing” it off!

Teenagers have such a self esteem issue anyway, why should we make them seem that appearance is the only thing to be judged upon? We are only teaching them that the superficial “stuff” is important. How do we expect them to be successful in life without knowing how to handle anything of substance (i.e. dating and date rape, morals, values in a relationship, saving money)?

Mea

May 13th, 2010
11:09 am

One word: Wrong. The costumes, the dance moves, the choice of music – and most especially, the cheering from the audience: wrong, wrong, wrong.

James

May 13th, 2010
11:11 am

Holy crap. I do not have children and I don’t really want them, but this is too much. If one of my friends let his daughter do this I would punch him in the face. The song is fine, the dancing is fine. The outfits are not. If you sit back from the screen a few feet you can’t tell if they are 7 years old or 27. I just know some perv is getting off on this; can these girls’ parents really feel ok with this whole thing? It crosses the line between art (if children dancing ever was) and sex, and that shouldn’t happen when you’re 7 years old.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 13th, 2010
11:20 am

Hear! Hear! Helen Lovejoy!! — an excellent reference!

Denise

May 13th, 2010
11:24 am

That video is worse than what I imagined. There is nothing close to “oh, they just thought it was a tough move” in the grinding to the floor. Horrible. At dress rehearsal, at the very latest, this -ish should have been stopped.

I know I’m going to get blasted for this by people who “know my daughters don’t act like that” but you do NOT know what your daughters dance like at school dances, proms, and at house parties unless you are there watching them 100% of the time. You may have taught them right from wrong but you never know, esp. in this day and age of hypersexualization of girls of any and every age. (Hell, there are low rider jeans for CHILDREN. WTH does a kid need with a low rise jean? Don’t get me started on the clothes and the pageants.) All I am saying is that you never know what your kids are doing when you’re not looking. Hopefully it’s just dancing.

FCM

May 13th, 2010
11:24 am

I have a no bikni rule in my house (8 & 10). (Mom’s should give up their bikini with the first baby no matter how fab their bod remains…but that is another subject).

I took flack from family who thought it was cute. Here is what I told them:

#1–set a child up on the path you wish them to follow. If I allow an itsy bitsy now how can I deny it when they are 15 – 18?

#2–have you seen the suits? Trampy!

#3–Tankini is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

Dancing to Single Ladies–well any “suggestive” dancing (keister sticking out etc) gets a stern warning from me. If it happens again, I turn off the tune. Again…setting them on the path. I do encourage them to put their hands in the air and bounce around to the song too. I want them to celebrate being ladies and know their is no stigma to being single.

motherjanegoose

May 13th, 2010
11:27 am

@ Michelle, yes…the attitudes of those girls you observed in Ca and the ones I saw at the conference I attended, we cultivated way before either of us stepped into the picture. Same as when I see children in restaurants who are throwing a fit…I say ( to my husband) ” this did not start today…”.

It was fun meeting you yesterday, even though I had to drive out to the boonies…LOL! New friends always add an interesting dimension to my life!

motherjanegoose

May 13th, 2010
11:28 am

FCM…keister…haha….I rarely hear that word…love it!

Danielle

May 13th, 2010
11:31 am

Not one of those girls are 7 years old!! Please stop saying that! I know the families of these girls personally and they are 9 years old! They are not in 1st grade! Im a dancer and have danced since I was 3 and these girls are amazing! They put that costume on for the 3 minutes they are on stage for their “performance” and then its off to a different costume for their next routine! They are wearing shorts for god sake! They practice in shorts and crop tops so its the same thing to them. They are innocent little girls who are just having fun and the people who are looking at it in a sexual way are the ones who need some counseling!!!

Steve

May 13th, 2010
11:32 am

WOW!!!!! What a bunch of babies people posting on here. These young girls are just having fun dancing. Its not meant to be sexy or anything. Its cute. I dont see anything wrong with it. Get over it.

jld

May 13th, 2010
11:43 am

As usual the sexually oppressed can only see it one way, while I see them as a group of kids that are talented and having some fun. Lighten up people—-at least they’re not doing it in the closet like some and you know who you are!!

DisgustingVideo

May 13th, 2010
11:47 am

Babies in bikinis are no where near as bad as the video above. Although the girls look cute, this type of dancing is highly inappropriate for young girls. The parents should be ashamed. Thank goodness I only have boys!

KoolAid House

May 13th, 2010
11:47 am

First, whoever said the child who wears the one piece bathing suit has something to look toward as they grow up in terms of wearing a bikini is RIGHT ON POINT.

For me, this routine was a bit too much. Techincally, the girls weren’t good in terms of being in sych. Other than that, the moves were to mature for 7 year olds. What reason on God’s Green Earth would a 7 year old need to thrust her pelvic like a woman gyrating on stage. Give me a freaking break. Shame on the choreographer and the parents for allowing this.

And, I’m no prude, but this routine and the dang outfits were RI.DI.CU.LOUS!#(*)#&(*@*&#e*

MJD

May 13th, 2010
11:48 am

That was disgusting !!!!!!!! I hope those parents are prepared for every pedophile who has You Tube to enjoy themselves over what those parents thought was talent.

HB

May 13th, 2010
11:49 am

Danielle, you consider those to be shorts?! At most, they are the equivalent of a boy short style bikini.

Meme

May 13th, 2010
11:50 am

I don’t think that this is much different from all the babies and toddlers that they dress up like 18 year-old and put in beauty contests.

JATL

May 13th, 2010
11:53 am

Those of you who think this is fine (I think there are 3 in 92), read the majority of the comments. @Danielle -parents who let 5 year olds, 7 year olds or 9 year olds dress and bump and grind have REAL issues. Perhaps you should seek counseling and consult some experts on this type of thing. It’s NOT okay! Of course if you’re trash and you’re raising your kids to be trashy and classless -then there’s our explanation. And believe me -I am NOT a prude, a religious person or even for censorship in most cases, but young girls in stripper outfits are disgusting -there’s no other way to spin it!

MKA

May 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

Danielle, you’re kidding…right?!!! As if there is a HUGE difference between 7 & 9. Either way, 9 is STILL pre-puberty and these “nine-year-olds” have no business doing this type of dance. They are super-talented, so they could have done a more age-appropriate dance and still excelled!

Cumming, Ga mom

May 13th, 2010
12:02 pm

Danielle,
You are a prime example of the kind of woman I was speaking of. You make excuses and act like the fact that they’re 9 instead of 7 makes such a HUGE difference – it doesn’t. Whether the little girls consider the dance moves/music sexy at this point is immaterial, though I’m quite sure they have a hint of the effect from the crowd reaction. Again, when they’re of age and want to hit the dance clubs and shake their stuff, go for it. I know I did! But as others have stated, those girls are showing off stripper moves, and their parents and elders are roaring with approval. Put lipstick on a pig…it’s still a pig.

A

May 13th, 2010
12:09 pm

I think this was inspired by the burlesque dance Olive did in “Little Miss Sunshine”. Just without the irony.