So, I watched Cuties this morning while my children were visiting their Grandma. And I can’t un-see it.
But I gotta tell you, Bitches, that y’all need to calm the fuck down, but also not calm the fuck down.
Let me explain.
We should all be super pissed right now. At OURSELVES. At the media. At social media. At all the people who ever made it so that women and girls started thinking that their worth in this world comes from outward appearance, from letting people use their bodies, from allowing our daughters and friends and sisters to be exploited unwittingly for just about ever.
But after watching this film, every single person who is currently shitting their pants and screaming about pedophiles grooming us through this movie and child trafficking and the Obamas and some crap about pizza need to seriously give my life a fucking rest right now.
This movie is not the problem. Oh my god. They have it so backwards.
There are definitely some cringe worthy moments. There are some things that I really, really did not want to see.
But literally every person who has a daughter needs to watch this movie. Shit, every woman should watch this movie to gain a little perspective on our own behaviour and how it is imprinting on young girls everywhere.
The final dance scene is brutal. It is uncomfortable and terrible. But it is eye opening as a parent. These little girls are basicially re-enacting every rap/pop/hip hop music video of the last decade or two on a stage in front of a live audience. The reaction of the audience is one of total horror because of the highly sexualized expressions, gestures and movement of four pre-teen girls. I had to fast-forward some of t it, because at one point I had seen enough. Uncomfortable doesn’t begin to describe how it made me feel. The message, to me, was extraordinarily clear- as it always is with powerful artistic vision. It penetrated me in my gut, as it was meant to.
What I want to know is how the fuck is everyone clutching their pearls over this? Do you think for one second that young girls are going to see this kind of stuff literally everywhere from competitive dance studios to YouTube to Instagram and wherever else and not start quickly believing that this is the expectation placed on them? That this is not the ideal? Do you think they aren’t up in their bedrooms right now, dancing in their mirrors and copying the moves they see? How is “Cuties” responsible for that? They aren’t watching this movie, they are watching Cardi B sing about WAP. Is she next to be cancelled?
The main character in the film is a young girl, who is clearly falling prey to two opposite societal influences, neither of which she is comfortable with or fully understands. She doesn’t have the gift of foresight, and doesn’t think of consequences of behaviour, until she has to start facing them.
If anything, after seeing “Cuties” I feel better armed to understand some of the threats that are waiting out there for my own daughter. And while child trafficking is real, and there are many many child predators out there, I don’t think this film is not a tool of either of these threats. It is a tool we can use to open our eyes to the dangers of the influence of pop culture on children that don’t feel like they can talk to their parents and be heard. To me, it made it more clear than ever how I need to be willing to listen to difficult things my children want to talk about, so that they come to me with questions about sexuality and their bodies. It made it ridiculously clear how spending time with them developing good values and shared interests and a deep relationship is my biggest weapon against someone hurting them or them engaging in hurtful behaviour.
If any thing, I feel better prepared to take care of her and help her love her body unconditionally while finding other ways to value herself.
Cuties isn’t the monster under the fucking bed. Our own unwillingness to see and talk about difficult things and choose to have some personal accountability as parents is.
If you have a daughter, go and watch it. Right Now. Perspective is everything.