There’s something really disturbing about watching girls as young as eight years old appearing naked while performing burlesque. It’s even more disturbing to see their moms just sit around and watch as their daughters are told to act “hot,” “mean,” and like men “can’t afford you.” But that’s precisely what happened on Dance Moms, a trashy reality show that takes the sexualization of girls to unfathomable new heights.
The episode, called “Topless Showgirls,” ran a couple of weeks ago. But – miracle of all miracles – Lifetime has since pulled the episode from rotation and had it magically disappear from the internet. I’m assuming they got more complaints than usual because, let me tell you, even just a regular old episode of Dance Moms is enough to make you swear off cable forever. The folks at Gawker, however, have posted the episode on their site and I couldn’t help but watch it to see what all the fuss was about first-hand.
What I found was shocking. Girls aged 8 to 13 wore flesh-toned bras to make it look like they were actually topless. They endured dance instructor Abby Lee Miller shouting at them while telling the camera, “These moms need to stop questioning me!” Most of the mothers appeared upset but not a single one spoke up. That, to me, is the most disturbing part of all. If someone – anyone! – told my child to prance around naked in a way that I found inappropriate, I would be out of there so fast (but not before causing a big fat stink). I think that any good parent would react that way, yet these moms acted as though they had no choice. So, yes, I am judging them – 100%. Sorry, but these are lousy parents – no two ways about it.
Just as jaw-dropping was hearing the girls themselves speak to the camera. They say things like, “My outfit was pretty tiny” and, “We feel kinda naked cuz all we have on is a bra top and booty shorts.” One little girl holds up a teeny little bra and exclaims in disbelief, “I can fit this on my American Doll!”
During the actual performance, the mothers look shell-shocked – as do the (mostly male) judges – yet no one says a word. It’s infuriating! Miller at one point says, “I like to push the envelope… And this is taking it right to the limit.” Uh, yeah, I’d say. Really, these people are idiots. All of them!