Act Like Men Can’t Afford You, Topless Tweens Told On ‘Dance Moms’

tweensThere’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!


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  • quinn

    I actually really wanted to like this show because I love the aspect of the girls in their competitive dancing, and of course who can resist the cattiness of the moms…..but then came this episode. The discomfort that I saw coming from the judges and audience was palpable, and it made me feel like these poor little girls were being exploited for nothing more than their teeny tiny little bodies prancing around on stage. The moms did express their discomfort, but did NOTHING to prevent this from happening. At the end of the dance the little 6 year old had a part where she acted like she had “lost her top” or realized that she was, in reality, mostly nude, and ran off stage (all part of Abby Lee Miller’s dance number). It was sickening, and it is a slippery slope if Lifetime is going to show this in primetime. The girls are adorable, impressionable, and years away from being able to make the choices to show these parts of themselves on television. Even the “smart” mom who has a doctorate and is a school principal allowed this to happen. It is sad what some people will do for a little bit of fame. Abby Lee Miller is a catalyst for millions of pedophiles to tune in and get a really good eyefull of these precious young girls, but Lifetime network has the final say. I think this show needs some serious modifications to stay on the air.

    • Shawna Cohen

      thnx for your comments, quinn. i couldn’t agree more! i truly believe this show should be removed from television stat. it’s not even entertaining – just plain sad.

  • LoveyDovey

    The girl commenting on the bra fitting her doll is just depressing. I agree with you completely, this is disgusting.

  • sweetpea

    When did it become ok to start treating little girls like big girls, or adults?? I have two daughters aged 9 and 10, and there is NO WAY i would let any dance, cheer, gymnastics or whatever, instructor tell me that this type of behaviour is appropriate. These woman are obviously more concerned with the money they spend on the lessons, than on their child`s safety and sense of self worth. I wouldnt find this appropriate for a teenager let alone prepubescents. Burlesque and simulated nudity is for adults who can understand it, own it and handle the consequences, whatever they may be.
    Its really time for tv networks to stop showing this `mommy/showbiz kid` reality crap.

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  • Amelia

    the moms can’t say anything or they will be kicked out of the studio which is very good for the exception of this dance

  • boots

    what makes me most sad is that, as a burlesque dancer myself, the teacher had completely the wrong idea of what burlesque is. the attitude of dancing for men is not burlesque – it’s stripping. there is a world of difference. the majority of a burlesque audience is female and there is absolutely no need to reveal the body – it’s only the tongue-in-cheek pretense that should be done with humour, grace and style that makes burlesque what it is.

  • Nicki

    I LOVE Dance Moms. Now that I got that out I will say though that whereas I fully plan on enrolling my daughter in dance (March 2013) starting with the mommy & me class at 18 months then to ballet and tumbling at 2 I would NEVER allow ANYONE to talk to MY daughter the way Abby talks to those children. EVER. I don’t care how many professionals she’s helped make it to the top…it just wouldn’t happen. I’d pull my kid out in a second and go somewhere else where she wouldn’t be treated so harshly. As for the show Maddie is far over rated Chloe is just as good but Abby never really gives her the choreography or the time that she does to Maddie. But they are both exceptional dancers.