So I’m sure by now a lot of us have read the controversial story of a six-year-old cheerleader who was kicked off of her cheerleading squad due to her mom’s protest with the coach. According to CBS News :
“At just 6 years old, Kennedy Tesch was looking forward to the new season on her local cheerleading squad in Madison Heights, Mich. But her season was cut short when the squad had a dramatic reaction after her mother complained that one of the cheers might be a little inappropriate for young girls: “Our back’s are breaking, our skirts too tight, we shake our booties from left to right.”
When the mom saw her daughter doing the cheer, she was horrified. And rightly so. When she protested about how inappropriate the cheer was, the coach disagreed and made it a point to say that it was a cheer they had been doing for quite a while. Obviously a cheer that they weren’t going to discontinue. When speaking with other moms, they completely agreed with the mother, and yet no one else spoke up. Leaving this mom–with a strong opinion–on her own. Which led to her daughter being kicked off the team.
First, kudos to this mom who recognized something completely inappropriate and addressed it with the coach and other parents within the squad. Second, great way to challenge this “new” era in which children are exposed and paraded around in sexually inappropriate manners. I know it can’t just be me, but I started realizing–quite a while ago–that there seems to be a shift in attitude when it comes to preserving children’s youth. I remember when at 17, working at Limited Too, and watching little girls come in the store and try on “short shorts”, short skirts, and other revealing clothing. Clothing that teenagers wear. Clothing that just seemed too inappropriate for a child to wear.
Then watching shows on TLC and Oxygen that feature little pageant girls–covered in make up, revealing outfits, high heels and overbearing parents. That was too much for me. Turning on you-tube and watching girls under age 9 gyrating to Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears. That’s just unnerving. So honestly hearing about this “cheer” was shocking, but not overly so, because for a while I’ve been noticing that little girls are being oversexualized by media and society. From clothing, to music, to school, to pageants, to cheers. It’s all a complete challenge to the notion that a child is a child, and that youth is innocence.
Nonetheless I’m proud of this mom for making a stand. I’m very disappointed in the cheer coach, and in other parents for not standing as strongly against what is clearly happening here(children thinking that these inappropriate dances and songs are cute and normal). Because believe me, right now these children may not really understand the clear meaning of the cheer–but these adults do. And eventually, when the child grows up, and continues thinking that these type of inappropriate behaviors are okay, the child will also began to “normalize” these types of situations. Which is not something that we want. We don’t want little girls to lose their innocence. And we shouldn’t condone provactive clothing, raunchy dance moves, and inappropriate dancing for our little ones. Now of course this is my strong opinion…