Cuties and Its Critics Both Decry the Sexualization of Children
The last time I commented on Cuties, the controversial French film on Netflix that portrays 11-year-old girls who practice and perform raunchy routines for a dance competition, I was condemned as a “pedo,” a “perv,” a “sick individual,” a “demon,” and “an enemy of the people.” And that was just for pointing out that Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) was misinterpreting the federal ban on child pornography by suggesting that it applied to the film. At the risk of inviting further abuse from people who have not actually watched the movie, I think it’s worth noting that some complaints about it, even from less rabid critics, are seriously misplaced.
Cuties not only does not fit the legal definition of child pornography; it is not the least bit salacious. To the contrary (spoiler alert), its clear message is that the protagonist and her friends are confused and engaging in age-inappropriate behavior. The audience at the dance competition is visibly and audibly appalled by their twerking, and the central character, Amy, tearfully realizes in the midst of the performance that she is trying to grow up too fast and has been too quick to reject the culture and values of her fam
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