Today on GMA, parents of two of the girls featured in the controversial "Single Ladies" number blamed pop culture for making little girls grind dance, and explained they were only wearing skimpy costumes to allow for "unrestricted movement."
In their interview, Melissa Presch and Cory Miller say that the routine was only meant to be seen by people attending the World of Dance competition, not the public, and they're upset that it's been posted on YouTube and watched more than 1.6 million times.
As for the costumes, Presch says they're, "Designed for unrestricted movement and to show body lines and positions as these girls are performing these highly-technical dance moves... dance costumes have ruffles and rhinestones... it's very normal within that context." In fact, says Miller, the outfits are "actually no different than when kids are going swimming — they go in the swimming pool with a bathing suit. These kids are going to a dance competition and they're wearing dance costumes in front of a dance audience."
But wouldn't this outfit, once worn by a Jezebel reader, have fit the bill? It's certainly got enough sequins:
Little girls may wear two-pieces to the beach, but not thong bikinis with padded tops. People probably wouldn't have a problem with the outfits if it weren't for the chokers and knee-highs that make the girls look like Moulin Rouge refugees. You can't even argue that the costumes were meant to emulate Beyonce's performance, since the leotards the girls wear to rehearsal in the clip are actually closer to what she wears in the video.
But then, Miller says her daughter has never seen Beyonce's video for the song GMA calls "All The Single Ladies;" she's only seen it performed in a Chipmunks movie. See, this is all society's fault. Presch explains:
This song "Single Ladies" has permeated our society. This is pop culture and unless you completely isolate your children from television and music they're going to be dancing and singing to songs that are popular on the radio and popular in pop culture right now. In terms of the appropriateness of the song choice, it's one of the most popular songs, probably of the decade.
Correction: OF ALL TIME! But can we really blame pop culture? Sure, most kids have probably seen the "Single Ladies" video, but does that mean they should be allowed to recreate a dance performed by a 28-year-old woman?
In all likelihood the parents had no say in the choreography, song, or costumes, but why didn't they at least question the routine beforehand, when it made thousands of internet commenters freak out instantly? The parents still don't seem to understand that it isn't just the outfits people find objectionable, it's the hip gyrating and (non-existant) boob shaking. Are the girls going to be severely psychologically damaged because they did a number that's a little too sexy for their age? Probably not, but it's concerning that their parents blame the media, when it's their job to teach the girls that just because you see somebody do something on TV doesn't make it okay to do when you're eight.