A Little Girl Should Not Be Wearing Cupcakes on her Breasts, No Matter How Cute Katy Perry Thinks it Is

Illustration for article titled A Little Girl Should Not Be Wearing Cupcakes on her Breasts, No Matter How Cute Katy Perry Thinks it Is

Last night at the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto, Katy Perry showed up on the red carpet with a bunch of little girls. Each child was dressed as a mini-Katy, in her signature costumes, from videos like "Last Friday Night (TGIF)," "Teenage Dream" and "The One That Got Away." But one little girl was wearing a blue wig, like Katy did in "California Gurls." The child also had her own version of Katy's cupcake bra: Two little cupcakes over her breasts, with two tiny red cherries as nipples. Yikes.

One can only assume the little girl — and her parents — okayed this ensemble. But everyone involved ought to know: It's not okay. It's one thing for a grown woman to cover sexualized areas with edible treats, announcing (however playfully) that her body is quite literally for consumption. But to transfer that message onto the body of a child is revolting.

Illustration for article titled A Little Girl Should Not Be Wearing Cupcakes on her Breasts, No Matter How Cute Katy Perry Thinks it Is
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There's a difference between this and a Little Mermaid costume with a shell bra, or a "hula" outfit with a coconut bra. Even though the little girl is covered up — unlike Katy in the video, she's actually wearing a shirt — those cupcakes are invitations: Put me in your mouth. Frosting is made for licking, cherries are for biting, and it's abundantly clear that the decorations are a declaration: I'm sweet, just taste me. There's no innuendo or subtext; it's straight-forward sexual communication: Eat me. (And lest we forget, a cupcake is also a vaginal proxy.)

Look, surely this kid is fine, not scarred for life, and can grow up to have a healthy, normal existence. Who knows, maybe she's already read Forever. And let's not stifle Katy's — or any other pop star's — creativity by whining, Won't someone please think of the children? I was only a few years older than this kid when I started listening to Prince, dressing like Madonna, and singing the lyrics to "Like A Virgin." Of couse, I wasn't photographed on a red carpet by global media outlets. And self-sexualization/exploration is not the same as objectification; this child is being used as a prop in a photo-op. Maybe this is just as bad as the Toddlers and Tiaras kid who was dressed up as a hooker… but then again, at least a prostitute is a job, where a woman has agency ("I say who, I say when, I say WHO."). A cupcake doesn't have voice, a brain, or feelings. A little kid persuaded into advertising her breasts as snacks? Inert, dehumanized, true, pure objectification, coupled with sexualization of a child. All of the adults involved — parents, stylists, Katy Perry — should have known better.

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Katy Perry's cupcake mistake [The Sun]

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DISCUSSION

elainelayabout
elaine layabout

oy! can we just, please, dial back the sexualization and premature-maturation of little girls? they are only kids for a blink of an eye, and then they spend the rest of their lives being willing or unwilling t&a

and they have so much on their non-cupcake-laden plates ... there's the learning of maths ... kicking of balls (soccer balls, that is) ... imagining of unicorns ... selling of girl scout cookies ... learning of musical instruments ... squishing of play-doh ...

a girl should at least be old enough to have read all three of the hunger games books before she goes out in the world wearing non-athletic spandex ... but then, if she's read all three of the hunger games books, she might not want to go out in the world wearing non-athletic spandex