Cuties Reminds Us Why Society Needs a Well-Trained Sense of Disgust

I have a new piece up at the Federalist today on that Cuties abomination and the nature of disgust:

It’s only natural to react to this with exactly the kind of outrage that Netflix is currently reaping. Sexually exploiting children is so revolting that anyone would recoil in disgust when presented with the kind of material in “Cuties.”

Except not everyone is disgusted. The film made it through layers upon layers of writers, actors, producers, and marketers who thought it was a great idea—even to the point of giving it awards.

Of course, leftist degenerates are now rushing to defend the movie. Rather than being disgusted, their claim is that any failure to appreciate “Cuties” is either prudish, unsophisticated, or — even worse — conservative. It’s a French film, after all, so it must be artistic and sophisticated.

In more normal times, disgust serves as an incredibly useful feature of our natural emotional life that helps prevent our circumstances from devolving into all manner of wretchedness. Ultimately, however, it’s a feature that we must train. As with our sense of shame, our sense of disgust is something that needs to be cultivated as we mature. A well-formed person ought to be disgusted by disgusting things, but not disgusted by benign or positive things.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Look no farther than how so many now sneer at motherhood, fatherhood, and children in the West to see that we can be trained to be disgusted when we should not.  And as we can see from the “Cuties” scenario, we can also be trained to become used to something that should be utterly revolting.

Read the whole thing.

About Matt

Software engineer by trade; lay theologian by nature; Lutheran by grace.
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2 Responses to Cuties Reminds Us Why Society Needs a Well-Trained Sense of Disgust

  1. Mary Bawden says:

    Thank you for your article exposing the harms of ‘Cuties’. I support your perspective. My name is Mary Bawden. I am the founder and CEO of DA:NCE(dance awareness: no child exploited). I am also a dance educator with a BA in modern dance from UCRiverside, a MA and a secondary teaching credential. I am affiliated with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. exists to protect children in dance from exploitation through hypersexualization in adult costumes, choreography and music. All of our free materials are educational and research-based. You might be interested in my comments about ‘Cuties’ below. Feel free to share DA:NCE materials with other adults as you are led. Child exploitation is an increasing cultural issue.

    Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited (DA:NCE) Tells the Truth About ‘Cuties’
    ‘Cuties’, a new film on Netflix, features hypersexualized 10 & 11year old girls with dance themes that groom youngsters for objectification in childification porn. It also emphasizes racial stereotypes that connect people of color to sexual exploitation. In 2019, Netflix developed the original teen series Sex Education that featured nudity and numerous explicit sex scenes. And its original animated comedy series Big Mouth followed a group of seventh graders who engaged in masturbation and carried “hormone monsters” on their shoulders. If Netflix is concerned about children and is aware of research outcomes(have they asked national experts to review materials that are questionable prior to release?), why did they develop these shows?

    ‘Cuties’ describes itself as an empowering story of a young girl(Amy) who defies her ‘conservative family’s traditions’ and joins a ‘dancing group’. It features explicit and erotic dance moves, such as twerking and gyrating accompanied by numerous, inappropriate views of little girls’ bodies. One scene shows Amy taking a picture of her crotch to send to her friends. In another scene, her pants are pulled down. The director, Maïmouna Doucouré, says that the film is a commentary on the negative effects of hypersexualization. That doesn’t align with a protective mindset for children. If you have a genuine concern about the hypersexualization of girls in adult costumes, choreography and music, why do you put children of 10 and 11 in a film that does to them what you say you are concerned about?

    What are we accepting? ‘Cuties’ is another example of normalizing adult content for children. We see children as mini-adults effectively blurring the lines between childhood and adulthood. Behind the cultural media invasion (of child exposure to adult topics) is the powerful porn industry. For children, porn exposure introduces and then divorces sex from personhood(humanity). It parades children as objects instead of embodied human beings with a dignity that integrates mind, body and spirit. For developing boys and girls, the negative evidence-based outcomes of this kind of exposure are horrific: feelings of shame, appearance anxiety, eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression & anxiety, harmful beliefs about consent, relational dysfunction, and many others.

    ‘Cuties’ is soft-core porn. As adults, our culture has to decide what is most important: valuing & protecting children or making money at any cost.

    Dance Educator and author Mary Bawden received a BA in modern dance from UCRiverside, a MA, and a California secondary teaching credential. In 2016, after leading a dance ministry at Trinity E Free Church in Redlands CA for over 20 years, she released a book on faith-based dance titled “Dance is Prayer in Motion”. For several years, Mary has noticed that the culture around children’s dance has moved towards an unhealthy, harmful trend – the hypersexualization of children under 12 in adult costumes, choreography and music. That focus translates into a desire to advocate for healthy, age-appropriate, evidence-based materials to protect children and preserve the art of dance. That has led her to found DA:NCE (Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited). Join the conversation.

    Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited educational goals:
    1. To protect children from hypersexualization in adult costumes, choreography and music, and to protect the art of dance.
    2. To provide free research materials to give adults informed choices about the differences between healthy or harmful dance.
    3. To engage in respectful conversations about hypersexualization without shaming/demonizing adults or dance studios so that there is a path for reflection and changed perspectives.
    4. To communicate the hypersexualization of children in dance and its connection to the public health issue of pornography with bipartisan engagement.

    Thank you for caring about children by writing an article to protect them from further exploitation.

    Blessings, Mary Bawden

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