You may have noticed the #cancelNetflix floating around. According to some reports, Netflix has lost over 9 billion dollars with countless subscribers have now said goodbye to the streaming giant. The reason?
It’s called Cuties. It’s a French Netflix film focusing on an 11-year-old girl and her quest to make friends with the free-spirited girls at her school. As it’s a French film, it includes poorly translated voice-over English which is cringeworthy to watch on its own, nevermind the actual content of the film.
Netflix calls it a ‘coming-of-age’ tale. But others are calling it child pornography.
In fact, the film has left millions of people with a VERY bad taste in their mouths. It’s being accused of hyper-sexualising children and giving paedophiles the opportunity to view this explicit content without any fear. Not to mention the role models it’s setting for girls…
People are losing their shit over it, to be frank. But is it really as bad as they say? Yes, it’s just a film, but to the creepos out there, it’s a free pass to watch child porn and we’re not having ANY of it.
Below is the trailer, to give you a taste.
I watched it, so you don’t have to
Let’s start with the facts.
The movie is rated M-15
So, you know there’s going to be some mature-themes. It’s definitely not something you’d want your young impressionable girls watching. This isn’t Pitch Perfect, guys, so don’t suggest it for a Friday family flick.
To be fair, Netflix warns us of this with the label. However, while you may be prepared for the occasional F-bomb, you probably aren’t prepared for the lack of clothing, provocative sexual advances and stripper dance moves these young girls pull off. This is NOT your typical tween dance movie!
It’s a coming-of-age tale
The girls, who are 11, remember, are very much your typical girls. They want to be seen as older, they are just discovering boys and their bodies and they will do anything to belong. In some ways, they act so innocently which is what makes their behaviour so much more shocking.
There’s a lot of modern themes in it too – the influence of social media, the rebellion against a conservative family, the freedom of expression.
And this is a big BUT.
The way the girl’s act, dress, and, well, dance, it’s hardly appropriate. Provocative? Yes. Sexual? Yes. Accurate? Possibly – I don’t have an 11-year-old but I do have a feeling the way these girls act could be based on some semblance of truth.
It’s meant to be a cautionary tale to parents.
The film is basically screaming, HEY PARENTS: WATCH YA GIRLS, KEEP ‘EM OFF SOCIALS. OR THIS COULD HAPPEN. But did they really have to go THIS far to get this message across?
How far do they go? I won’t delve into too many details here. There’s no rape or anything like that. It’s the sexualisation of these poor little girls that’s too much.
Essentially, the main character goes a little bit off the rails. She starts to bare her stomach and butt, she learns how to dance like a stripper and teaches the other girls the moves and she even flashes her hooha on Instagram to get likes and prove she’s not a little girl anymore. That’s just a few examples of why people are upset over it.
Not the first time
Now, it must be said that Cuties isn’t something I would ever recommend watching.
BUT… it’s not the first time a film has stepped outside of our comfort zone and sexualised young girls. The Blue Lagoon with a 14-year-old Brooke Shields, Taxi Driver with a 12-year-old Jodie Foster, the list goes on and on.
The one that Cuties most reminded me of in regard to content and style was Thirteen, starring a very young Rachel Evan Woods. Remember it (image below).
In Thirteen, the girls run around town, acting and dressing much older than they are. There’s even a few naughty dance scenes where the girls look more like strippers than 13-year-olds.
It’s a bit old now, well before Netflix. But it didn’t cause the internet to break down over it. In fact, it won a heap of awards.
So, is Cuties that bad?
The bottom line. Yes.
It’s horrifying to watch these little girls act like this on film. It’s heartbreaking, it’s not right, it’s dangerous, and it’s especially harmful to our impressionable girls. BUT… it’s not meant for our impressionable girls. It’s meant for parents, to remind them that this is the kind of shit our girls could be dealing with. It’s also not meant for creepo pedophiles, but, hey, it’s on Netflix and it’s free for all to watch.
Parents, it up to you to decide whether you #cancelNetflix over the film or not. I DO NOT approve of this film but I won’t cancel Netflix over it. I also won’t be letting my kids ever watch it.
Truth be told, I would much prefer if Netflix cancelled Cuties. Because, while they may call it a cautionary/coming-of-age tale, viewers do not see it this way. There are a lot of predators out there that would not be watching this film for the moral of the story.
Yes, it’s just a film. But it is also a free pass to sexualise young girls. And this is why it needs to go.