Netflix’s Cuties: A Modern Controversy

Screengrab via Netflix

Anastasia Basheer

Arts and Entertainment Editor

The Netflix movie, “Cuties” was released on Aug. 19 in France and on Sept. 9 to the rest of the world including the U.S.

The movie was described by Netflix as, “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”

At the release of the trailer is where the controversy started.

It showed the girls dancing provocatively and dressing in a way not appropriate for their age.

Apart from the inappropriateness showed, it can be argued that the film was meant to highlight the struggle young girls face as they become of age.

Also, the issues many girls face due to cultural differences.   

However, the film is bold, greatly flawed and, to be honest, disturbing.

The film was filled with scenes that sexualized children.

Even though the message the film was trying to put across was that this is what some girls endure while trying to find their place in society, it left audiences feeling disgusted and outraged, yet some still tried to justify it.

“It’s a portrait of girls that decries how sexuality is force-fed to them and/or viewed as the only way to foster self-esteem at far too young an age. It is the polar-opposite of what it’s accused of being,” according to The Rolling Stone website.

This statement is baffling, why would one try to highlight how children are often exploited with said exploitation.

For instance, in one of the scenes, one of the girls is shown twerking for two older security guards as a way to try to get out of trouble as they had snuck into the building.

I believe the movie makes the vast majority of its audiences uncomfortable, because after viewing it I felt disgusted and my initial thoughts were, “Wow pedophiles are probably having a field day with this.”

Not only are parents and professionals worldwide outraged, some YouTubers shared the same sentiment.

“I sat down thinking it can’t be that bad, it is that bad, its worse than you think…. strap in guys, ’cause we’re all pedophiles today.” said YouTuber, PaymoneyWubby.

The scenes were filled with subtle yet not so subtle sexualization tools.

The main character, Amy was praised for dressing in so called “eye catching” attire which distasteful and unsuitable for eleven-year-old girls.

Dance moves with compromising poses, and social media posts that seemed a little too much are just a few of the places where this movie went wrong.

For instance, there is a scene where Amy was caught with a cell phone she stole, and she impulsively posts a nude picture on a social media site like Instagram.

This to me was not necessary to the film, this was taking it too far.

This is definitely not a part of growing pains like the director claims it to be.  

“Cuties,” was a failed attempt to highlight coming of age girls, issues of peer-pressure, and other issues they face.

It instead it seemed to encourage the sexualization of young girls, justify their inappropriate way of dress, and it somewhat stole the innocence of these young girls. 

Email Anastasia at:

abasheer@live.esu.edu

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