For the longest time I’ve been dying to ask this question, and now I have the chance: why do you dress your little wahine like a ho-bag? Yeah, I’m talking to you—the parent (presumably the Mother) who thinks platform slippers are a great idea for the playground; kitten-heels on a preschooler is cute; and spandex daisy dukes with neon lacing up the sides will help your first-grader make new “friends.”
Oh, you’re out there, because I’ve seen you. In case you’ve put zero thought into your child’s wardrobe, let me fill you in on a little something: children’s attire should be practical, comfy and preferably flame-retardant. Kids—little kids—don’t need a duplicate outfit of what you wore to the club over the weekend. You were trying to get laid—your baby girl, I’m thinking not.
Sure, there are some of us that are of the mindset that children aren’t supposed to be viewed as sexual creatures. Unfortunately, after taking a good long look across the island, it seems that we are the minority.
You’re not saying your little girl is a sexual creature? Hmm. I’m sorry, I just assumed that’s what you meant by the crop top, mini-skirt and patent leather heels you have her decked out in. My bad.
Speaking of crop tops, let’s talk about Tahitian dancing–a topic that’s long interested me. I want you to hear the tribal drumming, the swishing of the dancer’s skirt. Watch them coconuts… Now she’s shaking her ass at warp speed. Oh, wait! My favorite part! She’s dropping it down low, low, lower—all the while stirring her ass around in little circles.
Hot, huh? Actually, she’s five.
This is Maui, and our kids dance Tahitian. Okay, well, mine doesn’t. But yours does. I’ve watched a Tahitian dance class here on Maui, and it left me feeling icky. The mix of kids as young as three to women in their 40’s all learning the same moves just didn’t make any sense to me.
And then there’s you parents sitting in the background. Do you enjoy watching your kindergartner pelvic thrust? Let me guess: it’s cultural.
Frankly, the “it’s cultural” thing is a dumb argument. I’ve heard it all my life, and I was born and raised here. In truth, lots of practices–questionable and otherwise–are cultural: belly-dancing, circumcision, tattooing, frying-balls off peyote and scalping your enemies for example.
Then again, if you’re Tahitian for real, (a mix of Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Hawaiian and haole doesn’t count) and you want your toddler to celebrate your culture through dance, I urge you to do a little research. At what age did your ancestors invite young women to dance? Was it a “coming of age” initiation? Did the young children dance to the same type of songs, with the same type of movements as the adults?
In reporting the seventh annual Te Mahana Hiro‘a o Tahiti children’s Tahitian dance competition on July 7, the Polynesian Cultural Center reported the following on its website:
“‘Are these five and six-year-olds?’ PCC [Polynesian Cultural Center] emcee Cy Bridges asked during that [keiki] category in finals competition. ‘I saw some 18-year-old moves there.’ Later, he asked, ‘Do you think they have the same energy at home when they’re cleaning their room or the yard?’ The audience laughed.”
Wake up, folks. If you continue to dress your daughter in adult clothes that are designed to attract sexual attention, and keep enrolling her in activities that teach her to use her body for provocative messages, what do you think you’re saying to her?
When your kid is no longer an innocent little girl, but a young woman who can make her own decisions, is she going to live life as a person raised to use their heart and head to achieve things, or as a woman who chooses to manipulate situations through her body and the laws of physical attraction?
How does the cliche go? Oh yes: These kids are our future. Personally, I don’t want a future filled with more bitchy skanks who raise bitchy skanks.
Starr Begley—who admittedly is kind of a bitchy skank herself—still thinks your daughter looks ridiculous. MTW