Guest post by: Abbe Hanley
Trigger warning: sexual abuse, child abuse, child sexual abuse, and racism.
Note from GGS: I've been seeing a lot of posts about the new Netflix film, Cuties. It was written and directed by French Director Maïmouna Doucouré, and the plot is summarized by iMDb as:
"Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process."
The main character, Amy, is Black and a dancer, and I am neither of those things. My guest today is, which is why I'm sharing her poignant and real thoughts on this film and the people speaking out against it. During our phone call last night, Abbe and I also discussed the ridiculous notion that President and Michelle Obama are somehow involved in the release of this film because they signed a deal with Netflix in 2018. We both agree you are being taken in by QAnon propaganda. You need to check your sources and most importantly, check yourself.
It's not a surprise that #SaveOurChildren is now a "thing" right in the middle of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Where was your outrage at TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo, and Dance Moms on Lifetime?
"Some of y'all out there are ranting about "Cuties" because it highlights the universal issue of sexualizing female children, especially children of color for "doing that" are the same people who did it to me as a child for existing in my curvaceous brown skin.
Some of you are totally comfortable having hateful chats about it while watching your daughters with their teased hair, stage makeup, and extensions "gesticulate" (read: grind and twerk) in their crop tops and spandex while doing gymnastics, competitive dance, and pageants.
Maybe this isn't your story. The movie's perspective is told from a culture and experience that is not yours. It was inappropriately and disgustingly marketed by people in the United States who didn't understand the story, culture, or narrative style. (Also, "Mignonnes" does not have the same connotation in French that "Cutie" does in English.)
Did you even watch it? It isn't a feel good movie. It's a coming of age story told by a Black French Woman, first generation from Senegalese parents about an all too real and unacceptable reality.
While you were over there with your Keeping Up With The Kardashians episodes and clutching your pearls, I was nervously grasping my diamonds and hoping they didn't hit on Female Genital Mutilation when Auntie said she was going to teach the 11 year old about becoming a woman.
If any part of what I just said confused or offended you... hush. This post, these issues, this topic, are all are too much for me to explain to you, so you need to educate yourself as I have.
I see a common thread in the people who are outraged by the film. Most of y'all don't season your food, can't find a rhythm when the bass is bumping so hard you can't not feel it in your body. Some of you reject science, but believe in a reality television star and generally speaking, hold bigoted views of others and their cultures.
Lastly, if you felt turned on or believe that any of actions of prepubescent children is sexy, there is something wrong with you."