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    The Pussycat Dolls: The True Threats to the Innocence of Children?

    Parents of America united against the biggest threat to their children’s welfare: The Pussycat Dolls. PCD (The Pussycat Dolls) have risen in popularity, from being a chic Vegas act, to one that has conquered the nation’s musical airwaves.

    Recently, it was reported that the long awaited dolls of this famous burlesque singing group were pulled. Parents are outraged by their suggestive outfits and choreography. Their distressed e-mails, letters and telephone calls bombarded the makers of PCD’s figurines to the point that it reached scandalous proportions.

    Parents everywhere pulled out their hairs over the potential of these dolls reaching toy store shelves. Their panic, amassing as much as the anthrax scare did, threatened to become a public crisis. Hysterical parents, who had obviously never seen Britney Spears as a scantily dressed teen gyrating for Bob Dole in a Pepsi ad, were in fits. How dare these grown women sing about being confident about their bodies! How dare they sing about buzzing off guys who only want them for their bodies! These parents never actually said these things, at least not in the reports on television regarding this shocking development.

    Essentially, this is what these parents were implying through their outrage. These parents were supposedly concerned about their daughters’ moral development and self respect. Kids shouldn’t be able to have toys that encourage looking up to sexy women was the concern of parents … Yet where was the concern with appropriate role models for children to emulate when Britney Spears, barely out of childhood herself, was undulating, half naked, in front of a man old enough to be her granddaddy in a commercial? Where was this wrenching fury when dolls and costumes in her likeness appeared in stores? Or when she appeared on the cover of magazines, shown wearing only her bra? Why wasn’t there such an outcry when it came to her? During the time she was more popular, she had an enormous impact on young girls. Scanty clothes in the girls’ section seemed to appear concurrent with her rise to prominence.

    The Pussycat Dolls are actually more covered up and arguably more empowered than Britney Spears ever was. So why the outrage? It reminds me of what happened when Madonna, in her rebellious post-feminist phase, had her Pepsi ad pulled. This occurred when I was a little girl (in 1989) and yet I remember the outcry that existed. Madonna was equated with the devil by many in my (at the time) predominantly Catholic Brooklyn neighborhood. She was sexy, but she owned it. She had control over her image, and her lyrics were suggestive but empowering upon closer look.

    Like Madonna, the Pussycat Dolls are sensual and suggestive, but have appeared to have control over their image. Their burlesque dance routines in their videos are arguably chaster than the moves I’ve seen in Britney Spears’ videos. They project the image of strong, independent women who embrace their sensuality, respect their bodies and their identity as individuals. They take charge, and don’t have the same, codependent type of behavior displayed in Spears’ songs and videos. Like Madonna, the PCD display that their bodies are their bodies, and that they can stand on their own if they need to. Spears attempted to appear strong in one of her songs/videos (‘Stronger’) yet soon followed with videos that portrayed a woman-child, not someone who was completely in control of her life.

    Public outcry caused the PCD dolls to be pulled, while Britney Spears posters could be purchased at Wal Mart (‘the arbiter of family values!’) along with her other merchandise marketed to little girls. What a shame that parents encourage her example over the PCD’s more empowering, actually chaster one. The PCD probably are more of a threat to parents moral ideals since they don’t pretend to be innocent virginal schoolgirls. Britney’s self-effacing sexuality, where she acted in her videos to be a sex goddess, while maintaining to be so pure, perhaps was less threatening.

    Due to psychological and societal reasons, the latter being deviant men who are interested in young girls, parents should encourage their prepubescent daughters to age appropriately. For the same reason, little girls should be taught that their bodies belong to them, that they’re not sex objects; they’re human beings, and should demand respect.

    This last point is why the PCD’s dolls would have been a good teaching opportunity. This group isn’t the real threat to the innocence of little girls. Much bigger scourges exist than a sexy Top 40 group. Pedophilia, poverty, crime, domestic violence, child abuse and homelessness, to name a few . If parents unite against these devils in the same strength, maybe these true scourges to children’s morals and innocence will be wiped out.

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