Netflix‌ ‌film‌ ‌“Cuties”‌ ‌is‌ ‌meant‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌you‌ ‌uncomfortable‌ ‌

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“Cuties” garners attention and criticism from Netflix viewers.

Heather Suraci and Gabriella Larsen

The award-winning film Cuties, which debuted on Netflix in early September is a coming of age film that follows an 11-year-old Senegalese girl living in Paris who rebels against her conservative Muslim family and joins a dance clique of other 11-year-old girls called “the Cuties.” It shows the girls in several sexual situations and performing highly provocative dance moves in tight clothing, along with repeated and sustained close-up camera shots of their twerking rear ends.

Despite the fact that the film does show the girls in several compromising situations, the film strikes up a conversation about young girls and how they are being influenced by the media. Amid widespread conversation for a boycott against Netflix, the streaming service is standing by the film as it a social commentary of the sexualization of children.

Maïmouna Doucouré, the film’s director, has come out and described that existence on social networks is an extremely prominent presence on young girls. Oftentimes, young girls imitate the images they see around them, in adverts or on social networks. Today, platforms such as TikTok promote suggestive dances which young girls try to imitate because popular creators such as Addison Rae glorify them. These girls are emulating these creators as they see them as idols whom they want to be like.

Additionally, many people have attacked the girls’ skimpy clothing, however, they are ignoring the fact that other shows and programs have shown this type of costume before. Shows like “Dance Moms” have had young girls dancing along to provocative music in suggestive costumes, and yet not many people have spoken out against this? Doucouré is challenging this point and showing young girls in the dance world, which is equally as compromising as the film suggests. 

Doucouré has come out and encouraged people to give the film a chance and understand how she is only attempting to capture how girls are being brought up in the age of social media and being impacted by it. She wants those that were uncomfortable and criticizing her film to understand that she is on the same side. 

“It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up- and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” Netflix said in a statement regarding the film not being taken off the streaming platform. 

The film has stirred up highly negative opinions about the sexualization of younger girls, however, instead of criticizing the work and attempting to censor its message, how about we as a society acknowledge the greater issue: young girls are being impacted by social media.