I watched Netflix’s Cuties and yikes, here’s everything wrong with it
Sorry but whose idea was it to make us watch an 11-year-old twerking?
Cuties dropped on Netflix this week amidst a lot of controversy. Before it was even released on Netflix there was a petition for the film’s removal, saying it was “for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles” and people saying Cuties is wrong as it “sexualises children”. The petition currently has over 378,000 signatures. Netflix have said it’s a “social commentary against the sexualization of young children”, but yesterday, #CancelNetflix began trending on Twitter and users are cancelling their subscriptions.
I watched Cuties to see how bad it actually is, and let me tell you it’s absolutely gross and makes for very uncomfortable viewing – some of it I literally couldn’t watch. The film follows 11-year-old Amy (I cannot stress this enough: She is ELEVEN), who becomes obsessed with a dance group of other 11-year-old girls and eventually joins them. It won an award at Sundance Festival, but people have called the film “disgusting” and “absolutely disgraceful”, and I agree with them.
Here’s everything wrong with Cuties, so you don’t have to watch it on Netflix (please don’t watch it):
Before we even begin, its synopsis is suss
Back when the film was first announced, people were saying the Netflix synopsis for Cuties was wrong and inappropriate. It read: “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”
After significant backlash online about this, and the petition for its removal from Netflix was created, the synopsis of Cuties was changed. It now reads: “11-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
The dancing is so inappropriate
When you first see one of the dancers, the camera’s watching her from behind while she dances in leather leggings, like she’s in an Ariana Grande music video. Then she turns around and you see she is a CHILD.
All the rest of the dancing throughout the film is similar – biting their lips, twerking, squatting down and bouncing on their knees. Fine for, you know, an actual adult, but not an 11-year-old. Some of the dancing was so graphic I genuinely couldn’t watch.
The camera repeatedly pans over the girls’ bodies
The camera panned up and down the girls’ bodies multiple times in the film, at points literally just zooming in on their bums. One girl slaps Amy’s bum and says “Oh my god, check out her booty! Look how flat it is!”, which is gross enough in itself, let alone when you then realise that line was written by an adult, for an 11-year-old to say about another 11-year-old.
It does this to some of the adult women in the film too, which is also not good but definitely nowhere near the same level because, and I repeat, these girls are CHILDREN.
It shows them getting dressed, which is just not necessary
It’s literally a two-second clip, and is just not needed at all – why is it even in there? I can think of absolutely no reason it could possibly be necessary.
On the topic of clothes – most of them are non-existent. Think crop tops, bodycon skirts and short shorts – on actual children. One scene involves Amy dancing in just her vest and underwear, and is quite frankly horrible to watch. Another shows two girls fighting and one pulls Amy’s trousers down, the camera zooming in on her underwear.
It puts them in some really uncomfortable and adult situations
At one point the girls are watching something on a phone, and from what they’re saying it’s suggested they’re watching porn. Another time they’re on some kind of online-chat website, messaging a boy (who has his webcam on) about “tits”. Amy posts a nude on social media. The girls are all repeatedly called “sluts”, by other characters and each other.
As I’ve said, they are 11. E l e v e n. Not a single one of these situations is age-appropriate for the characters, or the actors, to be in, and they are all so uncomfortable to watch.
The girls run into some kind of bar and get in trouble with the security guards, who threaten to call their parents. The girls say they’re dancers, and to “prove it” Amy dances – including twerking. The security guard watches her really intensely, and after her dance they let the girls leave. It. Is. Fucking. Grim.
I really cannot stress this enough – the girls are 11
Look at them! They just want to have fun and play on their Tamagotchis. Maybe listen to some One Direction and watch High School Musical. I can tell you what they do not want to be doing, though, is literally any of the things featured in the film.