CUTIES, Did We watch the SAME Film?

2020...sucks? There are covid-19 scares, lockdowns, voting scandals, and now NETFLIX. The one thing that was supposed to present all sides and be unbiased without an agenda, but just to show you movies, has been scrutinized. Has been crucified? Should I say, accused of something it has never done? To my visitors, you will be seeing this into sections of the website because it is indeed an editorial and movie review.

The movie has been unfairly criticized for sexualizing young girls, but has any of the naysayers watched this film? I have been combing through endless youtube rants and not one, so far, said they have watched the movie. If this fact is true, then everyone needs to be careful who they get their information from. For example, if you have never driven a car, then how can you say it is bad? Or better yet, if you have never lived in another country, how could you say it is dangerous? By not watching the film and forming an opinion about it, you are doing the same thing. You are judging without evidence.

Background

Maïmouna Doucouré directs her feature film debut with the release of Cuties. She was born in 1985 to born and raised in Paris to parents of Senegalese origin and graduated license in Biology from the prestigious Pierre and Marie Curie University . She wrote and directed this movie. It is not to say it is with its rough and hard watch moments. The film stars Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas, and Maïmouna Gueye The plot revolves around a Senegalese-French girl with a traditional Muslim upbringing who is caught between traditional values and Internet culture.

What people have to say?

Young girls learn these tropes from what is popular on social media!
Outraged over the film has called for canceling Netflix. As reported in the NYpost the original summary stated "Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions (Dellatto, 2020). Geeks + Gamers posted a 7-minute rant about how disgusting and anyone that enjoyed the movie should go "F" themselves; but the question should be raised to any of the critics is, "Did you watch the movie?"

My Critique

Base on the information about Ms.Maïmouna Doucouré this movie was pieced together from personal growth and things seen in real life. This is a personal representation of issues with society and the demands every sub-society places on its group members. It is also a coming of age when one needs to learn the path that he or she will walk while being a first-generation in Paris, France.

Sengalese Society

The main character, Amy is 11 years old whose family dynamic is changing because her father is taking another wife which is destroying her mother. Her mother has her own battles but Amy is the oldest. As the mom checks out, more responsibility is placed on her. The older women in society are telling Amy when she was her age, she was getting married and how to prepare food for her father's wedding. Once her 1st period comes, she is being told she is a woman and people are telling "what will happen."

  • *The responsibility grows.
  • She is in the middle ground. Not grown but not a small kid.

Life in a new culture

Amy finds solace in a group of girls at her new school which is a little dance group called the CUTIES. They are some fast young girls who are trying to be older than their age. The girl with the glasses dreams of being a dancer and befriends Amy. Amy wants to fit in with these young girls. that she learns all the latest dance moves from the internet to show them she can dance so they can best this older dance girl group. They learn some scandalous movies and practice until drama ensues.

  • Amy and (i think her name is Angelic) become friends
  • Angelic is always alone. Their friendship begins with stealing her brother's shirt. He says he can't go work without it. She is always seen by herself.
  • The young ladies are always seen together.
  • They try to teach each other things but much of the information is misguided in the way an immature mind will process it.

My verdict

This is a rough movie to watch, but it is a story that needs to be told. In the age of social media, absentee parents (not physically/emotionally or just not emotionally). It asks the question Who or What is raising your children when you are not?. As parents, we need to be there as the cornerstone of the child's upbringing.

Amy and her friends go on a shopping spree.
The fact that people are angry about the Sexualization of children is the shock factor of this movie. Where do little girls learn the infantilization of women from? The flirtation "daddy" movies and other nods that women go on Social Media to Break the internet are twerking, in their underwear, kissy faces, and other things that are receiving a massive amount of likes. In the age of an 11-year-old who is discovering oneself and wants to be liked by society (wanting to fit in) sees these women doing these things that society is heralding as sexy but seen in the eyes of a child as "Likes" will therefor imitate without guidance. Although Cringeworthy to see the young girls dancing in such a provocative manner, the director hit it out of the park with her message.

The Youtuber Geeks + Games asked the question, "Why can't the girls be at least 18?" The reason why because it would have been seen as sexy for legal aged "women" to do this. Isn't sexy for a woman to parade around on the ground like a toddler while throwing her vajajay in your face than where will the younger girls think this is something to get the desired attention. An article from TMZ (Click Here) article highlights an MMA fighter who is going viral after a massive knockout and twerking videos. One of the videos is the same dance movies provided by the children in the movie. Where did they learn it from?. By making them the age they are showing the dichotomy of the pull of and dangers of trying so desperately to be accepted because the extreme of each is both oppressive. The strength to chose one's path is the key to any development.

Although the movie is not rewatchable it is a story that needs to be told. The "sexy" dancing of the children brings these points to life:

  • There are no days off for parents. Even when you are suffering, one must find a way to still be that support and guide for the children brought into this world.
  • Children still need to be taught. even when they have reached critical milestones. Don't talk to your children but with the children.
  • Small issues to adults are the children's entire world.
  • Parents still need to govern what the children are watching and doing but learn that a little acceptance goes a long way
  • It was a story that needed to be told and is one that will sit with you. The shock of the dancing is counter-acted with the booing of the parents and covering of the children's eyes in the crowd. Another great moment, when Imam told the mother that nothing was wrong with her daughter and she is being affected by the house and when she returned home after the dance competition her mother welcomed her while "Auntie" scolded her. Also, another great moment when she was being bullied but the older dance crew, they sheltered her. I will end with this. Being too much of one way is very much being oppressed and controlled but you are giving into it. Finding that middle ground, the sweet spot, will make you much happier in life which is shown in the ending of her skipping rope. For a grown woman, no person should tell you how to be. If you want to twerk or fight, that is lovely. Parents, if you do not want you 11 year old twerking, then watch and screen what they are seeing which then provides them the opportunity to choose that later in life when they are not in your control.

    References

    Dellatto, M. (2020). Netflix’s ‘Cuties’ slammed for ‘sexualizing’ little girls. NY Post. https://nypost.com/2020/08/20/netflixs-cuties-slammed-for-explicitly-sexualizing-little-girls/

    Geeks + Gamers. (August 2020). Netflix Movie "Cuties": Sick, Disgusting and Completely Unacceptable. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ayBGwYhCM_g

    TMZ.com (October 18, 2020). MMA’S valerie loureda reality sho offer and modeling gigs... After violent ko, twerking vids. https://www.tmz.com/2020/10/18/valerie-loureda-bellator-mma-fighter-career-exploded-after-twerk-video/

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