A British television program, “This Morning,” recently invited three young girls to come up to the stage and perform a pole dancing routine.
Amid a heated debate regarding whether children should be allowed to take “pole fitness” classes, 8 year olds Tilly-May and Timea and 11-year-old Mia were put into the limelight as they swirled round the pole.
Dressed in shorts and pink crop tops, which many deemed rather sexual, the young girls garnered Internet users’ attention who expressed their disgust over the sexualization of children. Some people even termed it as “child pornography.”
The presenters on the show referred to the dancing style as “pole fitness.”
"Tilly was bullied at school for being fat and not interested in what the other girls did. It was advertised and I asked her if she wanted to give it a try,” the young girl’s mother explained. “She came to it and she's never looked back. It's fitness, when you see what they physically do, there's nothing provocative.”
However, psychologist Emma Kenny, who was present in the show, disagreed.
"I think we are in a culture that sexualizes children, and whatever way you look at it, it's inextricably linked to sexualization,” she claimed. “It undoubtedly includes sexual views.”
Horrified Twitters users frantically shared their views on the debate:
It's children dancing around a poll therefore it's pole dancing so I think it's wrong and the skimpy outfits make it worse! #poledancedebate— ¢σℓℓєттє ℓуηη мσσяє♥ (@ColletteLynn_) February 16, 2016
#PoleDanceDebate There are so many other ways to get kids into fitness without teaching them pole "fitness". Especially with those outfits.— Róisín (@roisinramone) February 16, 2016
Im sorry but kids POLE DANCING on this morning and mothers saying it's just like gymnastics??!! - stop sexualising children! #thismorning— Kate Lewis (@KatieKoo22) February 16, 2016
Meanwhile, some were of a different view point and supported the “exercise” routine.
What exactly is the problem with children on the pole?our prejudice?it is a sport, so calm down! #poledancedebate— Šárka Pechová (@SarkaPechova) February 16, 2016
Whether letting young kids “pole exercise” hurts or helps them is still up for debate, something that likely won't end any time soon..
In the end, it all comes down to the intention behind the act. If these youngsters are using poles purely for fitness purposes under supervision at school or home, then their parents probably know best.