Pole dancing is okay, but not suitable for kindergarten kids

By Carrie Yu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/11 18:28:41

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

A video clip went viral recently showing a pole dancing performance at the playground of a kindergarten in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, in front of a group of children.

I was shocked by the scene. Can you image a young woman wearing almost nothing slithering up and down a pole for little kids who have just started to learn? Some boys were even seen "mimicking" the dance moves, according to a Global Times report on September 3.

Fortunately, local authorities fired the kindergarten principal amid widespread criticism of the performance. A few parents reportedly asked for a refund and threatened to pull their children out of the school. The principal apologized and claimed that she only wanted to liven up the school's atmosphere, according to the report.

Personally, I do not dislike pole dancing. On the contrary, I admire those ladies who spend their free time practicing this unique style of dance, which works out most of their muscles. However, it is totally unsuitable for children to watch pole dancing due to its strip-club origins and sexually suggestive moves.

With the dramatic development of our digital society, children in this era are exposed to much more content and information than past generations. They now have easier and faster access to the adult world due to the internet. Many Chinese children even have their own smart phones to watch videos online or search anything they want easily.

Early in 2011, news.youth.cn reported that many children's talent shows around China asked children to perform "as adults" in order to win higher ratings. Little girls wore sexy clothes and heavy makeup to imitate adult idols. I felt sad when watching those kind of shows, and many other parents in the audience expressed how uncomfortable it made them.

Fortunately, authorities eventually cracked down on those bawdy performances and called for "clean" shows for kids. Parents and event organizers, they said, should not pursue profits and entertainment over children's psychological health.

My friend's 8-year-old daughter is infatuated with Chinese superstars and even discusses with her little friends at school which female idol is most beautiful and man most handsome. As a parent, I understand it's very hard to control what our children are exposed to. But parents and society should take mutual responsibility raising the next generation of good citizens, which means limiting how much adult content children are exposed to.

There are many TV programs and cartoons for children with positive themes and good values which promote friendship and family love. Such positive voices are what our children should be watching, not shows about sexy idols and certainly not violent programming.

I was relieved to hear that the country's top legislature is working toward drafting a law on pre-school education to regulate the rapidly growing industry. There were about 255,000 kindergartens in China in 2017, taking care of 46 million children, according to Xinhua News Agency on Sunday.

I have no idea why that kindergarten principal thought it would be a good idea to invite a pole dancer to perform in front of small children, and we have yet to determine what kind of psychological impact that incident will have on those kids.

Who knows. But I do hope that our society along with our government will strengthen their supervision of what China's children are exposed to, so as to ensure that our future generations grow up to be good people with good values.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Times.

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