‘Pop This’: how the dance industry caters to paedophilic fantasies with underage girls

 

popthat

The girl on your left is 16.

The one in the middle is 14.

The one to your right, she’s 12 years old.

And the dancewear company they model for think it’s OK to exploit them for male paedophiliac fantasies.

“Pop that.” For those who are unaware, this is a porn-inspired phrase referring to the “popping” of her cherry – taking her virginity. It’s a popular porn genre.

It is also the phrase superimposed over the three child models on the homepage of California Kisses (CK); a popular American dance wear label currently advertising for new Australian stockists. The dancers featured are posed coyly in CK’s renowned crop and booty short combinations.

In a recent advertisement for the label, CK feature a girl who appears to be around 5-7 years of age dressed in a brief French Maid’s outfit.

californiakisses

The brand currently supply to four Australian stockists including Showcase — the largest dance competition event in the country. Together, Showcase and CK held the “California Kisses Australian Model Search” in January, with the crowned winner receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the U.S for a modeling shoot with the company.

The parent company of Showcase is Global Events & Entertainment Pty Ltd, which holds the exclusive license to on-sell CK stock in Australia. Last week they invited all Australian dancewear retailers to submit an application to stock the CK label.

dancechampionshipsfacebook

CK has a global following of over 278,000 users on Instagram. On reading the comments that flood their account daily, their audience can be compartmentalized into two: dancers as young as 10, and older men who blatantly express their gratification at the little girls posing in the CK range. Here is a sample of what the company allow on their page for thousands of girls to see.

“Give me a blowy”

“F*** her right in the pussy”

“Nice body for f***”

“Nice position for f***”

“Slap it”

“I enjoy this photo”

“Mmmh”

“Small as breasticles”

“[Too] flat chested. What’s the reason to wear that if there’s nothing?”

“This b**** is anorexic”

“So hot”

“Sexy girl”

“So cute girl”

“I want to marry her”

“Hey how old are you?”

After clicking on a serial commenter who “appreciates” many of the company’s images, I arrived at the profile of a middle-aged man smiling proudly alongside his wife and two sons.

Among the pedophiliac comments are those of thousands of young girls despizing their own bodies and publicly shaming the faces, bellies, breasts and thighs of others. “I’m so fat I don’t stand a chance” says one, with crying face emoticon and a gun pointing towards it.

With advertizing and online practices like these, we call on Australian dancewear companies to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and not go near the CK brand. Current Australian stockists should remove the CK brand.

California Kisses needs to clean up its act and do right by the thousands of young girls that follow their every move.

Give California Kisses your feedback:

Website: californiakisses.com

Twitter: @CaliKissesDance

Facebook: facebook.com/CaliforniaKissesDance

This post originally appeared on melindatankardreist.com and was republished with permission.

JemmanicollJemma Nicoll is a UTS Journalism graduate and freelance writer. She directs Inspire Creative Arts, a dance school in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire and is involved in mentoring and self-esteem development programs for girls. 

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  • amongster

    This makes me furious. Nobody can claim to be so naive to think that this was somehow alright. It’s appalling how safe these male commenters feel writing such things even about children. Hope this company will be held responsible.

    • Rachel

      Exactly! It scares me how normal it had become to sexualise pre teens and teens. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to be a ‘woman’ and the people interested in teens and pre teens were seen as weirdos who just ‘couldn’t get a woman’. Now, even amongst my most sensitive male friends, some who have studied psychology, it is the norm to sexualise children and in particular the scho uniform. One friend joking about how hot a 13/14 year old was physically. As if objectifying her in ‘only’ a sexual way, but not being attracted to her on a mental level somehow makes it ok?! Newsflash! A 13/14year old is still a child and not even fully developed, regardless of whether or not she has had her first period (and how would men know that by looking at a girl anyway?!) secondly, the start of a girls period doesn’t signify puberty is over and she is ready to have children like evo-psych babble boys would like to argue! Secondly, children, teens and women are not objects to be objectified at men’s every opportunity! When did the beauty of a woman (or child in this case) become equated to her fck-ability. This makes me so angry! And honestly, it makes me scared to have children in this day and age, especially girls! I mean, why is this ok and normalised now? Why do my male friends (who I hold in high regard) feel it’s ok and safe for them to make derogatory comments about young females, who they are literally old enough to father.

  • derrington

    Male culture is so far away from humane and decent that I wonder where or who the cavalry will come from. Most men, even in UK safeguarding, are so porn affected that they cannot recognise child abuse as child abuse and call children being attacked by males bitches and arrest them. The fact that this company thinks sexualising girls of seven in french maid outfits is cool is just about as far as from decent, and the fact the parents go along with this shows how little real protection girls are being raised with.

    • derrington

      This is the answer I received to my post on their Facebook page:
      Hi Vicki,

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out and for sharing your concerns –

      California Kisses truly apologizes for any advertisements that may have been interpreted to suggest any inappropriate meanings as this was never our intention. It is California Kisses hope to inspire our customers and followers to be confident, athletic, good hearted, and well-rounded young girls within the dance community, and we are truly saddened that any other message than this came across from the images and text used on our site.

      We have taken your comments very seriously and have reevaluated our marketing campaigns and any images used in relation to the California Kisses brand to make sure we are always showcasing our dancewear and models in the positive message we hope to represent. California Kisses is working hard to strictly monitor our social media accounts and to block and report any inappropriate and offensive commenters. We understand as a brand for kids and teens that it is our responsibility to provide a safe space for our models and our customers and it is our mission to make sure that the brand reflects a positive reputation that both kids and parents can be proud to associate with.

      We truly appreciate your concern and feedback, and going forward our entire team will be exceedingly cautious in the language and images used in our California Kisses advertisements to insure that nothing of this manner can be associated with the brand.

      Sincerely,

      I’ve put up another post to say that the widespread use of paedo grooming images and words is not a momentary lapse. Suggest that others post on their Facebook page so that they can see how far from decent behaviour towards female children they have taken their brand.

      • Sabine

        Surprise surprise my comment on the FB page got deleted. I’ve just posted a link to this article which will no doubt be removed within minutes. We need to organize a petition but I’m not sure how to go about it as I am not Australian and wouldn’t know who to direct it to.

      • Eli

        That corporate response irks me. Especially this:

        “California Kisses truly apologizes for any advertisements that may have been interpreted to suggest any inappropriate meanings as this was never our intention. It is California Kisses hope to inspire our customers and followers to be confident, athletic, good hearted, and well-rounded young girls within the dance community, and we are truly saddened that any other message than this came across from the images and text used on our site.”

        Saying they are sorry the images “may have been interpreted to suggest any inappropriate meanings” makes it sound like it’s not at all obvious that that is what those images actually DO. I mean, REALLY???? How can anyone NOT see that, including the advertising team that came up with it?

        The poses and outfits those girls are in do not suggest “confident, atletic, good hearted and well rounded.” The girls are completely hyper-sexualized, from the full makeup, to the way their hair is styled, the skimpy outfits and the body language.

        I was also in dance when I was a pre-teen, and we wore tights and leotards. Our costumes for recitals were more elaborate, but still essentially the same. And we didn’t pose or dance in sexually suggestive ways.

        • Priscila

          This is the typical false apology. Every coward does that when called out: instead of assuming responsibility they will blame YOU for “interpreting” them “wrong”.

          “It’s all in your head. Relaaaax, girl.”

  • There’s a dancewear stores just around the corner from my house that displays highly sexualised images of young girls. I don’t think they are likely to boycott the brand. I guess it couldn’t hurt to try though and a campaign like this could raise awareness among the (mostly) servile Australian public.

  • The Raddest

    Wowwww this is really bad. Checked out the site and it seems like they ONLY sell bra-type tops and hot shorts. What the hell ever happened to leotards? I remember taking dance when I was younger and feeling over-exposed in leotards anyway. Always needed a tu-tu. I wonder how these girls feel. This makes me really sad.

    Never mind I’m not sad, I’m fucking pissed.

  • And then to top it all of, apologists of pedophilia separate between the Poor, Innocent Pedophiles (TM) who “just watch” or “suffer because of their urges” and the Evil Child Abusers (TM). So let’s just provide the Poor and Innocent Pedophile with some more wanking material to prevent him from becoming an Evil Child Abuser. You know, like in Amsterdam where the state provides prostituted women (Oh, I’m sorry, I meant “sex workers”) to poor, poor men in need.

    Up until now, pedophiles have been hiding in academia as philosophers and intellectuals (Foucault, anyone? Allen Ginsberg? Lewis Carroll? All the porn-apologists?). Considering that their work is often obscure and hard to understand, their justifications of pedophilia have often been subtle. But I wouldn’t be surprised if pedophiles from all around actually united and overtly campaigned for “equal rights” and the legalization of child pornography in a few years.

    If it’s all “safe, sane and consensual” then why the hell shouldn’t they legalize child pornography?
    “Barely legal” teen porn says hello.

  • Sabine

    This makes me feel physically SICK. It’s beyond disgusting. My head is in my hands at this point….

  • Ellesar

    For the umpteenth time I am glad I had sons. I don’t think I could have parented girls without experiencing constant rage and despair at the sexualisation of girl children.
    I cannot express quite how much I hate that this site is letting perverts post sexual comments where little girls can read them – it is almost like they know that perves buy the clothes to give to little girls they are grooming!

    • Priscila

      EXACTLY. They KNOW who their customers are and target their publicity accordingly.

      Bunch of assholes.

      • Well raising sons is no better. This culture affects boys as well and boys who go unchecked turn out to be abusers and rapists. So better keep them in line.

  • LynX

    This is so fucking gross. I checked out their facebook page too – not much better. Hyper-sexualization of young girls is never OK. I suppose people could post their objections in the comment section of one of their posts, but I opted to block the page instead, thinking/hoping that maybe if people block them en masse it will affect their page ratings and force them to re-think their brand?

  • Nobody commented? Ok let me add a comment, since I love shouting my opinions. What the everloving fuck is this? Are they crazy? What is this abomination? I swear the world finds new ways to make me tick all the time. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this is mass grooming of young girls. To mess up their minds and their psychosexual developement. Put forth very sexualised images of young girls, with creepy suggestive phrases and elicit reactions of insecurity in young girls looking at these photos and you’ve got a perfect cocktail for a pedophile in real life to drink up and enjoy his disgusting self with. Plus the over pinkification is distressing and only reinforcing gender.

  • Jonas

    Is there anything not totally insane being created and/or coming out of the US these days ?

    How is this not on every worldwide anti-child exploitation organisations list of “things to stop” ?

    This is so far from being okey anywhere.

    • Sabine

      Good question Jonas. I just cannot get my head around what I am seeing and the fact it is legal. If this isn’t grooming then what the hell IS? It’s so blatantly disgusting and wrong on every single level I just can’t process it. HOW THE FUCK IS THIS ALLOWED?????????

      • Jonas

        Yes, grooming indeed. Thx for bringing that up, its a word I so often forget but that explains this perfectly.

    • Lee

      “Is there anything not totally insane being created and/or coming out of the US these days ?”

      Nope. It’s a porntainment-dominated economy now and it shows no signs of pulling up out of the nosedive. It’s the process of erosion, and people either find a way to justify how hideous it’s gotten and accept it as normal, or live with a mountain of psychological discomfort.

  • Dolores

    I would email them to tell them I disapprove but CK is a company- they’re just following the money. I don’t think they care about the pedophiles/ephebophiles/heeby-jeebyphiles or whatever child predators are calling themselves these days.

    I wonder if men would still leave sexually explicit comments on pictures of children if pornography was not so widespread, as well. It’s difficult because you can’t point at a guy and be sure that porn has lead him to be a predator, but a lot of porn certainly presents children as sex objects (teen porn/pseudo child pornography) and I think it normalizes the sexualization of children and makes sexualizing women in everyday situations seem ok.

    I read an article about young dancers being sexualized somewhere else but it’s so saddening to see another example of it, especially when fuckability is what is being maarketed to children (including teenage girls).

    How do other feminists deal with the world? I just get stoned and try to pretend I’ll wake up soon.

  • Laur

    This company makes me so angry. I didn’t realize what “pop that” was referring to when I first saw the ad. Indeed, I thought it was kinda a strange phrase for the ad. But having read the article, it makes total sense. Girls and women won’t notice the phrase while men “get it.” And the company has no problem proudly displaying the ad on its front page.

    As a child, I also did dance. I never remember anybody wearing two-piece dance outfits like this. They’re like bikinis for girls and teens to be on display year round. Somebody make this stop!!

    • Sabine

      WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE KID’S PARENTS THINKING?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Molly

        It’s all about the money. And they probably think it’s “empowering”. It’s sickening the way some people, especially so-called “feminists”, proudly justify it as such.

  • purple sage

    This makes me want to cry. 🙁

  • Sabine

    I left a comment of the FB page but 16 hours later there is no response from anybody. Who is it possible to report this to in Australia? There must be some kind of child protection authority? Something needs to be done about this!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Have Tweeted at Melinda et al to see if there is anything more we can do. Will let you know if I hear anything.

      • Sabine

        Thanks Meghan. This is so blatantly encouraging pre-pubescent and underage girls to be viewed as paedo fuck fantasies it just cannot be allowed to go on. We really have to do something!

        • derrington

          Sabine, I got this reply from company. Put another comment on their Facebook page, keep up the pressure.

          Hi Vicki,

          Thank you for taking the time to reach out and for sharing your concerns –

          California Kisses truly apologizes for any advertisements that may have been interpreted to suggest any inappropriate meanings as this was never our intention. It is California Kisses hope to inspire our customers and followers to be confident, athletic, good hearted, and well-rounded young girls within the dance community, and we are truly saddened that any other message than this came across from the images and text used on our site.

          We have taken your comments very seriously and have reevaluated our marketing campaigns and any images used in relation to the California Kisses brand to make sure we are always showcasing our dancewear and models in the positive message we hope to represent. California Kisses is working hard to strictly monitor our social media accounts and to block and report any inappropriate and offensive commenters. We understand as a brand for kids and teens that it is our responsibility to provide a safe space for our models and our customers and it is our mission to make sure that the brand reflects a positive reputation that both kids and parents can be proud to associate with.

          We truly appreciate your concern and feedback, and going forward our entire team will be exceedingly cautious in the language and images used in our California Kisses advertisements to insure that nothing of this manner can be associated with the brand.

          Sincerely,

          Tell them to remove all their images if they are truly sorry that they are acting as a groomer for paedos.

          • Laur

            Ya know, one thing I kinda hate is how you can’t get an actual human response from companies today. You end up getting these carefully-written, PR produced, “answer.”

            I’m not at all surprised that CK said they had no idea of what “pop that” means. And presumably, some of the women did *not* know what it meant. But, you also notice that even in this carefully-written, PR produced memo, they do not give another answer to what “pop that” is supposed to mean. The ad had to get by dozens, if not many, many more, people, before it was produced and put on the web. And you’re telling me *none* of this people, including men who watch porn, had any idea what it was supposed to mean? Come on. Not buying it.

            Not to mention, it’s really not that hard to delete comments on an instagram page. Clearly, up to now, the company didn’t give a flying you-know-what about objectifying girls for adult men. But when it impacts their bottom line, I bet they will.

  • Leah

    There is a petition against hypersexualized costumes and dance choreography. I can’t get this site to let me paste the link but it’s on change.org – see Dance Studios petition.

  • Rachael

    The thing about child sexual objectification is that it’s directly tied to adult objectification. Of course sexualization of children is the most disgusting and disturbing kind but in this “sex positive” world we live in, what’s degrading and harmful when your

  • Rachael

    I wonder if the “sex positive” “feminists” have any opinion on this kind of stuff. Since your no platformed for suggesting objectification and porn culture harms women then what about girls? Is the exploited 16 year old in that picture going to be “empowered” in 2 years once she reaches that magical age on consent that the male gender seems to never tire of fetishizing?

  • Simon

    Looks like they wiped all the perv comments from their facebook page. I doubt they’d have done so without your work to bring attention to it. Thank you!

  • Alex

    I just found this and looked at their website- there’s a model contest, and the girls are really young. Every one of them is photographed at least once in a “split”. And the make-up, the poses….I’m sorry if my english isn’t so good, right now I’m really sad and angry. My youngest daughter is 10, I’m getting sick by thinking she or her friends could be thinking this is what a dancer/athlete has to look like. What kind of parent/mother can agree to their child being objectified and exploited like this? I’ve noticed a trend towards skimpy sportswear for girls in the running community, too. It’s explained by saying that it prevents overheating- funny that I have yet to see a boy wearing a “bra” and shorts while competing in cloudy weather at about 15°C. I will look sharper at this and continue to teach my daughter that she can be a good athlete without exposing herself more then practical.

  • The Real Cie

    I really can’t even think of anything vaguely intelligent to say, so I will just give my visceral reaction to this. Absolutely disgusting. Making money providing jerkoff material to pedophiles is what this is. Ugh!

    • Rachel

      I’m beginning to think that the word pedophile would accurately describe a large sample of the male population now. It’s like we have to come up with a new diagnosis for men that aren’t pedophiles.