The Baby Whores


Thursday night was Riley’s hip hop dance recital.  He’s been practicing with his dance crew since January and parents are banned from rehearsal so we had no idea how it would go.  Each week, he’d come home from his rehearsal and I’d ask him what he learned and he’d say, “I don’t remember” or “nothing.”  These are also the answers I get when I ask him about school.  But the recital went amazingly well.  He’s the cutest thing on the planet.  He even has the hip hop attitude that makes the style just that much more fun.  As the only boy in the troupe, he also had a couple of solos.  It was a great night.  There were kids of all sizes on that stage.  And for the most part they wore jeans and a T-shirt and had reasonable hair and didn’t wear makeup and nobody was THAT good and it didn’t matter anyway.


On Friday night Kim and I caved in and told Riley we could go watch his cousin in her dance competition.  She’s 10 and a tiny little peanut.  We showed up at the school auditorium and the first thing I noticed were all the little girls dressed up like baby whores.  I know that sounds TERRIBLE to say, but there were these little girls – as young as about 4- all dressed up with nail polish, gobs and gobs of make-up, their hair pulled up, and the skankiest of all possible outfits.  These pre-pubescent dancing girls were moving their bodies like they were trying to be sexy.  And they blew kisses at the judges and walked these dance walks that – though I have never been – I am sure you’d see in the red light district.   I know one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but it was like a JonBenet festival.  Belly buttons hung out, thighs were exposed, v-neck tops exposed skin-colored material.  It was really over the top.


I felt uneasy being there.  I was uncomfortable with the exploitation.  And, since there were folks there from my hometown – folks who know I’m a lesbian – I was uncomfortable that they thought I was there to CHECK OUT these little girls.


Anyway, Roo, who – by the way – was NOT skanked out, danced her heart out in the solo competition.  Her choreography was skillful and professional and her attitude was sassy but not slutty.  She was great.  And while theoretically, I hated that there were no normal sized role models there for her to look up to, I had to admit, I liked watching her skinny little self dance.  I thought she was amazing.


Afterward, a stage mom appeared where my sister was sitting, and she pointed out each of Little Roo’s mistakes.  She harped on the fact that Roo got too close to the judges, and she told Roo that second place was out – she’d be lucky to get third.  Okay, that makes my sister sound harsh.  And she really isn’t.  Though stage parenting may run in our family.  She wanted Roo to learn from her mistakes and she wanted her to be prepared NOT to win so she wouldn’t be so disappointed at the awards ceremony when she was in front on everybody.  Despite my sister’s insistence that this was not Roo’s best performance, she was – for the first time in her dancing career – crowned. Queen!  As in FIRST PLACE.  (so sister – na na na na na.)     


After the dance competition we were all hungry and decided to eat at a nearby hamburger joint.  Roo still wore her dance leotard and skirt complete with fringe and sequins only now she also wore a tiara and a sash.  As we were waiting to be seated a father and his daughter were leaving the restaurant.  The little girl was staring at Roo with admiration.


Daughter: “Look Daddy.”

Father:  “Yep Sweetie, a real princess.”

Daughter:  “Wow!”

Roo:  “Not a princess.  I’m the QUEEN!”


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5 Responses to “The Baby Whores”

  1. Carrie Says:

    Roo is a queen…she always has been!

  2. UNCLE DOUG Says:




  3. GRAM JO Says:

    SHAME——Shame on you, Ruth. You’ve been taught better. Calling little dancers, a naughty word.

  4. qweirdutah Says:

    Since I managed to piss off both my Grandma and my Uncle, I decided the post might be worth a follow-up. I don’t want anyone to think that I feel like I should get to determine the way anyone ought to dress. However, when dolled up in tiny outfits with gobs of make-up on, I might be known in blog form to call this “dressing like a baby whore.” I think while my language may have been inappropriate, the point I was trying to make – and will spell out now – is the contrast between the dance recital (of Thursday night) and the dance competition (of Friday night). And I did state that the body image scars and the lack of healthy bodied dancers is also a concern of mine. Finally, put yourself in my shoes. I’m at a dance competition to support my niece and I have internalized so much of other’s homophobia that I am worried about my hometowners thinking I’m there to sexualized these children.
    My niece was amazing. And despite thinking I would not enjoy the show, I had a great time.

    PS I dressed like a nun in The Sound of Music. Did that make me a nun?

  5. GRAM JO Says:

    There you go again, using naughty words. Ruth I’ve never been prouder of any of my Grandkids, as I am of you. As Lincoln said, or was it Henry, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life, your right to say it” or something like that. Isn’t it best to censor yourself,than have government do it. I check your blog about once a week, generally on a Monday, at the HOME. love you Gram.

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