Word of the day – Titillation

Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine [lavieboston.com]

Music video day at the park – youtube may rock but it also perturbs. I am not sure how I wandered into children’s dance competitions but it appears to be a very competitive sport. Skilled and with judges that may not have a section on their score card – or more to the point – on their entry form describing and defining parameters about the appropriateness of costume and choreography for a child’s event.

If even very skilled little girls never won a single competition if they chose to enter the stage in red satin and black lace – then probably fewer little girls would be sent onto a stage dressed in tutu bikinis and thigh high stockings.

Emotional growth, step by step

To review economics and the law of supply and demand – “where there is a demand . . . there will always be a supply” – the cost may vary at different times and places. Currently the price is free with open internet access – and I am not against open internet at all – but little girl competitions and manipulation of thumbnails to make it seem like pornography are tactics that titillate enough viewers in the world to run up the both the view count and the comments – insightful and less so, but interested. Pedophilia, boredom, concern for the children, reasons may vary but the underlying truth is – sex does sell, or at least it attracts attention. Good or bad – attention-seeking is a drive also.

Seeking approval outside of yourself, attention-seeking behavior, is also a symptom found on the laundry list of the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfuntional Families group. The hardcover book is only $15 and the yellow workbook is only $10 [adultchildren.org]- I gave copies to several friends and family members. Trying to relive childhood dreams through directing one’s child’s activities in pursuit of  of the lost personal dream can also be a symptom of laundry list living – denying real reasons

If it were a Halloween costume talent show competition and one of the categories was Burlesque theatre review, then it would make more sense to me. A very favorite movie, predating love for the Showtime series, United States of Tara, is the black comedy, “Little Miss Sunshine” that takes a magnifying glass to the underbelly of junior, junior miss talent competitions (grade school beauty shows) and the negatives of traveling with a dead body (Grandpa passed along the way – but it was his time – and the show must go on). Abigail Breslin delivers a Best Supporting Actress winning role in the movie as the dancing dynamo that grandpa had assisted with development of a routine for use in the talent section of a Little Miss Sunshine contest. Some of the men loved the routine while the judges were aghast and the emcee was frantically unsure of how to get the little girl (the actress Abigail) to stop her booty shaking routine.

[Grandpa is still alive in this photo of the family at the ice cream road stop scene from the movie “Little Miss Sunshine” , on imdb.com, Abigail Breslin photo collection.]

Red satin and black lace dressed a different set of girls in the following video from a 2009 world dance competition. They are physically very gifted athletes, performing a tiny sized version of every other music video that has been released. They are training from a young age to do extremely well in an extremely competitive industry – show business – or was that Burlesque theatre – I sometimes forget the terminology commonly in use.

World Dance competition (not sure of details about the event), 2009,  link – while I appreciate the athleticism of the girls dancing in the video, I do not appreciate the underlying message that a little girl dance competition industry supported the development of a routine and costume that could grace any Las Vegas night club stage any night of the week – and deservedly so – they are professionals.  But they are also seven years old and to think about the disciplined effort that they all had to practice to achieve such mastery suggests that they didn’t have many innocent days at the beach.

Mastering a skill has been said to take the equivalent of 10,000 hours of practice (said by psychologist, K. Anders Ericsson, who studied the skill level and practice habits of students at the Berlin Elite Academy of Music, and the research is described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Outliers). These little girls didn’t learn the moves the way that I learned the dance moves that replicate horizontal practice hours.  Innocent booty shaking or stylized booty shaking is generally a little less graphic then those talented little seven year old girls managed to imitate, artfully I am sure – they are winners. I am only suggesting that the style that they have mastered the imitation of really doesn’t belong in a child’s dance class – or if it does then – why does it and who got to decide that anyway?

Also red satin and black lace bikini tutus and thigh high stockings don’t belong on any seven to seventeen year old if honesty were truly our policy, not just the best policy.

But who am I to judge anything – I think they are great and it is a standard style of the dance industry – flashy, shiny, and shaken more than stirred.

Artist: Beyonce‘, Song: single ladies (?)    7 year old girls going hard on single ladies, link

Youtube Channel:  HaruHaru765     # Views on 12-9-2011:  4,651,503

While the dancing above is superb,  I prefer the following youthful display of fun and girl power:

Artist: Beyonce’  Song:  (Girls ) Run the World (Sierra Neudeck) link

Youtube Channel: rdneudeck

Micky Dolenz, in “Circus Boy”

And for a trip back in time, to a more innocent time – a clip from the Television comedy/music video show, “The Monkees”. Each show had a loose plot structure that tied together early versions of what music videos eventually became. The show was somewhat modeled after the Beatles’ movie “A Hard Day’s Night” (these opinions are actually Tom’s musical trivia opinions). My trivial mind can add that in the following video the Monkees are singing portions of a famous children’s poem “Saturday’s child is fair of face” I remember that Wednesday’s child had far to go and one of the days of the week was full of grace but I will need to google a bit to flesh out details of that memory. (per Wikipedia – Mother Goose Rhyme says “Saturday’s child works hard for a living”. – The Monkees , “1966 to 1968, the musical acting quartet was composed of Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, and Englishman Davy Jones.,” were young adult stars – now that I think about it – they probably had fun  getting to the beach themselves.

*** Micky Dolenz was an American child TV show star. His role was water boy for the elephants in a traveling circus – that sounds like a fun job but I bet elephants drink a lot of water and there weren’t as many electric pumps attached to faucets – a hand pump and bucket may have been involved. Times they have a changed but thirst continues to happen. (happy early birthday – 3-8-1945)   mickydolenz.com/gallery

***Davy Jones, born in Manchester, England (the other Monkees were American) also was a child star beginning at age 11, brief pause at age 14 to pursue becoming a jockey but went back into acting in a traveling show of the musical “Oliver”. His role was a main supporting role as “the Artful Dodger”, the engaging pick pocket that helps the more gentle orphan, Oliver, learn new life skills (pick pocketing and running very fast).  [ DavyJones.net ] [ http://keepupwithjones.davyjones.net/ ]

Artist: The Monkees television show clip  Song: Saturday’s Child     link – video has Monkees on unicycles

Youtube Channel: utoobuser101

Micky Dolenz, 2009, at Whatever Works

The Monkees can also be seen playing the song live, 2011 Tour, on Youtube, but I like the fun day at the beach version. It reminds me of playing with my sisters and big brother. I also remember being highly offended somewhere around the age of  4 or 5 when my mother started making me wear a shirt in the summertime – everyday – all day long – and my brother still didn’t have to and he was way, way older than I was. It still doesn’t seem fair, not really but I understand a little better now.


Wikipedia [link] says that Monday’s child was fair of face and Wednesday’s child is full of woe and Thursday’s child (day of the week that you were actually born on) is the one that had far to go.  – I learned of the poem from the book … ??? will have to look around the house – somewhere I still have it.

Nope – not that book actually but I love some of her other books, “Ballet Shoes” and “Dancing Shoes” (originally published as “Wintle’s Wonders“)  [Amazon reviews of an abridged version].

….. children’s novel by (Mary) Noel Streatfield called Thursday’s Child. [Wikipedia]


In continuing the virtual hunt I found a book assembled by Suzanne Somers, called “Wednesday’s Children”, a collection of celebrities who have shared stories from their childhood experiences. Amazon link to the book 
Amazon Suzanne Somers author page

Excerpt from the one review posted by “a Customer” [link]:

  • Some parts are incredibly shocking but the fact that these people have emerged to live their lives and be in a continual process of healing, is a triumph of their spirits, and to me the triumph of the ultimate spirit of good in the world, after all. An intense but compelling read, and one every abused child should read.

– children’s book set in Great Depression – Thursday’s child is digging a tunnel under their shanty – cool.

A public Early Intervention program for children under age three, to assist families with children who have been diagnosed with PDD/autism.  -in New York, Early Intervention Programs (EIP) for areas in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

A support site for assisting runaway children, teens,


I had forgotten “Friday’s Child” by Georgette Heyer, “The Big Name In Regency Romance Writing” [Amazon] – have your dictionary nearby if you haven’t read Georgette Heyer before.

Excerpt from the “Editorial Reviews” section:

  • Friday’s Child is a cut above the rest, which is saying quite a lot since this is Georgette Heyer we’re talking about and all her books happen to be fantastic. Friday’s Child is filled with likable characters that stick with you and witty dialogue that will make you laugh out loud. (Katie Trattner Blog Critics 20080903)

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ( I ran through all the days of the week and didn’t find it and was going to give up – but I just remembered – The Days – I think it was a family and all the kids were born on different days of the week – eureka! – nope – cleaning the house may be easier after all – the father grew gorgeous dahlias and then had a serious accident and they had to move away to a country estate and take in boarders – not sure but set in England in 1950’s I think.)

******* A major problem in our society is that the definition of “abused child” can become very blurred – are 7 year old circus performers abused or in training for an exciting and fulfilling career in the circus?

***Take note that in the poem, below,  the word “gay” had a different common usage than the more typically used definition today tends to imply. However one might pause and reflect on the joyfulness that that original meaning of the word gay actually implies. It is joyful to embrace ones inner nature and proudly live life following nature’s instinctual messages. Who are any of us to judge anyone’s choices in life but our own.

from Wikipedia page:

Common modern versions include:

Monday’s child is fair of face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.[1]
~~~~end of my original post, I removed the images which were not mine.
The point of that post which may have been unclear in the rambling style I was using was simply for parents of young actors and dancers to be cautious about leaving their children alone with talent scouts or other adult trainers who might manipulate the child into doing things which the child can’t possibly understand or might understand but who might think pleasing the adult in order to win a competition or a role is more important to their parents than protecting themselves.

Communicating from a place of equality is important for a healthy relationship in my opinion, and in other health professionals too. Training materials about communicating from equal perspectives have been developed for use with domestic violence and batterers but the handouts might be helpful for anyone who feels they may be in a business or personal relationship where communicating seems to not go as expected. Power struggles can be part of many types of relationships not just within families.

Training materials about equality within a conversation or within a relationship, the Power and Control and Equality Wheels, were developed for helping victims of domestic violence and batterers learn how to recognize problem behaviors within their communication and actions. Family therapists may work with the whole family to practice new ways to communicate because if one person tries to change on their own the others may feel the new style of communication is an attack rather than an attempt by the previously unassertive person to try to communicate their needs.

The handouts may be helpful for most age groups as emotional manipulation or abuse of power and control can occur in many types of relationships not just between couples. Discussing the difference between equal exchanges in a conversation and unequal ones in a calm neutral setting may be helpful to prevent a difficult exchange from ever happening in the first place.

  • Power and Control and Equality Wheels:  The Power and Control Wheel (I.21) was developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP). (I.22) Manipulative behaviors are grouped into eight categories in the model. An additional Equality Wheel (I.23) was developed to help guide batterers and victims of emotional or physical abuse towards healthier ways to interact. It is grouped into eight equivalent categories with examples of healthier ways to interact with each other. Problems frequently can involve communication issues by both people in a relationship.

Crisis Hotlines and Resources:

  • U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255, Available 24 hours everyday. (I.16.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
  • National Helpline: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: “SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.”  (I.17.samhsa.org)
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, RAINN Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE, (I.18.RAINN.org)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 24/7 confidential support at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. (I.19.thehotline.org)
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway: a variety of toll-free hotline numbers for concerns involving the safety of children. (I.20)

See a healthcare provider for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.