The sexualization of young girls has been all over the media like a rash lately. From padded bikinis to makeover salons for tots. But this latest tale takes the cake. Make Me Fabulous, a dance studio in England, is offering pole dancing classes for preschoolers. At $5 an hour, little girls as young as three can learn to work the pole as mini agent provocateurs.
While the instructor staunchly maintains that the 'Little Spinners' class isn't sleazy or scummy, many would fail to see how little girls "holding their legs in a V-shape while sliding down a pole" could be construed as anything else. The studio advertises the pole dancing class, which is aimed at three-to seven-year-olds, as "sexy, relaxing and invigorating".
Exercise is a fabulous way to boost self-esteem, no question. Dance classes in particular are a great way to instill discipline and nurture talent through movement and physical expression. But surely there's a difference between dressing up and dressing down for fun?
Treating the man in your house to a special Father's Day meal this weekend? If so, he'd better watch what he orders.
When it comes to your household, who do you think has the most influence over your kid's eating habits? Must be mom, right? After all, she works hard to cook and serve up every colour under the rainbow and cajole said nutritious concoctions into her kid's belly night after night.
And when she's not in the kitchen, she tends to obsess about what her kids are, or aren't, eating. Surely for all the time she spends slaving over the stove, mom must have the biggest impact on her children's eating habits, right?
Well, you would think so. Mrs. President, Michelle Obama, thought so too. But according to a new study by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, that's simply not the case.
The 15-month study examined how parents' time management affected their meal choices, with a particular emphasis on fast-food versus service restaurants (because of the proven correlation between fast-food consumption and childhood obesity).
When kids were asked to keep a food diary, it was their dads who held the most sway as to the "what and how" of eating, particularly when it came to junk food. After analyzing the data, lead researcher and Texas University professor, Dr. Alex McIntosh, noted, "It was father's time spent at fast-food restaurants --not mother's time spent there-- that was associated with kids' time spent in a fast-food place."
The reasoning behind the results, though somewhat surprising, isn't rocket science. Because fathers are frequently told they need to spend more quality time with their children, dads often eschew mom's hard nutritional regime in favour of having fun. Unfortunately, says McIntosh, that 'fun' usually entails "letting loose with mom's food rules". And guess who winds up the hero?
Although McIntosh insists that mothers do still play a vital role when it comes to their children's food choices, in terms of statistical findings at least, dads trump. Traditionally, mothers have been blamed "for everything that goes wrong with children, especially when it comes to food." So, moms, it seems you're off the hook a little for this one.
This Father's Day, instead of heading down to the local greasy spoon for brunch, hand over your apron, sit back, and let dad take a leaf out of your wholesome cookbook.
Pass the Pringles."
Natalie Portman has given birth to a baby boy whose name has not yet been revealed.
Seven months after announcing her pregnancy, the Oscar-winner is now a mom. Portman is engaged to Black Swan choreographer, Benjamin Millepied.
"I have always kept my private life private," said Portman when announcing her pregnancy, "but I will say that I am indescribably happy and feel very grateful to have this experience."
In other pregnancy news: Recently married, Brit pop singer Lily Allen, is thrilled to be pregnant again after tragically miscarrying last year while six months' pregnant. Allen, who had the hit single, "Smile", also miscarried in 2008.