Rom-com queen Katherine Heigl, star of the mildly-anticipated One For the Money, has a beef with Dance Moms, Lifetime's tough-love reality show, which recently began its second season. The show's title already tells you it's not about the kids — polarizing head instructor Abby Lee Miller and her battles with the eponymous moms have a great deal to do with the show's popularity.
Heigl, mother to three-year-old adopted daughter Naleigh, took to her iVillage blog to express her displeasure with the inappropriate messages she feels the show sends to young girls.
After watching one recent episode, Heigl wrote:
I watched with open-mouthed amazement as girls as young as seven were encouraged to dress provocatively and shimmy around a stage doing a dance performance that could just as easily been a burlesque routine. I kept thinking all these girls were missing is a pole! I was also horrified by the way their instructor spoke to them when she felt they weren't up to snuff. It was demeaning, belittling, and downright unkind.
While Heigl did praise and encourage the young girls pursuing their dreams, she had a real problem with Miller's boot-camp approach.
In Heigl's opinion,
There is no reason to break anyone down in order to prepare them for inevitable disappointment or unkindness. There is no reason to diminish anyone's self-esteem in order to get them to try harder next time. Especially not a child's.
The thirty-three-year-old Heigl, who I'm guessing is also not a Toddlers & Tiaras fan, took a shot at the superficial values implicitly espoused by train-wreck TV:
It terrifies me, the amount of value we place on a woman's looks, body, and ability to drop it like it's hot on the dance floor. It's one thing to walk into a club and see twenty-somethings embracing their sexuality and having some fun, but it's another thing altogether watching seven-year-olds shake their booties, bellies, and non-existent boobies on a stage in a room full of adults and be handed a trophy for it. What in the world are we telling them? That sexy is the prize and is the talent they have?