‘Cuties’ Film Sexually Exploits Little Girls


RELEASE Sept. 16, 2020

The film “Cuties,” now streaming on Netflix, is perpetuating the sexual exploitation of girls, according to Dr. Gail Dines, Founder & President of Culture Reframed, an organization that helps kids build resilience and resistance to hypersexualized media and pornography.

The organization calls for a global conversation about the hypersexualization of girls — and ways to help build resilience and resistance in girls growing up in a pornified culture; but in ways that do not further hypersexualize and exploit young girls. Studies show that girls who conform to these cultural pressures tend to develop high levels of anxiety, depression, an increased risk of being sexually abused, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.

French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, who wrote and directed ‘Cuties’, calls her film a “social commentary” that sheds light on the dangers of sexualizing young girls. But Dines argues that “you can’t critique the sexual exploitation of girls if you are going to sexually exploit them to make the film.”

Netflix users in the U.S. have been canceling their accounts at a rate that is nearly eight times higher than the average daily levels recorded in August 2020 — reaching a multiyear high, according to Variety. The #CancelNetflix hashtag continues to trend on social media.

“The film attempts to critique the hypersexualization of young girls but it uses the very same visual grammar that it is attempting to critique,” said Dines.

Culture Reframed’s free, online programs – the Program for Parents of Teens and the Program for Parents of Tweens — provide parents with the information, skills, and resources they need to have conversations to build resilience in young people to porn, which is easily accessed via any smart device.

Teens taking a selfie

Where are your kids getting their sex education? Their smartphones? In this digital age, it’s critical for young people to have trusted adults to help them build resilience and resistance to hypersexualized media and porn. Check out Culture Reframed’s free online Programs for Parents of Tweens and Program for Parents of Teens.


Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Sue says:

    This movie is protesting exactly the stuff you guys are. Why are you jumping on this bandwagon?

    • jeff says:

      From the article:

      “The film attempts to critique the hypersexualization of young girls but it uses the very same visual grammar that it is attempting to critique,” said Dines.

    • blog says:

      Because white america LOVES to police what stories women of color can and cannot tell about their own lives.

      Gosh, if they let this stuff go, we might actually talk about what we are doing to these girls instead of hiding it, which is, apparently, Culture Reframed’s real goal.

      • Nadezda Evgenova says:

        Nonsense. This is not a documentary–and had it been a documentary, one would hope that the video material would avoid being very explicit, in long, long shots. This scripted film asks from young girls that they behave in sexual ways while the camera zooms in their (albeit dressed) buts and vaginas, and so on and so forth. This is not an accident, it is terrible decision making from the part of the director and screenwriter, whatever their intention was. The girls are real girls. And the above comment is unfounded, for culture reframed collaborates with women of colour and openly denounces racism in pornography. Critiquing is not policing, this film would have probably received a lot more criticism had it been made by a white person–and there is something to say about someone who grows up in this environment, and goes on to make a film that blurs lines, possibly very confused about ethical boundaries.

  • Marcia Stocks says:

    Thank You for making a stand for our children and Grandchildren. Keep up the good work.

  • cill says:

    I would love to know how “Culture Reframed” would change parts of this movie to make it to their liking – whats the point of calling something out – that has the SAME goals as you- if you dont offer an alternative!?

  • Michele Petryk says:

    Culture Reframed has picked the wrong target. This movie is yes, very uncomfortable to watch, but also brilliant. The filmmaker shows us the world young girls/women live in – in this case hard socio-economic circumstances, religious orthodoxy – and asks us to think about why the pressure to grow up too fast is irresistible. The viewer is asked to think about why the young protagonist makes the terrible choices she does. In a world where she has no power, her sexuality seems like the only way through. Without understanding there is no solution.

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