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.