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Topic ClosedBrazilian child samba-girl controversy

 
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Spunkedncr View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Brazilian child samba-girl controversy
    Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:15pm
Child exploitation or not, what do you think?


Watch Video >> http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/09/brazil.samba.girl/index.html?iref=allsearch


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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (CNN) -- Like any girl her age, Julia Lira likes playing with her friends and siblings but one of her passions has put her center stage in a Brazilian national debate.

The rambunctious second-grader who lives in Rio de Janeiro, also likes school and sleeping late. What makes the seven-year-old different is the costumes she likes to wear and her upcoming performance in Brazil's carnival season.

We found her wearing a glittery, samba queen, light purple outfit including a puffy mini skirt and a minuscule top. She was also wearing make up and her long hair was neatly coiffed.

But that's just the beginning. Julia definitely stands out when she starts dancing.

"My daughter has always loved to dance. She has always danced at home, but I never imagined she would get to this level," says her 41-year-old mother Monica Lira, who says the girl has been dancing samba and other genres like jazz since she was three.

While playing a game of tag with her friends and siblings, Julia Lira seems completely unaware that she is in the spotlight of a national controversy.

She has been named drum corps queen for a performance during the upcoming carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.

The role of drums corps queen is normally given to scantily clad, often surgically-enhanced models whose job it is to engage dozens of drummers by incorporating sensual moves into their dancing.

Who in the world would have their daughter participate in a parade if they knew that she would be seen as something sensual?
--Marco Lira, Julia's father

That's why many in Brazil are questioning the reasons for giving such a role to a seven-year-old girl.

When I ask Julia about whether she's excited about participating in carnival as a drums corps queen, she gives me a short and simple answer.

"I like samba. I like dancing," she says, shyly smiling and looking away at her mother who's encouraging her to say more about her love for the rhythm associated with Brazilian culture around the world.

Sexual exploitation of children is a problem in Brazil and many here say allowing the girl to dance during carnival sends the wrong message.

But the girl's father, 45-year-old Marco Lira, says people have the wrong idea about what her daughter is supposed to be doing.

He says the only thing that will be on display when his daughter dances in front of a contingent of drummers is her talent.

"My daughter is seven years old. I ask you, who in the world would have their daughter participate in a parade if they knew that she would be seen as something sensual?" he said.

Marco Lira also happens to be the president of Viradouro School of Samba. His daughter has been attending the school since she was three-years old and is not the only child dancing there to the rhythm of samba.

Joice Hurtado, the school's public relations director, says she sees nothing wrong with the girl participating in the carnival celebrations and denies that Julia's role will have any displays of sensuality.

"I think there is no sense for something like that because she's just a little girl who likes to dance and her parents think there's no problem with that and they'll be with her all the time," Hurtado says.

On the recommendation of children's rights groups a family court in Rio de Janeiro has agreed to look into the case.

According to local media, Judge Ivonne Ferreira Caetano is asking questions about the girl's role in the parade and the kind of costume she will be wearing -- even though costumes are normally a closely guarded secret for samba schools participating in the contests.

He also wants to know how late into the night Julia will be performing, the Brazilian media reported. Her parents say her samba school's performance is scheduled to start just after midnight.

On that question of timing, we waited until midnight for the interview with her. By 3 a.m. she was yawning but about to take the stage for a performance.

And once on stage she transformed into a very competent performer with a level of talent for dancing that rivals the older and voluptuous members of her samba school.

Her stage presence was also impressive, blowing kisses at the crowd and bowing at the end of songs.

All this happened under the watchful eye of her mother, who was standing offstage, just a few steps away, right next to the girl's father


Edited by Spunkedncr - Feb 15 2010 at 9:16pm
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Derri View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:17pm
I'm in the office and that's too much to read right now
but I'd love to comment. Damn...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:19pm
She can dance theres no problem with that she need more DAYUM clothes on
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:19pm
It's no different than little girls wearing bikinis in child beauty pagents. I wouldnt say that it's sexual, but it does have the effect of little girls growing up entirely too fast.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:21pm
Facts...

She's dancing all day in 110 degree weather

Apparently she's being judged

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:24pm
They don't have a children's parade in Brasil? They have children's parades everywhere. If they have one, I don't understand why she is not in it and in the adult one instead. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:30pm

Just kills me when parents dress their little girls up like grown women (make up, hair, and clothes) and don't think it is sending a wrong signal.Ouch

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:30pm
Let her dance on a float in the parade, not lead the parade.This is many shades of JonBenet Ramsey wrong.
 
(AP) RIO DE JANEIRO - She was cheered by legions of Carnival fans, but 7-year-old Julia Lira, the youngest drum corps queen in memory at Rio's lavish party, broke down crying after being surrounded by cameras early Monday.

Dressed in a sequined halter top and a miniskirt made of purple feathers, the youngster tentatively stepped through the first 50 yards (meters) of the parade. Her father -- the president of the parading Viradouro samba group -- then took her by the hand and presented her to the crowd. She smiled big for the photographers and adoring fans.

But 10 minutes into the group's parade and surrounded by dozens of photographers and television cameramen, the youngster broke down in tears and was immediately scooped up into the arms of her unofficial handler, the group's spokeswoman Joice Hurtado, and taken away from the attention.

After a five-minute cool down, Julia returned to her place in front of the group's massive drum line, but was quickly whisked through the parade grounds by her father and out of the media's eye.

"She just got scared after having all those cameras thrust in her face," Hurtado said after the parade. "After we got her into her mother's arms, she quickly calmed down and put on a great show."

While Julia bounced back and began to samba at the helm of the parade, television coverage broadcast to millions in Brazil steered clear of showing any more shots of her.

Before the parade began, Julia's father, Marco Lira, said that "she's happy, she is ready to dance."

 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:37pm
Maybe their culture see nothing wrong with the way they have her dressed along with the make-up. I know down South America its like a culture for the girls to grow up very fast.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2010 at 9:41pm
Her parents get a Confused.  they are famewhores using their child for attention.  The dad is shades of Matthew Knowles.
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