Netflix has some interesting shows. Growing up, my favorite channel was the International channel. I was always intrigued by how others live and think. At one point in my life, I watched nothing but international films. So, it’s no surprise that Mignonnes also known as Cuties caught my attention. But what really piqued my interest in this film was how controversial it was among the conservative groups. The film involves pre-teen girls, performing sexually suggested dance. Despite the conservative criticism, I found the film refreshing and educational. It’s about time we take a look into the female psyche, especially young girls making a transition into womanhood. We’ve lived in a male-centric perspective way too long. Let’s hear more from a female perspective.
Cuties released on August 19, 2020, directed by Maïmouna Doucouré speaks volumes on the negative effects between young girls and the media, but more importantly, it shows the cultural war between one’s traditional upbringing and the internet world. Yes, some of the scenes made me feel uncomfortable, watching young girls twerk and dance like one of those rap music videos will make anyone in their right mind gasp. It takes a mature audience to scratch the surface of the film and its meaning. The film depicts the realistic struggles of what a Senegalese-French girl goes through, which makes the viewing an insightful watch because it’s not your typical teenage angst film, in fact, it’s not even teenagers we are dealing with–it’s preteen. Wow, I remember the time when I started to rebel against my mother in middle school by skipping school and developing an eating disorder. Young girls are highly self-conscious of their bodies and I was no exception. Back then, I didn’t have the internet available, but I did have access to women’s magazines such as Allure, Seventeen, and Vogue which unfortunately are not the best material to give advice to young girls on how to be a woman. Watching this film, I can’t help but cringe thinking, “Don’t grow up too fast. Sexiness is overrated!”
Would I recommend this film as pure entertainment? No. Watch the film if you want something a bit controversial that would open a dialogue to discuss the effects that society, culture, and particularly the internet has on young girls. Overall, it’s a well-made film. It’s bold, daring, and a little disturbing. Now I understand why my mother disapproved of me participating in a dance activity after school when I was 10 years old despite the fact I saw no harm in it. The predator gaze is real.