This Morning causes controversy with segment featuring 8-year-old pole dancers
Published 17/02/2016 | 09:47
ITV's This Morning has sparked controversy following a segment on whether or not pole fitness is a suitable exercise for children.
Psychologist Emma Kenny argued that it sexualises children while pole fitness instructor Zoe Hardy and the mothers of children who partake in the classes said otherwise.
However, the segment also featured children - Tilly May and Timea (8) and Mia (11) - demonstrating some pole fitness moves in black hotpants and white crop tops with gold bow ties.
Hardy insisted it is 'pole fitness' and not 'pole dancing'.
Lisa Grosse, mother of Tilly Mae (8) said, "Tilly was bullied at school for being fat and not interested in what the other girls did. [Pole fitness] was advertised adn I just asked her, it's another form of fitness, would you like to give this one a try?
"Having tried other forms of dancing and other activities she never really stuck to it but she came to [pole fitness] and she's never looked back."
Mia's (11) mum Lorraine Handbury added, "She's done competitive gymnastics in the past which is very similar to this. She's tried lots of activities, this was something new and she likes to challenge herself, so why not?"
Many viewers were outraged by the inclusion of the demonstration in the debate. However, others defended pole fitness as a legitimate form of exercise for children.
Pole fitness for kids is fine but why are they dressed in skimpy shorts and crop tops? That's what makes it 'wrong'. #PoleDanceDebate— Yasmin Demirhisar (@YasminDems) February 16, 2016
#poledancedebate If you're sexualising children for exercising, then maybe it's just you with the issues.— nadine danielle. (@DanielleNadinee) February 16, 2016
ppl need to get over pole being a purely sexual thing. it is much more than that. Do research before being judgemental #poledancedebate— Sindar (@SindarUndomiel) February 16, 2016
#poledancedebate why should young girls be brought up thinking they shouldn't do something because they're going to be objectified by men?— Leah (@ljevans525) February 16, 2016
there's nothing wrong with it, it's us who are sexualising children #poledancedebate— court (@fluoxetinefairy) February 16, 2016
If you're upset by the notion of an 8 y/o using a pole as exercise apparatus, it's you who needs to not sexualise a child. #PoleDanceDebate— We Can Do It. #AFC (@_The12thMan) February 16, 2016