Mean Betty on the Performance of Burlesque and 'Britain's Got Talent'

A burlesque performer recently got Simon Cowell's show 'Britain's Got Talent' into some hot water with media watchdogs Ofcom. But should it have? Mean Betty investigates!
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And Beatrix’s appearance on the semi-finals:

Yes, there is no denying that these dances are sexy—but Meanie believes them to be sexy in a wonderfully healthy way. Meanie has never danced burlesque herself; however, she has been to a burlesque performance or two, and believe her, kittens, it is quite a show. Far from “stripping” in the gentleman’s cabaret sense of the word, burlesque is funny, sexy, and—perhaps most interestingly of all—quite empowering. The overall air of the art proclaims, loudly, and proudly: “We all have bodies, and no matter what they look like, that’s FABULOUS. So let’s celebrate it!” That’s right: Burlesque shows have some of the best messages about body image out there today.

And really, what separates Beatrix’s act from, say, some of Britney Spears’ more scandalous moments? To Meanie, there seems to be very little difference between Beatrix’s act and Britney’s surprise strip down to a barely-there sparkly bra-and-panties set during the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. In fact, Meanie might even argue that Beatrix’s act is more tasteful than Britney’s; there’s a primness to the removal of clothing in the performance that the fast and furious ripping off of Britney’s outer outfit simply lacks. If it is somehow deemed “okay” for children and teens to watch Britney yank off most of her clothing, why is it “NOT okay” for them to watch something like Beatrix’s performance?

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Happily, when Ofcom looked into the issue, they found that the broadcasting company ITV was not in breach of rules aiming to ensure that “persons under the age of eighteen are protected” from overtly sexualized imagery. Ofcom found that the act and the partial nudity “were appropriately limited and brief in duration, and the act as a whole would not have exceeded the audiences likely expectations for a program of this nature on this channel.”

Of course Meanie believes that we should do everything we can to prevent the hypersexualization of children and teens. But at the same time, promoting healthy sexuality is also important—and indeed, may even be part of an antidote to the problem. What better way to teach it than through art?


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