July 17, 2017

Gympole active, a pole dancing company and equipment manufacturer, has incited an internet-wide controversy after uploading a Youtube video to promote their backyard pole-dance kit which features children showing gymnastic ability.

The 35 second advertisement for the GymPole product features slow motion footage of young girls as they swing around the pole.

The video has been viewed almost 2 million times, in the last 12 days, and has sparked an outrage from parents worldwide!

Gympole has released a statement defending their actions, “we just wanted to promote juniors in pole sports as we think they are super talented”.

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But others have accused the company of unnecessarily exploiting children in advertising and “feeding into a paedophile culture.”

Many others, however, have defended the advertisement, arguing “it makes me happy to see this commercial done with children. It helps to take away the negative associations that society has [with pole dancing], while showing it is a fun and good sport.”

Parenting author and teen girl educator, Dannielle Miller said that adults should not view innocent childish play through a sexualised lens, or shame girls or women based on clothing choice, but still had concerns with the production elements of the advertisement.

“The slow-mo crotch-cam type shots in the promotional video for Gympole do make me feel uncomfortable,” said Miller.





Professor Catharine Lumby from Macquarie University, says that pole dancing has become, in recent years, an extremely legitimate form of exercise.

“We know we need to encourage young girls to exercise. I did my own form of pole dancing, improvised around a Hills hoist when I was eight years old,” Professor Lumby said in a statement.

“Pre-teen girls love dancing, mucking around and showing off. They enjoy gymnastics and the big danger here is that maybe it’s the adults who are sexualising them rather than them sexualising themselves. We need to be very cautions of imposing adult ideas on young girls,” added Professor Lumby.

 

Despite the outrage, breakfast show host Samantha Armytage said she did not see a problem with the young girls advertising Gympole equipment.

“This is just sport isn’t it?” Armytage asked. “…don’t you think it’s just like watching them do gymnastics? I don’t find that creepy,” she added.

In Australia, pole dancing classes for under 12s have taken off in recent years.

Modern day pole dancing has evolved into exercise form practiced by not only professionals and performers, but by everyone from casual students and gym-goers to national and internationally recognised pole athletes.

The world of Western Pole dates back a lot longer than many would imagine. Pole is practiced today by both men and women, and is a fusion of Chinese pole, Indian Pole or ‘Mallakhamb’, dance of various international influences and pole dancing as seen in the travelling fairs of the American Depression.

The history of ‘Chinese Pole’ dates back prior to the 12th century, when circus professionals of the era would use a pole, approximately 3-9 meters in height, laced with a rubber material and wear full body costumes.

People in India would often play competitively, using a smooth wooden pole which was sometimes laced with castor oil to avoid friction. They would wear little clothing, taken from inspirations of yoga clothing or they would wear similar clothing to swimwear and no shoes to allow better skin to pole grip.

They became pole flip specialists and would often begin a performance by running up to and flipping directly on the pole.

We think these girls are super strong and talented! Let us know your thoughts!

Image from youtube.com


  • nah there are heaps of other activities that your child could do to get fit instead. my kids won’t be doing this

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  • This looks like a great exercise. Wish I could do this. They look like they are having so much fun. I didn’t see anything sexist in it.

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  • Having watched the video, I think my daughter would love to try it. I have no problem with the idea of them playing/exercising on a pole as I also used to swing around our clothesline growing up. I do have a problem with having the girls dressed in hot pants and crop tops. Obviously, there are connotations already with pole dancing, so why feed into sexualisation issues by featuring young girls in skimpy outfits for an advertising campaign? They could easily have worn 3/4 leggings and a t-shirt or leotard.

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  • They certainly look like two very strong girls.

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  • What amazing strength they have. I’m jealous!

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  • I too don’t understand the outrage. These young people are super strong and talented.

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  • What’s the outrage? I don’t see anything wrong with this. These young girls are so strong and having fun exercising and playing with their friends. It’s adults who sexualise children and make more out of this than needs to be.

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  • Its great exercise. I used to play on a pole on our back veranda when I was young and nobody ever once suggested I would become a stripper. I wish I was that fit now.

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  • So long as advertising is not sexualised, I don’t see a problem with it as it is actually extremely good exercise and great for the core, from the pictures it doesn’t look like the girls are dressed inappropriately. I think some people just like to feed into these things and generate offense which just simply should not be there.

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  • A fantastic form of exercise & So much fun. Good on these girls, so clever.

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  • Great exercise wish I could do it. Looks fine to me.

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  • Think pole dancing is a great exercise. Not long ago I saw a woman of 80 year old doing pole dancing, it was magnificent ! You sure need to be strong and flexible. I don’t see anything wrong with this clip, it doesn’t show more then with gymnastics or ballet. All beautiful to watch.

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  • There is nothing at all wrong with this, in fact, I think these kids are amazing and show such talent. Clearly some people have dirty minds to find this offensive.

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  • I see nothing wrong with this as long it is done in a safe way. Some instruction is needed and the pole really needs to be stable. In most WA places this could be a hazard due to the sandy soil.

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  • I was advised by a professional coach that it is not wise to allow them to start doing this at too young an age. It is important to make sure their bones are strong enough to cope with the strain it puts on them.
    Also the styles of “acrobatics” some children are learning will be looked on a sexually provocative as they get older. Some adult females are paid to this is licensed clubs with dubvious reputations.

    Reply

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