Gianna Cognetti, Features Editor
The new Netflix movie Cuties has received some negative reviews for the way it is portraying young women and sending mixed messages to other young females.
The French-made film is a coming of age story among four friends when an 11-year-old girl joins a hip-hop team. The French movie poster shows four girls laughing together with shopping bags whereas Netflix’s poster shows the girls in provocative outfits in sexualized poses.
Netflix has since removed their version of the poster.
“The way the bodies of the characters are positioned in the poster seems to be sexualizing young girls,” Senior Haleigh Hayduk said.
The release of Cuties was supposed to be a positive coming of age story to influence young girls about dealing with things such as body image, friendships and societal stereotypes for girls. Despite the negative feedback, Sophomore Alyssa Winberg believes the mixed messages were unintentional.
Winberg thinks Netflix would release the movie in order to send a message to young girls dealing with popularity, body image and self-love. Although there is controversy within this topic, the weight of the messages outweighs the controversy.
“I do not think that it was unintentional on the creator’s part to sexualize young girls, but I think that as this has become a repercussion, an action to rectify the issue must take place,” Winberg said.
Coming of age stories are meant to be heartfelt, humorous and relatable while still keeping the innocence of the situation. However, in Cuties, the innocent factor was missing in the poster.
“It is a movie about coming of age, and people might get the wrong idea looking at the Netflix poster,” Hayduk said. “It does not look like a coming of age movie like the original poster looks.”
Winberg believes otherwise, suggesting that Netflix monetizes off of the sexulaization and problems young girls go through.
“The movie seems to hinder the innocence of young girls,” Winberg said. “Because although it is normal to explore new things such as a sudden interest in significant others, personal sexuality and more, during adolescence, the actions of young girls being sexualized and monetized on a platform such as Netflix seems to hinder innocence in the long run.”
As a young girl in the “growing up” stage, it can be a conflicting time of finding oneself and being who one truly is. Winberg thinks the main character seemed to be following the other characters and never actually did what she wanted.
“I believe that the movie being centered around an 11-year-old girl who was very conflicted was also conflicting for the audience,” she said. “It was never quite clear if she was truly doing what she wanted to do for her own personal growth or expression.”
Despite the backlash and negative reviews on Netflix’s Cuties, Winberg believes women who are facing sexualizations should not be afraid to speak to someone about how they think and feel. There are plenty of people to talk to and to talk to someone they can trust.
“My Best advice is that we are each in charge of our own story and our own version of beautiful and what that looks like to each individual,” she said.