Sunday, 1 September 2013

Euphoria Girls. Why it's wrong that a naive and innocent performance makes us cringe.

Last night I sat in my pyjamas, bought a curry from Tesco and watched the X Factor. My Saturday nights are sorted for the next four months.

I have found myself thinking about Euphoria Girls. A lot. The group of 16-17 year old girls who gave such a sickeningly 'happy' rendition of something horribly old fashioned that was only memorable because of the unconventionality of their performance.

The slightly naive, over-the-top, smiley-smiley, 'we just want to make people happy!!!!' attitude is rarely, if ever, seen amongst a group of young females on the television. From what I saw, the reaction on Twitter was incredibly negative and, although it certainly didn't encourage a standing ovation from myself, it really made me think about what we - the viewing public - believe a teenage girl should portray herself as.

For example, if the girls had come out and pouted a little more, and during their routine walked up to the judges stomping with hands on hips, were more provocative, did a butt-shake here and there etc., this would not have been shocking at all. This is what we're used to seeing.

Is it right that, in fact, we cringed at their 'young' appearance and slightly immature personalities?

Throughout the show's history, a key shock-moment for judges is when they find out how old a contestant is. 'Only 16!? Wow.' Is it the 'maturity' of their voice? Or their physical appearance and (sexual?) 'maturity' of their performance? Most of the time I feel that the majority of young female auditionees appear with a face full of unnecessary make-up and dressed as if they were in their twenties.

Sharon Osbourne stated last night that she wanted 'more attitude' from them, that that would be the only way to succeed in this process. I wonder what the girls (/the X factor producers) interpret that to be. Attitude. I should think it means 'be more sexy', and only time will tell.

It seems that being a 'PG version of the Pussycat Dolls' just doesn't give enough to voyeurism.

We are desensitised to the sexualisation of young girls, aren't we? It makes me terribly angry.