Family campaigners in Bolton, England are outraged at a British fitness group for teaching pole-dancing lessons to girls as young as seven - and putting the images up on Facebook.
The photos from JLN Pole Fitness show the young girls upside down on poles dressed in shorts, crop tops, and vests. The studio argues that parents must agree before the images appear on their Facebook page. However, a spokesman for Christian group Mother's Union said:
"Children are being targeted with an activity that's part of a male club culture which objectifies women. We hope parents would consider the negative impact it could have on their child's perception of their own body and sexuality."
Teacher Jess Leanne Norris, 18, argues that "nothing rude is going on."
"What I teach is pole fitness - nothing else. I've never received any complaints," she told The Sun.
In the past ten years, pole-dancing has hit the mainstream; it shows up regularly on television and in movies, and studios and gyms specifically dedicated to fitness poll dancing have opened in the U.K. and the U.S.
"It's not sexual," Kate Eaten, whose seven-year-old daughter "loves" the class, told the Daily Mail. "Jen and I had her seventh birthday party there with her friends. She loves it. I do not have a problem with it at all. It is nothing to do with lap dancing, it is gymnastics. It is not in the slightest bit sexual. I've put pictures on Facebook because she wants people to see what she can do."
Local councilor Nick Peel, who is responsible for children's services in the area, warned:
"In general, parents and organizations need to be careful about publishing photos of children on the Internet. It is unsafe and people trawl the Internet looking for things like this. It's a dangerous world on the Internet. People need to be aware of the situation they can be putting children into."
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