Is "Sexy" a Four-letter Word?

I don’t let my kids watch a lot of TV.  It’s not just because the AAP says not to or because other mommies might judge me, it’s because I want them engaged in more meaningful things and more importantly, I need it to “work.”  I call it my “Mommy Magic” because I can put on a Disney movie and my girls will sit and watch the whole thing without moving or making a peep (I can only imagine what effect Frozen would have!) so I save it when I really need them quiet and safe while I do something important (this is maybe 5 times a YEAR!)

 What I do let them watch more often, though, is cooking, travel and dance shows.  Being a dancer myself, I like shows like Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Moms, Breaking Pointe, Bunheads, Dance Academy (you get the picture, basically any show in existence that involves dance).  I keep them away from the drama filled ones (like Dance Moms) and the fictional ones (like Bunheads) but I do let them, on occasion, watch the competition ones.  I figure, it’s mostly dancing so what’s the harm?

 My three year old LOVES Dancing with the Stars and begs for it daily (luckily it’s only on once a week) and cries when during the “off-season” (which isn’t very often!)  but I’ve noticed something this season that is making me wonder if she should be watching it: there’s a lot of “sexiness”.

I’m not just talking about the costumes or “suggestive” dance moves, those have always been there and don’t bother me because it is part of the reality of the dance world.  Professional dancers wear skimpy costumes all the time, though I do commend Candace Cameron Beret on insisting on more modest costumes for herself (but the crotch-high slits do leave me scratching my head).  And as far as the dancing goes, the dance moves are the technique of each aspect.  Most ballroom dances started as popular or club dances so do have a bit of “naughty” in them.

 What bothers me is the constant verbal references to being sexy and having sex appeal which has made me wonder: Is “Sexy” a 4 letter word?  Should I be keeping it away from my kids?  If they ask about it (which luckily they haven’t yet!) what am I going to say?  What do I want them to know about it?  How do I want them to treat it?

 I know I don’t want my three and five year olds trying to be sexy (I’ve scolded my mom before for calling my daughter “sexy” in her bathing suit) but I also don’t want them think it’s something they have to be when they are older.  I don’t want them to ever think their worth is based on their “sexiness” or to think that people won’t like them if they aren’t.

 We’ve luckily avoided most talk about sex thus far aside from one incident about two years ago when my (then) three year old asked “What is sex?”  and I panicked inside cursed the world and calmly replied “It’s kind of like beer, you can’t have it until you’re an adult.”  And that worked, nothing more about it since.  But I worry, will how do you explain “sexy” without the sex?

 What do you think, does “sexy” belong on the 4-letter bad word list?

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