I've been thinking about and processing this since October. That's when I first saw the YouTube clips from earlier in the month. Initially, we gathered around our family computer and laughed at the viral clip of little eight-year-old Sophia Grace Brownlee and her five-year-old cousin Rosie. After all, they're cute. . . really cute. But the more I watched the more I squirmed. I kept watching. . . over and over again. . . and the squirming got even worse.
The effervescent little Sophia Grace wound up on The Ellen Degeneres Show after Ellen caught a YouTube clip of Sophia Grace singing away to Nicki Minaj's hit song "Super Bass." Ellen had the two girls perform live on her stage. Hmmmm. . . isn't that song a little naughty??? In true Ellen fashion, Nicki Minaj showed up, sending the little girls into a hysterical fit of joy. Their parents - in the audience - cried tears of joy as well. Then, the trio sang "Super Bass" together. You can watch it all below.
To be honest, you feel like a killjoy when you start to question stuff like this. But we still need to stand back and ask the hard questions. Did Ellen cross a line? Did the parents cross a line? Do we cross a line when we ignore what's really going on to enjoy the cuteness of a couple of little kids, justifying it all by saying, "Come on, they're only little kids"? Do we allow our emotions to trump responsible thinking and critique? I'm afraid we're losing our ability to think critically and Christianly about all of life, a reality which requires us to recapture and relearn skills that evidence discipleship of the mind.
I took some time to think more intentionally about this whole thing. I wrote up a 2-page 3(D) review of these videos of Sophia Grace with Nicki Minaj for our latest edition of ENGAGE. You can download the pdf of my review here. Use it to provoke your own thought. If you're a parent, talk about it with your kids. If you're a youth worker, spend an entire evening looking at, talking about, and thinking through the video clips.
After you read it, I want to know. . . Am I over-reacting? Should we be concerned? Is this evidence of deeper issues in our culture? If so, what are those issues? What do you think?