Under the category of Egregious, I offer the following post.
Tonight, by absolute happenstance, I saw a segment on Fox New’s The Heartland that has stunned me. Believe it, or not, a Pennsylvania exotic dancing exercise program is now targeting teenage girls for “exercise classes” in erotic dancing. That’s right. Pole and chair dance techniques for our teenage girls. And the leader and co-creator of the program, Leah Stauffer, was more than enlightening in her interview. According to Stauffer, her program is strengthening the self-esteem of young women everywhere, while helping them build rock-solid abs.
I kid you not. Click over to http://artofexoticdancing.com/index.htm and look to the top right of the home page. There you will see a display box that leads off, “As seen on Fox” the “Art of Attraction for the Teenage Girl”. The box will take you to a survey page, where young girls can offer information in ten questions all aimed at self-esteem and whether your mother has a “healthy body image” and “Do you and your Mom discuss your weight with one another?”
Then, if one answers yes to just one of the ten questions, they can then provide their personal information to obtain an invitation to join the group “for an amazing experience (with other girls your age) so that YOU can become the most attractive person you know!”
The website’s home page, at the far mid-left, has an intriguing statement: “If Oprah’s doing it, so can you!” Something tells me Oprah, like me, hasn’t a problem at all for adult women taking these classes. But a teenager? I’m betting that little quasi endorsement will be coming down quickly…
The website states its address at 902 Baylowell Drive in West Chester, PA. An unbelievable number of fitness centers and “champagne groups” across the country have long been teaching exotic dancing to adult women. They call it “strippercise” in fitness circles. But the company is expanding from their previous adult-only participant focus. They’re reaching out to teenage girls now to build their self-esteem.
Suburban Philadelphia classes in their teenage program are, per the website, March 24th from 3-5pm, or April 28th from 3-5pm. “Classes will be offered throughout the United States in 2007. You will be sent an invitation when classes are available in your area.”
Call me old, but this is truly abhorrent to me, a clear case of attempted profiteering from the greatest weaknesses of adolescent and teenage girls, who already have too much on their maturation plates. Whether or not they succeed in profiteering depends on you and me.