Okay, moms, help me out here. I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of the British teen who says the pole dancing classes she teaches for kids as young as 7 are "nothing inappropriate." Jess Leanne Norris, 18, insists there's nothing erotic about her lessons at all: "What I teach is pole fitness, nothing else," she says. "I have never received any complaints."
Well, not from any of the parents whose girls are actually taking the pole dancing, er, pole fitness classes, anyway, but other area parents and youth workers are indeed complaining. Especially since images of students performing their routines have been posted online.
My gut reaction, when I heard this story, was to wonder how a teenager could feel like teaching stripper moves to 7-year-old girls is an a-okay thing to do.
Then I wondered how, at 18, this girl was already such a pole-dancing pro that she could give lessons in the "art," as she calls it. Before long I'd invented a tragic back story for Norris involving growing up in the back rooms of strip clubs while her mother danced for tips so she could feed her little girl ...
Except, hold on a minute. Norris teaches her classes at a gym -- like, a legit, certified gym called JLN Pole Fitness. So she's not passing on moves she learned from watching her mom gyrate at some seedy dive. She's like one of those kids who becomes such a fixture at a gymnastics or ballet studio that she automatically starts teaching when she gets too old to take classes.
Then it occurred to me: Norris might be one of those rare teens who's actually still so innocent that she isn't aware of the sexually charged messages she sends when she spins around a pole in hot pants and a bra top. In which case, of course it would seem perfectly fine to show little kids how to do the same thing.
But what about the owner of this pole fitness gym? you're probably shrieking. Or the parents posting pics on the Internet?
Well, that's another kettle of fish, and I'm frankly not feeling emotionally prepared to go there right now. It's enough to consider the matter of delayed innocence in a teen ... is it sweet and refreshing, or dangerous? Being naive can certainly get a girl into trouble. And as lovely as an extended childhood might sound, I think I'd rather instill some street smarts into my teen. Better safe than sorry.
What's your take on this unusual teen?
Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr