A company that manufactures pole-dancing equipment for fitness purposes has caused controversy online after its decision to use children to advertise their product.
The Gympole Active, a portable pole which can be screwed into the ground in your garden and is designed to support the weight of a full-grown adult, is due for release this month.
But the advertisement shows two small girls, dressed in shorts and crop tops, spinning round the pole and performing moves that some have interpreted as suggestive gymnastics.
Many commenters on Facebook were not impressed with companies decision, calling them out for ‘encouraging pedophilia’ and ‘sexualising children.’
One enraged commenter said: ‘This advertisement is feeding into pedophile culture. I mean I guess you got the reaction you wanted to create a buzz, but all I see is little girls at the strip club.’
This comment alone received over 250 ‘reactions’, with many others replying saying they agreed with her stance.
‘Why does this advertisement have pre pubescent girls on a stripper pole?
Have I missed a fundamental moral shift in this society where it acceptable to put your kid on a stripper pole outdoors?!?’ commented one bemused mother.
‘I agree that using children is not appropriate and that they should have used adults in an in a non seductive manner,’ one wrote. ‘The pole was first used in the worship of Greek idols and it has always been a seductive instrument. The pole is associated with objectification and lust so using children to real the stereotype puts the child on a very bad position. I was shocked when I saw young girls in this manner. I agree with this post that it sets them up as objects of pedophilia and it’s not right.’
However, hundreds from the pole-dancing industry itself, or those who use pole-dance for exercise, confidence or purely for enjoyment, have rushed to defend the company, who sell professional and non professional pole dance equipment, and provide to fitness studios as well as night clubs.
‘Wow! Don’t go too deep into the comments unless you want to read a bunch of uninformed and just plain wrong opinions about pole from people who managed to sexualize children having fun practicing some circusy moves in their backyard. What a bunch of creeps!’ said one. ‘It’s a not a “stripper” pole, you idiots! It’s just a pole.’
Another said, ‘[I] feel so sad for al the people who instantly think of pedophiles. I see kids having fun doing sports. You see danger. Can kids still swim in America? And gymnastics? Or is this all forbidden because of possible pedophiles?’
What do you think? Harmless fun or a step too far? Let us know in the comments!