Who Wants to Battle?
Tiffany - 37
2 daughters - (6) and (7)
Before I knew it my seven year old daughter was on stage. We were in Los Angeles at Magic Johnson’s Theater at the Black History Month celebration for children. My daughter, who is growing up in Claremont, who is the only black girls in her class, who is not allowed to watch MTV, BET or any other channel that shows a bunch of half dressed black girls doing things that look more like pornography than dancing, is on stage because she had volunteered to battle.
I sat there thinking nothing about this situation could be good. Either she is going to get up there and do a lot of things I find inappropriate or she is not going to do it because she is scared and I don’t know if I can get up there in time to comfort her or save her any embarrassment. As I sit and think I know it is wiser to let her work it out. After all, she did volunteer and I will learn more about her if I sit and observe how she handles the situation. But, at the same time I want to make my way to the front to be near, to position myself so I can snatch her away – if necessary – from the moment. I want to protect her from being scared, and to take away the sense of humiliation she might feel because she cannot dance like them.
I waited, hoping I had made the right decision.
The first girl goes up, gyrating and thrusting and getting all in her opponents face. I see some hesitation in my daughter’s eyes. The second girl goes up; all of four years old. The same thing happens, pelvic thrusts, gyrating, dropping it like it’s hot. You name it, this girl could do it. A lot of the parents laughed and cheered. A lot of us sat and observed silently with our mouths hanging open. I watched the hesitation in my child’s eyes turn into fear. I decided to be wise and let her work it out herself (Even if every muscle in body was ready to bolt to the stage). Before they got to number three she walked up and whispered into the host’s ear that she did not want to do it and took her seat.
She had handled it all by herself and I could stop worrying. When the show was over she ran up to me with a smile on her face and I told her I was proud of her. I told her she was very brave for getting on stage, while at the same time I was relieved to not have seen her compete with these girls who were dropping it like it was hot.