Sophia Grace Brownlee is the latest craze to take the media world by storm! Sophia Grace (as she likes to be called per the Ellen Show) is reportedly an 8 yr old who received sudden recognition and fame as an internet celebrity when her parents posted a video of her on youtube a few months ago that went viral, drawing over 8 million hits (views). The 8 yr old and her cousin (Rosie, 5 yrs) performs the Nicki Minaj song, Super Bass. Rosie is Sophia Grace’s hype girl for her stage performances. She says, when asked what made them decide to do this together, “Well, we like dancing together and um… Rosie makes me feel more confident when um… cause I’ve got someone with me.” This little girl is adorable, but come on people. It is just too much! Sigh…
As a society, most of us are weighing in with opinions of whether this child has talent or not. In my humble opinion, it is evident that she is talented, but the bigger question is, “Is she using her talents in a manner that is appropriate for her age?” Am I alone in my thinking here? Perhaps, I’m from the dinosaur ages. My children often tell me, when I’m discussing various topics with them about their lives, “mom no one thinks like that anymore,” as if I’m some ancient artifact holding wisdom that has been lost eons ago. *chuckles to self* But seriously, her parents seem intoxicated by her talents and charm and have lost their vision of parental foresight and direction. It is their responsibility to understand what doors are opening to little Sophia as a result of this recognition and how those opportunities affect her life path moving forward. I love Ellen, I think she is hella funny (extremely funny), but I do question where the ball has been dropped in regard to public policy.
Please forgive me for being presumptuous in my thinking, if you haven’t caught wind of the details by now because in my mind everyone has seen the videos and, or heard about little Miss Sophia Grace Brownlee… or, at minimum, you are familiar enough with the Super Bass lyrics to be as DISGUSTED as I am that an eight year AND a five year old have been exposed to such trash. Side Note: Now don’t get me wrong, what’s trash to a child is not necessarily trash to an adult and sometimes it is, but in either case, my comments are not judging the quality or lack there of for the song in general, just the appropriation of it for children. If you want my opinion on Super Bass, you’ll have to wait for another post to hear about that. *coy smile*
Okay, since I have already slightly digressed, let’s back up for a minute. For those who haven’t seen the video, go ahead and check it out below and then we can pick up the conversation from there.
If you would like to see the rest of the clip where Nicki performs with Sophia Grace on Ellen click on link.
Have you seen the video? Have you taken a moment to catch your breath? Or were you lost on what you just saw? Either way, it’s okay because I am about to let you into my world. *wink*
Caveat: I mean no disrespect to this little girl, at all. As, I stated earlier, I think she’s adorable. She’s an innocent & extremely talented. Her timing, delivery & level of mastery over her voice for someone so young, is amazing (the clips provided here don’t let you fully appreciate the quality of this little girl’s voice as much as some of the other clips that I’ve seen when she sings the bridge). However, am I the only one concerned with the exploitation of our children?
Why Am I So Concerned? Super Bass has some very explicit lyrics. Even if you try to change what you think is considered profanity, the context of vulgarity that is streamed through this entire song comprises its foundation and most of its content, minus the hook (bridge). I cannot believe that Ellen, the network, her parents, etc., allowed her to sing such a risque song. She omitted words like “f” and “n***as” but said the versus with “hoes, hell of a guy, when he make it drip, drip (the people that are clapping & cheering in the video’s audience obviously do not understand these metaphors, right? Hmmm), he cold he dope he might sell coke (drug reference).” It’s simply inappropriate for a child! Period! But the clincher is @ 4:35 on the video (posted above) where Sophia Grace says, without shame or hesitation, “I think I like him better with the fitted cap on ~ He ain’t even gotta try to put the mac on ~ He just gotta give me that look, when he give me that look then the panties comin’ off, off, uh.”
Rant: WTF People?! Seriously? I’m sorry, but she’s a LITTLE GIRL!!!! Are we really that desensitized that we would miss something this dangerous & blatantly wrong? What has a man gained, if he gain the whole world & in the end lose his soul?
Alarming Fact: [Her parents are in the Ellen audience crying] as if they just hit the lottery or saw a real life goose that lays golden eggs! Are you serious? Perhaps I’m going in a little hard on the parents. It is possible that they are naive and simply caught up in the whirlwind of excitement and happiness of their children and not thinking clearly? I suppose it is possible that they are as lost on the layers of these verses and the metaphoric meaning as others are with Shakespeare. *Eyebrows crunched ~ thinking* Perhaps, they took the blue pill and have chosen to follow the programs of the matrix. *Long Sigh* Time will tell, as time progresses we will see how all of this is handled on their end. Remember, you shall know them by their fruit.
Reflection: It is irrelevant whether her parents are naive or not. Their behavior thus far is blatantly negligent. It is the responsibility of a child’s guardians to be aware of everything that they are allowing their children to be exposed to (as much as they reasonably can be). If Sophia Grace’s parents are uneducated to the business that she is now being exposed to (entertainment), then it is their job to either learn it or hire someone to act in that capacity for them BEFORE allowing her to move on.
Last Words: The world tells me I should think this is cute and phenomenal and on some level it is, but my spirit is exhaling. Why are we not outraged by this? I’m SPEECHLESS!!
We are just impressed with Sophia grace’ s confidence and skill. She can memorize very long lyrics and sing it fast with such an adorable attitude. honestly the rap tempo of super bass is extremely fast for small children and Sophia grace simply enjoys performing the song without understanding the meaning. I don’t think any normal 8 yr old kid can digest the lyrics of the song without asking the parents abt the meaning. So it’s not like she is promoting something she believes in. And really, if she sings twinkle twinkle little star, she will never get notice. about the bad influence, how can you say badly abt a kid who sings in pink tutu and tiara? Their whole manner are so innocent, enthusiastic yet so polite during the interview.
I truly appreciate your response. I would never speak badly about a child. I don’t believe I did, did I? My concern is that this beautiful young soul is not being properly protected by those who have the responsibility of stewarding guardianship over her. What I question in my article is the lack of understanding or thirst of fame from those who she looks to for her welfare and their compromise of that welfare. Little Sophia’s skill is not in question, nor is her innocence or awareness of her lyrics, but more so those of Ellen, Ellen’s producers and this child’s parents. Do you not share concern for this child’s exploitation?
NY, I couldn’t agree more. What on earth are her parents thinking? I have a 6 year old child, if I told her to sing panties coming off she would be horrified. Your article is correct. Her parents are failing her.