The only thing youthful about this Russian city’s night club for tweens and teens is the age of the clientele. Everything else at the “Underground Garage” in Chelyabinsk, Russia, is rather grown up.
There are shot glasses, pole dances and some dripping wet, teeny-tiny tops — all of which make a stunning contrast to the prepubescent boys who can barely see over the bar to order drinks.
BuzzFeed posted a series of photos via Izismile, who got them from the Russian site, Geometria.ru. The photos show kids mimicking grown-up bar fun, which in itself might be developmentally typical and all that. But what makes it disturbing is the same thing that makes the 4-year-olds wearing French bras and panties: grown ups are the ones offering up these experiences to the kids. They’re encouraging it.
Part of playing dress-up or barfly or doctor is that the kid interprets these things herself. She is in control, makes up the rules, and pushes the boundaries for herself. When adults market opportunities to, say, stand up in front of a crowd and writhe around a stripper’s pole, the kid is playing by another person’s rules and filling in another person’s blanks. In this case, it’s an adult’s blanks. The kid is behaving like a stripper, or ordering fake rum-and-Cokes, or taking part in a pickle-eating contest with the blessing of a grown-up. The kid knows this and that’s what makes it icky.
It’s the difference between your kids making their Barbies make out (which is innocent), and you getting down on the floor with your kids and suggesting that the Barbies should make out (which is gross).
Cute or Cause for Alarm? My 5-year-old wants to wear makeup!