Samba fans can breathe easy. A judge today ruled that 7-year old dancing queen Júlia Lira can parade in Sunday’s carnival in Rio.
Childrens’ rights groups had asked authorities to stop the girl from appearing as the queen of the percussion section, a role usually reserved for sexed up and scantily clad soap opera stars and models.
“The role of the queen of the bateria is a highly eroticized one and we here in Rio are in the midst of a campaign to combat the sexual abuse and exploitation of children,” Carlos Nicodemus, the head of the Rio de Janeiro state council for the defense of children and adolescents told me yesterday. Read more in my Christian Science Monitor piece.
“In society today, the sexualization of children comes at an ever earlier age and is more and more common,” he added. ” I don’t think she should be allowed to parade.”
A judge disagreed. According to the AP today:
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) _ A Rio samba group says a judge has ruled that a 7-year-old girl can parade as its drum corps queen during Carnival.
Viradouro samba school spokeswoman Joice Hurtado says the group received the news Wednesday and is ecstatic.
This story made the rounds at the weekend after it was picked up by the ever vigilant Bradley Brooks at AP and then Tom Phillips of the Guardian.
I was told this was the most read Brazil story on the internet at the weekend. People dig the story of the dancing queen.
Well, she can dance and she can jive. Now she’s about to have the time of her life.