"I am still a little girl": a critical race and rhetorical analysis of the Netflix film Cuties

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Bailey, Devon Kate
McCauliff, Kristen L.
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My thesis “I Am Still A Little Girl,” focuses on the topic of adultification of Black girls. This is a topic has not been expanded on in Academic spaces but has been discussed in Black spaces such as Black YouTube and Black Twitter. Adultification is treating young girls as adults; for Black girls, this is an approximate issue due to hyper sexualization, beauty standards, and stereotypes. In order to examine adultification more, I examine the film Cuties. The film follows elevenyear- old Amy navigating between traditional values and internet values. Along with the film artifact, I analyze critiques of the film based on the American audience's reception towards the French cinema. Finally, I apply critical race theory and critical rhetoric to the artifact to understand the research questions of how Cuties disrupt hegemonic cycles of adultification and how does the media coverage of Cuties disrupt hegemonic cycles of adultification and white beauty standards? This project helps future scholars understand how the rhetorical strategy of adultification is used against Black women.