For some unfathomable reason, the boy’s mom doesn’t understand why the school wouldn’t let him participate in World Book Day until he changed his costume to James Bond. “He is aware that the book contains things of a sexual nature,” Nicola Scholes told The Guardian. “I think it’s a big overreaction.”
She believes her 11-year-old Liam had every right to wear the Christian Grey costume to school. In fact, she says she isn’t sure what’s worse — Christian Grey or James Bond, considering the fact that James Bond is promiscuous and kills lots of people.
Her argument is semi-reasonable, until you consider the fact that James Bond novels and films are a cultural staple, whereas Fifty Shades of Grey is erotica, pure and simple. Even if kids are aware of what Fifty Shades is, they don’t need to be delving into the details of bondage and kinky sex. Children don’t have the capacity or context to understand the intricacies of what some consenting adults do in the bedroom. This isn’t the same as a small handful of middle schoolers getting their hands on a Fifty Shades word search for a few minutes — this is a child being deliberately sent to school as the main character from an X-rated story.
In plain terms, what on Earth was this lady thinking?
Not only is it super weird to dress a child as a character from a work of erotica, it’s also a questionable parenting move to encourage a child to dress as something he doesn’t have any real interest in. It seems to me this mom thought she was being super clever, when in fact she put her son in a really awkward position.
She’s also encouraging a little boy to identify with a male protagonist who ties up a woman and controls many aspects of her life. A child isn’t old enough to understand anything about real-life BDSM. A child is only going to absorb the message that tying women up and controlling them is cool. Unlike James Bond’s tendency to murder spies, that kind of behavior really can be mimicked — and at a disturbingly young age.
I’m the last person to reach for a trusty set of pearls to clutch, but I’m 100 percent with the school on this one. Yes, 11-year-old kids know about sex and joke about sexy books and have a vague, working understanding of what adults do in the bedroom. No, I don’t think the costume scarred anyone for life. But dressing up a little boy as a dominating protagonist in a highly explicit book isn’t the same as educating kids about sex or understanding that kids are naturally curious. It’s just tacky — and potentially harmful.