kids

A seven-year-old Taylor Swift impersonator is under fire for her "sexualised" dance moves.

Xia Vigor does a great Taylor Swift impression. Her version of “You Belong With Me” has racked up four million YouTube views in just three days. She does the voice, the hair toss, and even the costume change.

Oh, and she’s just seven years old.

Xia, who was born in the UK but now lives in the Philippines, did her Taylor Swift impression on the talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids. British TV commentators were quick to criticise.

“I have a real, visceral response to it. I’m repulsed by it,” Nadia Sawalha said on the panel show Loose Women.

“Obviously she doesn’t know, she’s completely innocent, but for me, those are sexualised moves she’s been taught. She’d have had hours and hours of rehearsals with someone going, ‘No, not like that, more like this,’ and I just think, ‘Why? Why so young?’”

Meanwhile, Piers Morgan labelled it “one of the creepiest things I’ve ever watched”.

“It’s not good,” he added. “The whole sexualisation of young girls like this, I don’t like it at all, I’m afraid.”

But Xia’s dad Alan told MailOnline Morgan was wrong.

“On the show next week, Xia is going to dress up as Axl Rose. It’s like a pantomime. It’s been taken out of context. She’s not going to a friend’s birthday party in high heels and lipstick. It’s not like that. She would never dress up like that on a normal day.”

Xia in action. Image via YouTube. 

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Meanwhile, Xia's mother, Christy Barnardo, defended herself against accusations that she was a "pushy mum".

"Xia is very into everything. She is a very inquisitive girl and she wants to do a lot of things and I want to give her that chance."

The family moved from the UK to the Philippines when Xia was three, and Alan says she became fascinated by children's talent shows on TV. At five, she auditioned for a singing competition on a daytime show, and won it with her Selena Gomez impression. Since then, she's scored TV hosting and acting roles.

"It's not about the money," Alan says. "She is passionate about acting. She always has been. She just loves it. She thrives on it."

Xia in character. Image via YouTube.

The truth is, there are people who are just born to perform. A lot of actors and singers, including Taylor Swift, knew what they wanted to do from a very young age. The born performers are the ones who are begging to get up on stage. They're pushing their parents, not the other way around.

Being a good parent to kids like this means letting them perform, but looking after them very carefully.

Is Xia being sexualised? Not so much. She's a performer. She's doing a Taylor Swift impression (and there are many more sexualised pop stars out there than Tay-Tay).

Just watch her. She's a little star.