Samba Queen, 7, Sparks Uproar
Critics say child shouldn't be used for sex symbol's role
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2010 1:45 AM CST

(Newser) – Rio de Janiero's famous carnival has been hit by controversy over plans to give a role usually reserved for a sex symbol to a 7-year-old girl. Julia Lira has been chosen to head the drum corps from the samba school her father owns, but the move has drawn protests from children's rights groups, and a judge may block her from being a samba queen, the Guardian reports.

"We are not against kids participating in carnival; it's part of Brazilian culture," said the head of the state children's protection council. "What we can't allow is putting a 7-year-old girl in a role that traditionally has a very sexual focus." Julia's parents reject accusations that their child's appearance in the parade will be inappropriate and stress that she won't be wearing a provocative costume.