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7-Year-Old's Taylor Swift Performance Sparks Controversy (Video)

| by Michael Howard

The parents of a young British girl who achieved internet fame with her impression of singer Taylor Swift are under fire from people who accuse them of exploiting their daughter (video below).

Appearing on a popular television talent show in the Philippines, 7-year-old Xia Vigor -- decked out in a white marching band outfit and heavy makeup -- performed Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me." At one point her outfit was pulled off, revealing a black dress.

Xia's performance was a hit, and a YouTube video published Jan. 15 already has over 1.6 million views.

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But not everybody was impressed. A lot of people are disturbed by what they say appears to be the exploitation of a 7-year-old girl. One such person is media personality Piers Morgan, who spoke to "Good Morning Britain" about Xia's performance.

"I don't like it," he said, according to the Daily Mail. "A lot of people agree with me. This is the sexualization of a young girl. I feel really uncomfortable watching that."

"It [isn't] what a 7-year-old girl should be doing," Morgan continued. "I've got a five-year-old daughter, if she did that in two years' time I would be really uncomfortable."

Morgan's concerns were echoed by people who watched and commented on the YouTube video. Many said they felt uncomfortable and accused Xia's parents of robbing her of her childhood.

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Alan Vigor, Xia's father, has since responded to the criticism, telling the Daily Mail that Piers Morgan "doesn't understand the context."

"He's wrong," Alan said of Morgan, adding: "The culture here is very, very different. People in the Philippines see things differently."

"On the show [next] week, Xia is going to dress up as Axl rose," he continued. "It's like a pantomime. It's been taken out of context. She's not going 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's mother, Christy Bernardo, also defended her daughter's career.

"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," Bernardo said. "People may say she's on TV and I'm exploiting her but she does many things people don't see. At Christmas we visited a poor village and she gave her toys away to the children there."

Xia first achieved stardom after competing in a talent show at the age of 5. She then went on to play a princess on a popular sitcom. According to her father, Xia may be headed to Hollywood.

"A Hollywood director contacted us and said he wants her over in America," Alan explained. "He said, 'I've been waiting all my life for the next Shirley Temple and I've finally found her.' I can't tell you who the director is -- it's top secret at the moment."

But Alan says he's reluctant to let Xia go.

"I don't want to be so far away from her," he said. "At the moment I can hop on a flight and be there in 45 minutes and I go there as often as I can and we pick up where we left off. If she goes to the States it won't be that simple."

Xia's parents met in the Philippines but had Xia while they were living in the U.K. They moved back to the Philippines when Xia was 3.

They have since separated, and Alan says he is determined not to let his daughter wander down the wrong path. He admits that he worries about the long-term impact of Xia's fame.

"It is a concern, but she is a very smart kid and she is very grown up and looks at everything in a very mature way," he said.

Sources: Daily Mail, YouTube / Photo credit: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram via Daily Mail

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