My Outcry Against Toddlers and Tiaras

During my time in bed because of having to endure lousy flu symptoms, I wasted some time on the computer (because there isn't much more you can do when you have slept so long you cannot sleep any more, but are too weak to do anything else).  I remembered hearing of a program called 
"Toddlers and Tiaras"
that aired a few years ago.  I'm sure a lot of you have heard about this program as it is very controversial reality show that follows the world of child beauty pageants.  I watched one episode and was saddened by what those parents put those children through on a daily basis.

One mom gives her six year old Mt. Dew and Red Bull mix to give her daughter extra energy on those long days of competing.  Her reply, "Well, at least I am not giving her alcohol!"  The moms take their daughters to get spray tans and a mile long list of other "fake" things so the judges can judge the toddler's "beauty"!   I am shocked that this show is in its 5th season.  

This is what TLC says directly on their website: On any given weekend, on stages across America, little girls and boys parade around wearing makeup, false eyelashes, spray tans, and fake hair to be judged on their beauty, personality and costumes.  Toddlers and Tiaras follows families on their quest for sparkly crowns, big titles and lots of cash.  I began to wonder if these pageants were really about the children after all.  It makes the mom look good if her daughter wins and makes her look bad if she doesn't.  I was appalled when I saw one mother ranting that the judges "cut her daughter's time" because they didn't like her. 

She began to scream, "They hate her, they hate her".    What I heard in the background broke my heart.
"Did I do good, Mommy?  Did I do good?  Was I pretty?"  
all the while the male figure (I have no idea if he was the dad or not) was trying to console the raging mother.  Who was this pageant really about? And what effect is it having on the toddlers?

Some of the comments I heard the girls make about wanting to be pretty made me think of what these pageants are really teaching these girls.    And more times than not I wanted to cringe at the comments the moms were making to the children.  One mom told her daughter, "You have a receding hair line just like an old grandpa!  We have got to do something about this!"  What does this do to her self image?  What do all of the fake things to make you pretty teach those little girls (and boys)?

Especially this?!  This is what one mom said gave her daughter a leading edge over the other competitors.  Fake breasts and bottom?!  I am ashamed of these mothers for what they are ultimately teaching their daughters and wish the fathers would take a stand and not allow it to happen.  One father admitted to being uncomfortable with all of the make-up and skimpy costumes, but said, 
"My wife says it is mandatory, so I don't say anything."

I cannot imagine the amount of physical upkeep that goes into keeping these toddlers into pageant shape.  When do they get to be little girls and boys?  They have their teeth whitened and/or get fake teeth called "flippers" that pop in to make their teeth appear larger and whiter (to be more visual to the judges).  French manicures and now spray tanning are a "must"!  This says nothing of the beaded a jeweled costumes these toddlers wear, the hours spent on hair and make-up and the endless time spent coaching these children to perform.  

One mom admitted to spending $3,000 on one dress for her daughter to wear and hoped her husband never found out.  

Since she also admitted that this was in the "normal" price range, it might be a little hard to keep it from him for  long.

The last thing that blows me away about this show and the reality of it is the sensual dances these girls, 
mere toddlers,
learn to impress the judges.  One mom was a dance instructor and felt she had the competitor's edge because she was requiring more moves from her daughter than the others.  Once again, I was appalled at what I was seeing from three year olds all in the name of "Beauty".

Those little girls were so crushed when they did not win "Beauty Supreme".  One little girl had two huge crowns - both too big for her head, several plaques, two large red sashes along with dozens of flowers, but cried hysterically when she did not win first place.  

You could hear the devastation in her voice when tears rolled down her cheeks and she cried, "I'm not pretty."  Her mom's reply?  Stop crying now, Honey, or you are going to have a mascara run."

What is true beauty and what are we teaching our daughters about it?  What did your mom teach you about beauty?  I prefer to go on teaching my daughters that 

"God looks on the heart", "Beauty is as beauty does", and "Beauty is only skin deep".  

Cliche, but so true!  

This topic of true beauty is one I could write more about and dive deeper into, but what do you say?

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P.S. I was able to watch this episode thanks to YouTube.  Would have been a total waste of time except for the questions it provoked in my mind about our daughters.  Just felt I needed to clarify this.

Today we are happily linked with Raising Mighty Arrow's Proverbs 31 Thursdays. There are some wonderful ladies sharing some words of wisdom.  I hope you will hurry over and get acquainted with some of these wonderful women of God.


Anna @ Feminine Adventures said...

I just heard about this show. How absolutely terrible. It reminds me of Kasey (These Five of Mine Plus 2) post on "love seeking not her own." Even if I wanted to, my husband wouldn't dream of letting our daughter on stage like that, but even still, in mothering it's easy to do things for my sake, rather than what is really truly best for my child!

Thanks for a thought-provoking reminder!

Niki said...

So true. We all need to be reminded to not parade our children for our own gratification.

Thanks for stopping by Anna! :)

Jills Home Remedies said...

This is sad, Niki! Thanks for sharing!

Little Natural Cottage said...

This is absolutely disgusting, Niki. I am appalled that mothers would stoop to this, and equally appalled that this show has such a following.

Kasey @ TFOMplus2 said...

People watch that??? That's ALMOST as bad as the fact that people do that to their children. It's when I read things like these that those little self-righteous feelings creep up on me. Somewhere along the line those parents must have been sadly deluded about where our self-worth comes from. They, along with their precious little girls, need prayer to see the truth!!