Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Toddlers and Tiaras

Has anyone watched this show on TLC? It is about the pageant world for little girls and boys. I happened to catch a partial episode last night. There was nothing on after NCSI and the Mentalist, so I started channel surfing and saw this little gem.

First off, I don't have a problem with pageants per say, but this show was just creepy. Or maybe it was just this episode. There is just something not quite right about shoving a pair of fake teeth in a kids mouth so they have a perfect smile. Or spray tanning your five year old so she doesn't look pasty white for the swimsuit competition.

They had this one little girl. She was 10 years old and her mom and coach (yes, they have pageant coaches) put her in a white strapless dress and high heels. It looked like a wedding dress seriously. She had about 6 inches of make-up on and her hair was teased to the heavens. Then it got even creepier... her dad or was it her uncle.. It was some male figure in her life said this , "She just looks gorgeous up there. I know she looks way older than she should, but she looks gorgeous." Shiver.... She is 10! 10 years old and looked like she was 18!

I kept screaming at the TV "She's only 10! She's just a baby!" My dear husband looked up for just a moment from his laptop and swore there was no way she was only 10. Then he caught the interview with said child saying how pretty she felt with everyone looking at her and saw her age listed. He joined me in saying "She's only 10!"
The above little girl went on to win in every category and first place for her age group. Her exit interview she said, "I feel beautiful when I win first place." Sad, sad.

A mom of a little girl who lost said, "She's just going to have to try harder next time." Like this was a math test or a basketball game they lost.

It does make me sad to see girls place so much emphasis on their outside appearance. And we wonder why women and girls still struggle with body image.

Yes, I could save myself all sorts of angst if I would just stop watching shows like this, but there is just something about reality TV that sucks you in. You want to look away, flip the channel, but you can't. You remain glued to it. Appalled that there really are people like that.

In the end, one little girl had the best outlook and the most wisdom on it all. She said she wanted to win, but she wanted the others to win more. She didn't want anyone to feel bad about themselves.

That little girl made the entire episode for me.


Erica said...

I've seen this show. I can't stand to watch it. It makes me cringe whenever I see its promos. The parents (for the most part) are so superficial. What kind of attitudes are these kids going to have when they grow up??