By Kaitlin Mayhew
At first glance, tt’s just another beauty pageant show. The hairstyles, fake eyelashes, and behind the scenes meltdowns are all the same. But wait; those are five-year-olds. TLC’s new reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” follows these tiny contestants and their over-involved parents.
And over-involved is putting it lightly. These moms are decking out their toddlers in more makeup, fake hair, and spray-tans than one of the girls from MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” would wear to their wedding.
And maybe it’s just me, but the outfits look like they would have been overkill at the height of the ‘80s.
“My seven year old daughter McKenzie Jones is a hot mess,” her mother Kim Jones said while on air.
I didn’t know that it was desirable to have birthed a seven-year-old “hot mess.” Don’t most parents try to keep their daughters from reaching that label even as teenagers? Or forever?
Not these moms. The words “Mommy Dearest” run through my head as I watch Jones lacing up her daughter’s white sparkly corset.
One mother did seem to have at least temporary doubts about treating her daughter like a living Barbie doll.
“I cannot spray-tan my five year old,” she said. “Of course I ate my words.”
You should never eat those words.
The show is unsettling to watch, but even more potentially upsetting is the fact that it screams “pedophile’s dream come true.”
The program is consists a bunch of girls four to seven years of age many times scantily or seductively clad. Well, as seductively as a baby-faced toddler can be. They are then done up in every possible way and put into categories to compete for such labels as “Most Beautiful” or “Most Fashionable.”
I do understand that show or not, these pageants exist. And that many of the moms and dads are not as crazy as the ones portrayed on TV, but the fact that the show is out there portraying and even encouraging that kind of behavior is frankly quite frightening.