Toddlers & Tiaras

As I was flicking through channels this morning, I caught a bit of “Toddlers and Tiaras” on TLC. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I’ve heard of shows like “Here comes Honey Boo Boo” but never really watched them. I made that mistake today.

There was a 7 year old who “loves pink, money, pageants and winning”, a 2 year old who knew how to “wiggle her booty in a bikini” and a 3 year old who couldn’t use spray tan because she was “bi-ethnic” and so pre-pageant lay on her front lawn sunbathing.

And the people behind these children?? THEIR PARENTS!! Now I understand a parents role is to push their kids to be the best that they can be and believe they can be anything they want to be but somehow I don’t think wearing fake eye lashes and make up is what you want (or need) at 2.

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The 7 year old’s mom put a ribbon round her head and over her ears and when the daughter questioned her, she said “Now you don’t wanna be going out there with big ears sticking out like this, like Dumbo” while holding her ears out. Cue crying….naturally, she’s 7. If I heard that in a school, I’d call it bullying.

The 2 year olds mom got fake eyelash glue in her eye and while the girl is still crying she says “Should we try that again darling?”

I sometimes wander if these things are real or just created for TV to give people something to watch but then I googled it, and believe me, its real. In my google search I also found this. SHOCKING!! This article made me really sad. It seems winning these pageants has more to do with satisfying the mothers ego than the child’s. Also the emphasis on physical perfection puts these young girls at high risk of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders as they get older.

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How can a mother, a primary care giver, the person who gave you life, ever think that an 8 year old needs botox AND that the child “asked for it”. The line between encouraging your child to be a beauty princess and forcing them suddenly seems very blurry.

When a mother tells her child she’s too fat/tall/thin/short or not good enough, there have got to be some serious psychological ramifications for these children. Low self esteem, low sense of self worth, low confidence to name a few.

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Do you think beauty paegents should have a minimum age requirement? And that child services should step in when they hear of such stories? Or is it really up to the parent to raise their child as they see fit?

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