Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Toddlers and Tiaras

A.K.A. Crazy Mothers on Parade A.K.A.See you on Springer in 20 years
I am Assuming that anyone reading my blog would not also be a fan of this brand of child rearing (or abuse)... I was flipping between Chopped and this show last night and could barely watch it without wanting to hurl something, perhaps my dinner, at the T.V. It was like a train wreck - you know it's bad and painful and horrible, but you still want to see the end result.

On Toddlers and Tiara's, perfectly typical little kids are made into Star-Lettes and Boy-Toys. They primp, pose and parade around the stage, at the command of their parents. Do they want to please their parents? Of course they do? Do they do what their parent's tell them to do? Mostly, yes, but not all of the time. And when they don't, oh boy, look out!

It's natural for some little girls to play dress up, put sparkly powder on their faces and act out little dance routines. Signing them up to do it for a prize is ...well, kinda wacky. It's like signing up your 2-year old for a pie eating contest. Sure, they'll love the pie, but is it necessary to find out how much pie they can eat?

On last night's episode were 2 brothers (aged 2 and 3) and the mother who was very passive-aggressively 'encouraging' them to perform. She actually went onto stage with them and told them each thing they had to do. These poor kids didn't know the stage from their bedroom floor but Mom was there acting like this was important for their development and success as a human being. They tried so hard to please their Mommy - and that seemed to be the point; to give these parents, through their children, something they never had themselves: unconditional love and regard.

As a school counselor-in-training, I find this so disturbing. Every day, I see kids who have lost their parents, have a parent in prison, are dealing with neglect and abuse and have to experience things that would stop some adults in their tracks. I live in a typical, medium-sized community and yet, even here, there is so much pain and sadness caused by the randomness and uncertainty and unpredictability of life.

These pageant parents much believe that what their doing is okay, and maybe even great. I just think it's a shame that they don't see their children as beautiful enough, smart enough, talented enough or charming enough just as they are....without spray-on tanning, pancake makeup and revealing clothing.

anyway, those are my thoughts....

2 comments:

Cathy said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one Signe. I can't flip the channel fast enough when just one of the commercials for that show comes on, much less the actual show. As if there's not enough out there to ruin a child's self-esteem...let's make little girls think that if they don't win a stupid pageant, they aren't good enough.

I can't imagine who is watching this. You might have just inspired me to write to TLC and let them know what I think!

P.S.-Lauren and Lily could whoop up on any of those kids in a pageant for cuteness! LOL...not that we would EVER do that.

Angie said...

I agree!


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