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Old 06-28-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Baby Beauty Pageants - Appalling

SO was going through the TV listings very early this evening & stumbled on a listing for Toddlers & Tiaras. He'd heard me snarling about it many moons ago & suggested we watch it. Okay - maybe this time I wouldn't end up feeling as snarly & I wanted his take on it.

He was as revolted as I have been watching that show. He seriously thought it was a 'fake' reality show - along the lines of 'This is Spinal Tap'. He couldn't believe parents would seriously subject their little children to what he flat out called child abuse, not to mention an invitation to molestation. It wasn't until I hunted up some pageant web sites as well as sites for individual contestants that he reluctantly accepted this was for real & he was as furious & saddened as I've found myself watching this stuff... which is why I stopped watching it after a few episodes when it first came out.

He picked up right away that for most parents portrayed on the show - this was a vicarious experience. Comments such as a wistful: "I'd LOVE to be able to sit & have a manicure, while my hair is being done & my makeup is done - I've LOVE to be pampered like that!" Appropriate as an adult or even older teen but for most of these little ones, after a few minutes it was sheer torture.

Mothers flat out said: "To get ahead in today's world, it's important to be beautiful." So they tart up their tots to look like little Barbie dolls or pole dancers & from an early age, teach them that's what matters.

Moms said THEY felt validated when their CHILDREN won - it mattered that they'd produced a beautiful child. Added: are their values that poor that the most important thing in their life is producing a child that's aesthetically pleasing?

The episodes I watched previously had many moms earnestly saying they did this because it was good for their childrens' self confidence. Right - spray them orange, dress them up like dollies, apply fake hair, fake teeth, fake eyelashes, trowel on the makeup, put them into provocative clothing & teach them to strut & flaunt in competition with others. Then, they turn 4 years old & it really gets serious. How much 'confidence' is gained competing based on looks & 'personality' & losing? There can only be one ultimate winner & what skills do they learn except how to fool others into thinking they're something they're not? Wouldn't genuine confidence be better learned through the attainment & improvement of one or more skills?

Speaking of personality. Parents, relatives & judges spoke of their little darlings having BIG personalities, being 'sassy' & spunky & having to be coaxed with treats in order to assure co-operation. Parents lived in horror of meltdowns on stage or just before their tots were due on stage. For 'sassy' in most cases, read spoiled rotten. Mom & often aunts & grandmothers lives revolve around preparing these pampered poppets for pageants. Lessons, coaches, talent classes, $1200 dresses, $375 bathing suits, spray tans, manicures, pedicures, flippers or fake teeth, wigs & hairpieces, makeup - one mom admitted to spending $3000 for ONE pageant. Her daughter was four. Another mother proudly announced: "I was BORN to wait on X___ hand & foot!" X___ is 5 or was when that showed was taped.

There's a wistfulness in the faces of these parents & female relatives, most of whom are very overweight, poorly groomed & lacking in self confidence. It's clear they're using their very young daughters to live out a fantasy of what they wished they'd been as children - little princesses. Some openly admit to having wanted a daughter to dress up & show off. Ladies - buy dolls or something.

The kids may be young but they're not stupid - not by a long shot. They learn early that they can get EXACTLY what they want by pitching a well timed fit. And to be fair, far too any are clearly exhausted by the hours of having to sit still & stiff, long evenings & the emotional ups & downs. Some learn cynicism early, stating they're in it for the money - the kids, that is. The coax promises of ponies & new furniture & other goodies from their parents in order to ensure co-operation at pageant time.

The emcees give me the creeps, especially the males. They know far too much about the contestants for my comfort & I'm not a parent! The online photos of these kids - shudder.

I don't get this, I just don't. It appears to be concentrated in the south & midwest & for the parents heavily into it, can consume every weekend & much time during the week with lessons & practicing.

And at the end of it all, it's so superficial.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #2
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Absolutely appalling. Here's one of the contestants


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Old 06-28-2011, 11:30 PM   #3
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Ah yes, Eden Wood - apparently she's been the darling of the pageant scene for the last couple of years. Her presene strikes fear in the hearts of other contestants & most of all, their mothers. I saw her mom intervieed last winter. She's delighted with the attention - eagerly awaiting calls from Hollywood.

Eden is about to retire - at the ripe old age of 6 - moving on to bigger & better things including a recording career & being a spokesperson.

I've been listening to the interview you added here. Yes, I agree it's good to support your children in what they want to do but no way n hell would I expose a child of mine to the minefields involved in the entertainment industry this young. If she's pretty & bubbly now & has the capacity to entertain now, she will later when she's older.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:58 PM   #4
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I'm waiting for the reality show, in a decade or so, when these princesses are baring all to see psychologically. As in how screwed up they are from families pushing them through the pageant circuit. I know the parents say they WANT to do it...they BEG to do it. So throw a neighbourhood beauty/talent show, and let the parents chose a title for each of them. That's all they want...to play dress up, show off their "skills". (Mom, watch me! Mom. Mom. Mommy.). Everyone would be happy, less stressed, and not broke.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:03 AM   #5
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I watched this a few times. The movements they were teaching these girls for the dance routines bothered me. It was more like what you see in sexy music videos. Reminds me of the show My Big Fat Gypsie Wedding. The young girls on there danced like strippers minus the pole.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:27 AM   #6
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rb. - I LOVE your idea. It's not terribly different from children producing a little stage show for family & friends, after all. Keep it low key & fun & let the kids pick 'costumes', do their own hair & makeup... fun should be the key word.

When you look at the audience for these shows - it's clearly family in 95% of the cases, so why get this elaborate? It's the PARENTS competing against EACH other & some of the comments are really nasty, especially considering they're aimed at little tykes.

I feel too for the non-competing siblings or those where one child is pitted against the other... within a family. I don't want to think of the long term emotional damage there. I can easily imagine how I would have felt if every ounce of attention & energy, every cent, had gone to support something that superficial for one of my brothers at my expense... I can imagine it because being a child of abuse I lived tht but for different reasons & in different ways.

Don't get me wrong. There ARE genune prodigies out there, naturally exceptionally skilled in music, or other art, a sport or area of academic endeavor. I expect it's very difficult to nuture that talent in a child in a balanced way & NOT at the expense of siblings.

But these 'beauty pageants' are a different kettle of fish & in my eyes, offer little positive return for anyone involved.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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I've always thought they were revolting, Sue, clear back during the Jon Benet Ramsay case. Little girls should NOT be tarted up to look like baby hookers. I'm sure most of the parents would be angry if you told them that -- but would they be as horrified as they should be? Would they immediately say "OMG, I never thought of that! OK, no more pageants for Baby." Or would they justify, justify, justify?

No wonder pedophiles abound in our society.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:17 AM   #8
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Talk about timing, I just got an e-mail from a friend about her god-daughter getting 2nd place in one of the contests. If the kids were allowed to look natural and are having fun and not trying to look like adult hookers then as lonf as it's fun and no pressure, go for it. If it's high pressure and lots of makeup, trying to look so grown up then I can't stand it.

Somewhere I have the trophy I won when I was 1 1/2 yrs old. Mom put me in a baby contest but the most they did was put us in pretty dresses and get us to smile. I got 1st place, I was a cute baby.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummagick View Post
Absolutely appalling. Here's one of the contestants


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERW33sBGJG0
Her talent does not impress me, but it looks like she's having a good time.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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I have watched these. Kind of like the fascination watching one of those medical shows which show all of the operation with no cut away.

You are grossed out, shocked, want to turn away but at the same time you watch to see how bad it is kind of like gawking at a traffic accident.

Quote:
There's a wistfulness in the faces of these parents & female relatives, most of whom are very overweight, poorly groomed & lacking in self confidence.

This is what I noticed. Why is it you don't see any smartly dressed sophisticated women/mothers doing this kind of thing to their daughters?

Women who do participate don't don't seem have the b*lls to do it themselves so they live vicariously through their children.

Like Munchausen by proxy except they don't make the kids sick. (OK not a clean analogy but you get the idea.)

And no, I don't believe a 2-10yo daughter "want to do this." Maybe 11-12+ but before that time it is the mother/parents pushing the child to do this.

There are other ways to make a self confident child. Music, education, light sports competition, etc.

These things? Unlikely.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:29 AM   #12
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And no, I don't believe a 2-10yo daughter "want to do this." Maybe 11-12+ but before that time it is the mother/parents pushing the child to do this.
I would have agreed with you, absolutely, up to a few years ago. However, our 8 yo daughter has such a strong drive to compete, to win, to be on a stage, to be the constant center of attention, it's driving us, the parents, uncomfortable.

Thank the heavens she has no friends that are involved in beauty pagents, because if she did, she would insist on participating. And we're smart enough to not bring it up. As it is, between the swim team (2-3 nites a week for the past 3 years), karate(1-2 times a week for the past 3 years), competitive dance (2-4 times a week for the past 2 years), piano (1 lesson a week, practice every day for the past 3 years), ballet (1 day a week, 4 years), we are at the point where her activities are starting to collide with each other and she's going to have to drop some things....

While I agree we see parents that push their child into things, and the child only "performs" to please their parent or coach, this isn't true for our child, and therefore must not be true for others....

As a side note, of her 5 cousins on my side of the family, she is the only one not on Ritalin. We choose the strategy of keeping her (and her older brother) physically exhausted instead of medicating her/him. All of her cousins showed signs of being mentally brilliant as young children, and are now druggies and wastrels, after a childhood of being medicated to reduce their energy level.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Alanna View Post
I've always thought they were revolting, Sue, clear back during the Jon Benet Ramsay case. Little girls should NOT be tarted up to look like baby hookers. I'm sure most of the parents would be angry if you told them that -- but would they be as horrified as they should be? Would they immediately say "OMG, I never thought of that! OK, no more pageants for Baby." Or would they justify, justify, justify?

No wonder pedophiles abound in our society.
These pageants are revolting but they have little to do with paedophiles in general.

I think the problem is with the parents. Can you imagine spending 3K on make up & whatever (photos, some classes?).

I also think it's wrong because it's so superficial. Looking right and saying the right things s not enough as a skill itself. OTOH there are parents enforcing other dreams on their kids...Think tennis daughters like the Williams sisters , same for gymnastics and think of the many hours of enforced piano or violin lessons.

Part is taste but tennis, gymnastics and playing music at least hone real skills improving connections in the brain. I really can't see how a life of beaty pageants does that...ok you'll be sociable.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:13 AM   #14
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The kids in that show are heading for a lot of therapy down the road.

When I was in high school we had a Snow Queen Pageant at the winter carnival every year. The girl that won the contest most years was gorgeous. I will never forget how pretty she was. She eventually ended up in Hollywood....and taking her own life when it didn't work out the way she wanted...What a loss that was.

I placed second once..... oh.....that was a long time ago.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:20 AM   #15
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And no, I don't believe a 2-10yo daughter "want to do this." Maybe 11-12+ but before that time it is the mother/parents pushing the child to do this.
My DGD loves to have her hair fixed up and to wear dresses. I could see her loving the beauty pagent type thing, I can't see her mom putting her in one. She will play dress up and any other games she enjoys, maybe cars and stuff her brothers like too.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:27 AM   #16
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I hadn't seen any of this show until this morning



it's pretty bad
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:13 AM   #17
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...h-threats.html

Mother who dressed her three-year-old daughter as Pretty Woman prostitute in hiding after receiving death threats
By Paul Thompson

Last updated at 5:54 PM on 12th September 2011

Comments (138) Add to My Stories Share A mother who dressed her daughter like a prostitute for a toddler beauty pageant has revealed she has had death threats.
Wendy Dickey provoked outrage after her three year old daughter strutted along a catwalk in a costume that mimicked the outfit worn by Julia Roberts' prostitute character in the movie 'Pretty Woman'.

She has been forced to go into hiding after receiving death threats following daughter Paisley's appearance on the 'Toddler and Tiaras' show and the outrage it caused.


....Dickey told Good Morning America that the outfit was not meant to sexualise her daughter and was intended as a joke.

'The whole idea was for people to see the comedy behind it,' she said.
'It's like when you take your children to a kids' movie, there's always adult humour that the parents get that the children don't get and that's what it was about.'

Dickey, who is from Georgia, designed the outfit herself and said she's outraged that people think she's sexualising her toddler daughter.

---------- Post added at 10:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:11 AM ----------

Look at this parent doing something "cute".

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:48 PM   #18
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The lead story in the latest issue of People magazine is about toddler beauty pageants.
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