No, I'm not having a baby-and-responsibility-free wild night out at a strip club. I'm sitting on my couch watching the trainwreck that is Toddlers and Tiaras. If you've never seen this reality television show, please check out some clips on TLC's website.
I watch this show every now and then when there isn't anything else worth seeing on TV. It has always slightly disturbed me, but the venom didn't start to flow until recently. A few days ago, an 11 week old baby was competing in a pageant. 11 weeks old?!? The announcer laughed as he said, "Serenity is 11 weeks old and enjoys sleeping 18 hours a day hahahaha." Umm...haha freaking ha. The baby was in a ridiculously poofy and most likely uncomfortable dress, and was fast asleep as Mom paraded her across the stage. Hey Momma, I think it's pretty clear here that you're trying to live vicariously through your baby. Why not wait until your child can decide for herself whether or not she wants to participate? Oh, and maybe I'm daft, but I just don't understand how you judge newborn babies in a beauty competition. Are the fat rolls on Serenity's legs just slightly smaller than her competitor's? Give me a break.
I try really hard not to judge these Moms because we all do what we think is best for our little ones. I have to confess, though, I'm not a saint. Saying "when she gets a $2 million Hollywood contract I won't have to work anymore!" (yes that is a direct quote) makes me want to vomit. Your child is not a mealticket. She's hysterically crying because she just lost the competition. Please stop daydreaming about the fame that she will probably never experience, and comfort your daughter.
The episode got even worse, unfortunately. Out came spray-tanned 3 year olds with fake teeth and wigs shaking their little diaper-clad booties in mini skirts and bikini tops. A wink here. A blown kiss there, all as the judges furiously wrote down notes and scores. These malleable and vulnerable toddlers need to be told that perfect makeup, glittery outfits, and the presence or absence of stray eyebrow hairs are not criteria under which they should accept being judged by!
Our little girls cannot speak for themselves; it's our job as Moms to do that. So Mommas, I implore you...demand that your daughters be judged by the quality of their character, not the quality of their clothes. Insist that they are valued for their ideas and creativity, not their facial symmetry or hair style. We should not accept the fact that nearly half of girls ages 3 to 6 worry about being fat. We need to change this; it's up to us.
|What Carina thinks of poofy dresses. I don't think she would go very far in the pageant world.|
What do you think of beauty pageants? What sorts of activities do you think are good for developing self-esteem?