Toddlers and Tiaras
The TV show Toddlers and Tiaras encourages child abuse. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary abuse is: “improper or excessive use or treatment.” Toddlers and Tiaras is a show based on mothers using their children and treating them like dolls instead of humans. The tiny tots on this show have become famous for their scandalous outfits and routines. We cannot blame the children as many of them are too young to understand the negative responses. From a young age these children are being exposed to an overly sexualized media and then encouraged to participate in it. These girls spend each weekend and most of every day either preparing for or competing in competitions that they may not want to be a part of. They don’t have a say in whether or not they want to compete and often times their mother are the ones pushing them into pageants. The show starts with an introduction to the families that are chosen for this particular week. Each family is filmed in their own home and they take the viewer through their pageant routine. This episode starts with a mother saying, “I didn’t get to do this stuff when I was little so I think I am living my dreams through my daughter.” The daughter then says, “I like pageants because my mamma says so.” The mother is taking away her daughter’s freedom of choosing an activity that she enjoys. For a show titled about the children, the mothers get most of the attention. After home tours the families show off their pageant attire. One family even showed the dress fitting for their newest gown. Some of the most disturbing parts of Toddlers and Tiaras are the promiscuous costumes, which include: a mother dressing her daughter, Maddy, as Dolly Parton, complete with fake “assets,” or two-year-old Mia complete with Madonna’s cone bra, and finally three-year-old Paisley as the prostitute Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman. Paisley wore knee-high black leather boots and a revealing top and skirt and pranced around the stage as people simultaneously clapped and looked on in horror. Spray tan and fake eyelashes are one thing but once you dress your kid as an iconic prostitute even Julia Roberts would be appalled. These children don’t know who most of the people that they are portraying are. Their mothers on the other hand know exactly who they are and how people will react to a certain costume. They are setting their children up to have a bad reputation. At three years old these innocent girls are being brought into the spot light by their selfish mothers. However, it is eight-year-old Britney who takes the cake when it comes to being “over-sexualized.”She receives regular Botox injections from her mother before pageants. Are these parents really worried about wrinkles on the face of a girl that doesn’t even have acne yet? When did it become socially acceptable for toddlers to look and act like a twenty, thirty or even forty-year-old woman? Most every little girl wants to feel like a princess, but I doubt any of them want to be a prostitute, nor do they know what a prostitute is. Even when the outfits are age appropriate, the children never have a say in choosing their attire. A contestant locked herself in the bathroom because she refused to wear a certain dress. These parents spend hundreds of dollars on these dresses; the children should at least enjoy wearing them. Children should be playing with dolls not being one. These children have no say in what they are doing. They are being led by parents that force them into costumes and parade them on stage for their own enjoyment. These parents are in it to win it, whether or not their child wants to compete is another story. They are so focused on using their children to accomplish their own goals that they often end up forcing their child to compete. Along with showing their glamorous wardrobe the families bring the viewer along to the salon for the next step in preparing for a pageant. In preparation...
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