By Courtney Sullivan
"I had kids so they could be in pageants." That pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Or how do you think your son might feel hearing dear mommy say, "When I found out he was a boy, I was really disappointed because he wouldn't be in pageants." But never fear, mom realized later that he could be in pageants (whether he wants to or not), so yay, all is well [insert raised eyebrow here].
'Tis the season - no not that season, it's THE season of the increasinlgy popular, "Toddlers and Tiaras" on TLC last Wednesday night.
The show's popularity can be attributed morbid curiosity we suppose. It's something we cringe watching, yet, like a train wreck, can't turn away.
It's reminiscent of the "Seinfeld" episode where there's a portrait of Kramer and an couple is staring at it and says, "It's hideous, yet I cannot turn away." Of course the couple purchases it and at a pretty high price, too.
Speaking of high prices, the price these families pay to be in the pageants is unspeakably high. Their "glitz" wear, which rivals evening wear most glamorous movie stars wear to a red carpet event can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
If you're doing the math, tack on the cost of pageant "coaches," spray tans, eyebrow waxing, fake nails, professional hair and make up (including false eyelashes), plus travel to the pageants, and your bill starts to resemble the Empire State Buidling.
But this "cost" is justified if the tiny divas win the "supreme" titles. How much cash do they actually win? Hope you're sitting down - because it's a whopping ... $50.00! You might get lucky and see $200.00, maybe. For those still doing math, no, we didn't forget a zero or two. That's pretty much all they get for this "torture."
It's no surprise that on last week's episode one of the moms said, laughingly, that her husband was so upset about the pageants that he gave her an ultimatum -- the pageants or their marriage. What do you think she chose? Uh, yeah.
So getting to the hookers -- you thought we forgot didn't you!.
Last season, one of the contestant's moms decided that dressing her toddler as the Julia Roberts' character in "Pretty Woman" (a hooker) would be a "winner." Sadly, the judges loved it! The same can't be said for critics and the public, however.
Last season, another little girl dressed up as Madonna -- complete with the cone bra. Yeah. Oh, then there was the little girl who had fake breasts (no, not implants, phew!) and a fake bottom [insert long, suffering sigh here].
In last week's episode, the family who had children just so they could enter them in pageants, love drag queens, especially Ru Paul.
Let us preface that we have nothing against drag queens.
What we found particularly odd was that the children knew all about them, had gone to shows (don't you have to be an adult to attend them?), were quite familiar with Ru Paul, and their "talent" was to entertain like drag queens. This included the little boy -- the one whose value was increased when mom realized that he could participate in pageants.
Perhaps the worst part for us is when we see little kids who don't want to participate (and we acknowledge some of the kids do), who are crying and asking to "please not have to participate" and whose parents are scolding them into doing better.
If children want to participate in a competition, and if it's not exploiting them, so be it. But perhaps the pageants that dress little girls up like hookers may not be in their best interest in the long run.
What do you think? Would you let your child participate? Do you watch Toddlers & Tiaras? What did you think of it?
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