Western Courier

‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ is a travesty

Sandra Sepaniak

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It might not come as much of a shock to many: some people will do anything to be on television.

Be it singing badly, removing one’s pants in front of millions of viewers, or even eating something that has more than four legs; it’s all been done for a few minutes in the spotlight.

But one often wonders when watching television in the evenings, “How far will people go?”

Apparently, on TLC’s reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras,” they’re willing to sacrifice their children.

Children’s beauty pageants have almost always been a thing of controversy. They’ve always seemed like a waste of money on expensive clothes, an opportunity to do nothing more than sex up young girls or an opportunity for stay-at-home moms to live vicariously through their children.

While most able-minded viewers can recognize this, some feel that “Toddlers and Tiaras” almost glorifies these concepts.

For example, one woman who was featured had not one, not two, but all five of her children competing against each other in pageants.

The girls often fought and bickered, like kids often do, but when placed in front of a camera, the younger of the two biggest competitors admitted to not liking to compete against her sister.

“It’s very hard to win,” she admitted.

Audiences can’t help but cringe even more when their mother openly implies that one girl is prettier than the other, either.

Needless to say, this show is the epitome of bad parenting. Parents are often filmed waxing their children’s eyebrows, dressing them up like Dolly Parton, complete with fake curves and getting upset when their child doesn’t win or places slightly worse than expected.

However, “Toddlers and Tiaras” also points out that this pageantry isn’t limited to just girls, either. One mother said of her two competing boys, “These are my girls that I never had, so I’ll just turn them into girls.”

Yes, someone actually said that about her two preschool boys.

Sometimes viewers have to wonder what the purpose of this show is. One choice is that it’s to prove how truly terrifying some parents can be, and that seems to be the point with how ridiculous they all act.

What also needs to be remembered is that these people are likely getting paid five or six-figures to appear on television and treat their children like wind-up toys.

Is “Toddlers and Tiaras” exposing the truth, or is it glamorizing what these parents are doing to their children? That is open to interpretation.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ is a travesty