Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Toddlers & Tiaras

This is a beautiful confident young woman: This, unfortunately, is not:

Ok, I'm not gonna lie. We love this stupid show and we also love Little Miss Perfect (for clarification purposes, when I say "we" I mean me and the girls, totally not the Hubby). These shows are total and complete train wrecks and we love it! We TiVo the shows each week and can't wait to watch the insanity.

We watch these shows not because we like "Glitz" beauty pageants for little girls, but because the parents are completely CRAZY! I feel terribly sorry for 99.9% of the girls on the show because their parents are total PSYCHO's! Seriously, there is a big difference between a composed, poised, confident young woman competing in local pageants (ages 15+) and these crazy "glitz" pageants, "Wow" wear, and the beauty competition. I crack up when they show these wacko parents standing behind the judges table trying to get the girls to smile and do their routines correctly. These parents readily admit they have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on entry fees, pageant coaches, hair, make-up, spray tans, flippers (fake teeth) and clothing and accessories (not to mention hotel, gas and/or airfare for the weekend to attend the pageant). One mom said they spent "well over $30,000 in the last 6 months." Are you kidding me? Where are these people getting $30K? Wouldn't you be better off taking that $30K and putting it in a college fund? T is participating in her first pageant this weekend. It's actually a charity event, no swimsuit, no "Wow" wear, no talent and I think it's an on-stage interview. She's participating because her friend, the pageant organizer, invited her and the proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. The entrance fee was $50 and I think she gets a t-shirt. She borrowed a gown from a friend and we found shoes on the clearance rack at Belk's for $19.99. Her nails will be done from the Sadie Hawkin's dance the night before.
These little girls are spray tanned and air-brushed to within an inch of their lives and the parents (yes, there is such a thing as a pageant dad!) all swear that "they will stop doing pageants if little Susie doesn't want to do it anymore." My favorite line is: "this is our special mother/daughter time." Mother/daughter bonding is wonderful but really, how much bonding is actually going on? There's always one kid on the show who cries when she's getting dressed, cries when she's getting her hair done, cries when she didn't win a trophy and the mom ends up yelling or crying because the little girl's not listening and everyone is stressed out to the max. So, who's having fun here?

In all fairness, I do believe these pageants get a bad rap, some of it deserved, some of it not, and the whole Jon Benet Ramsey thing didn't help. On the flip side, on the "male" side, I see the same thing with kids sports yet it appears to be more acceptable.

Both of my girls have cheered for rec football, they've both played lacrosse, they've both played soccer and they've both danced. We've seen it all. I have personally witnessed parents pace up and down the sidelines, stand behind the backstop at home plate when their kid is up to bat or when their kid is pitching, scream and yell at the coaches and the officials. We know parents who have their 1st graders in speed and agility training (which just seems harmful to me). We know tons of kids that have had private lessons in their sport of choice. We know kids who have top of the line bats valued at over $500, etc. Does any of this stuff make your kid a winner? Does it increase his/her chances of making varsity? It's usually the kids that have no chance in hell of taking their game to the next level that have the most pushy, the most obnoxious parents. Like Cosmo always says, there are just some things you can't teach. He's coached a couple of boys over the years that just have "it" (that mysterious, elusive "it" factor that everyone talks about regardless of whether they are a pageant judge or a sports coaches, it's all the same thing).

So, in conclusion, is the sports dad any different than the pageant mom? The sports dad thinks his son is going to be the next MVP of the World Series or a Super Bowl champion and the pageant mom thinks her daughter is going to be the next Miss America. Aren't they both just living vicariously through their children?


Anonymous said...

Love this post! I did pageants in high school and college for the scholarship money. I was old enough to choose to do it myself and didn't have my mom forcing me into getting spray tanned, etc. These moms are NUTSO!

I wish your little girl all the best!!! Doing a pageant for a charity or as something fun to do with friends is one thing... but like you said, to spray your child and airbrush them and make them parade around in 30K worth of outfits, etc. when they're barely old enough to walk is just plain silly!

p.s. When does the show come on? I want to watch it. LOL

Screen Door Prep said...

We don't watch these shows, but we do watch the Dish & the Soup! make fun of these shows...& ohmylord, they are awful! Those poor little girls. Those ridiculous parents.

Your daughter is beautiful. I'm sure she'll have a fun time doing the pageant for her friend.

We know the parents you are talking about, too...& I think the answer to your final question is, "Yes."

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