Thursday, March 26, 2009

Toddlers, Tiaras and a Ton of Fun?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with lifestyle television.

On one hand, I am an addict who loves the small insight into other's lives.  I am nosy.  On the other, the sheer oddness and often stupidity of my fellow man drives me to this boiling insane point that sometimes forces me to call the network to tell them people are idiots.  It's sort of a problem.

Due to the fact that a lifestyle show is coming my way, I have been an even more avid viewer.  I have taken to watching TLC on a daily basis.  The new show that gets me in a tizzy is called 'Toddlers and Tiaras' which is pretty self-explanatory; it's about toddlers and tiaras.  

Beauty pageants have always boggled my mind.  Even as a young, impressionable and slightly awkward youth, I would watch Miss America on television and know something was amiss.  I work in a field that constantly judges people on appearances and yet I still sit here and think that beauty pageants are bizarre.

According to a documentary I watched the other day, America the Beautiful, (great by the way - go find it!) beauty pageants started during the suffrage movement.  It was a way of distracting women from fighting for their right to vote to fighting to look the prettiest in a bathing suit.  True story.

So if beauty pageants were designed to distract us from wanting to use our brains and make decisions, and we now can do that, why are we still obsessed with them?  

I am not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination.  The Engineer opens doors for me, he pays for every date, and I fully intend to stay at home with my kids while he makes the money. Call me old-fashioned but I think it is super when I don't have to pay for things.  But the beauty pageant is one place that I can't help but feel belongs back in the last century.

I am not so opposed to beauty pageants in which the contestants are in their 20's.  Although I find it odd to be judged by lack of jiggle in the thigh, these women are adults and can make their own decisions.  Often they are clever (scholarships are a big incentive after all), pretty, and have dazzling talents.  Most of the time.

I am opposed, however, to children in beauty pageants.  It CREEPS ME OUT.  And not just because of that whole JonBenet Ramsey tragedy.  They are creepy with or without a murder.

This new show on TLC follows the life of tiny girls travelling the states to compete for crowns and cash.  And it's weird.

Firstly, little girls should not ever ever ever:  wear make-up, have their hair teased, wear false eyelashes, or BE SPRAY TANNED.  NEVER!  They are so sweet in their own natural way that to make them look like 45-year-old ex-strippers is oh so wrong.  The make-up looks as though it has been applied by Homer Simpson's make-up gun set on 'hooker'.  It's just gross.

Secondly, the routines that these girls do are odd.  I don't know what it is exactly, but when they smile for the judges, the smiles are not normal.  Have you ever noticed that?  Their smiles look as though they have little hangers stuck up their bums and are trying not to cry.  It's weird and unnatural.  It's also sick and wrong when the camera pans to the mother in the audience putting her mouth in a big 'O' and circling her hips so that her child on stage mimics her.  I think when an adult does that it looks like they are suffering from a rare form of turrets and/or want to perform a strange sex act.  On a child it just looks . . . . . . that's right!  Sick and wrong.

Thirdly,  families go into massive debt over these suckers with the hope of winning $500.  They are also the only ones watching. Isn't it strange that these pageants are held in random Holiday Inn conference rooms with three people in the audience?  I mean they clearly look like cash grabs for the organisers.  

Fourthly, the mothers.  The mothers!  GAH!  And grandmothers!!!  Ummm, this is very unkind of me to say, but have they looked in a mirror lately??  More often that not, these people look like they came straight off the trailer park without the thought of a shower or the need to brush their hair.  And they are usually 300 pounds.  Clearly they have weird beauty issues.  They realized they were fugs and quickly decided they need to feel beautiful through their children.   I think they should all get the spray tan and perhaps go for a walk, or lay off the cheesecake.

So that is what I say about that.  Toddlers and tiaras do not mix.  Well they do, tiaras pretty much mix with everything.  But in the case of a child, they should be from her tickletrunk for playing dress-up.

Also, another new addition is the fact that boys are now allowed to be in beauty pageants.  I guess there goes my feminism rant, but I feel a little boy in  a suit wearing a tiara will come back and haunt him in 20 years.  Clearly, the mother wanted a little girl, didn't get one, so treats her boy like one.  Or maybe little boys like wiggling their bums and shimmying for the judges.  Again, it's going to haunt him when he starts dating.  Actually, those will be the boys who live with their mothers forever and watch the world from their second-floor window and write the daily details of their neighborhood in a journal . . . .   creepy.


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