Toddlers & Tiaras

If ever there was a reason to believe that parts of the USA are completely degenerate I found it this afternoon!

We were round at the sister-in-law’s and idly flicking through her Skybox (Ooo, Matron!) we stumbled on this uniquely American offering. I’ve watched a lot of “wrong” TV in my time, I’m a big boy, I’m allowed to! But this was wrong on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start.

For those of you lucky enough never to have encountered it, Toddlers and Tiaras (we will call it TaT for short) follows kids as young as 18 months as they prepare for and appear in what the yanks call pageants. (Over this side of the pond a pageant tends to involve lots of am-dram societies and battle re-enactment clubs performing scenes from British history in a muddy field outside a stately home!) TaT is on an altogether bigger scale of tasteless yukkiness.

I would have to go back nearly 30 years to when I worked in a school to recall such displays of pushy, ill-tempered, self-centred and selfish brattishness. And some of the kids were just as bad as their parents. One has to wonder, as one watches a three year old being tweezed, spray-tanned and blinged-up to the eyeballs, how much of this is for the benefit of the child and just how much is “mommy” living vicariously through her sprogs.

It’s quite obvious that some of those kids don’t want to be there and don’t want to do it, but it’s easy to rebel against your parents when you’re 14 or 40. It’s not so easy when you’re four to explain your objections to being objectified.

The pushy “mommies” are worthy of note. Quite aside from the major mommy hissy fits, here’s just a few examples:

Quote – “When I see her on stage it’s just like having a life-sized doll.” Well, if that’s what you want, then buy one and let your daughter lead a normal life!

Quote – “We’ve spent a quarter of a million to get the girls started.” I can’t help feeling that would have been better spent on a college fund!!

Mommy reducing her daughter to tears while she’s on stage because she forgot part of the dance routine. She’s FIVE, for crap’s sake.

I could go on, but if I watch any more of this dross I WILL chuck the coffee table at the telly.

However, the most worrying and sinister part of all this is the overt sexualising of these children. A three year old dressed as Madonna, complete with conical boobs, is very disturbing. It aint cute. It’s nothing short of soft porn for paedophiles. Mommy and daddy should be ashamed.