Saturday, August 8, 2009
Toddlers and Tiaras ...or How to Make Yourself Throw Up in Your Mouth
Ever since I got Dish Satellite TV I have discovered...there are a LOT of weird TV shows out there. What a sheltered life I have led watching network TV...(no really I had no idea who John and Kate were until very recently)
The weirdest TV shows are about so-called "real" people...who are really strange. I find myself in a hypnotic trance surfing from people who work in a tattoo parlor, to a cake shop, to a bridal dress shop, to a pawn shop. Quite amazing!
But watching Toddlers and Tiaras is like watching a train wreck. I know I shouldn't support this evil like I know I shouldn't go into Walmart (even though they have the cheapest price for my cats' favorite food..) but I can't help myself.
So this show follows little children in beauty pageants. Little little children! Little girls in curlers and false eyelashes who crawl around on the floor saying "I'm a chipmunk" - which would be cute IF THEY WERE PLAYING IN THEIR OWN HOME not about to be paraded like the sex objects their parents can't even wait for them to grow up to be.
WHO DOES THIS TO THEIR CHILDREN??? From what I can tell, I'll just say it and be politically incorrect....fat women and men who seem very gay to me do this to their children. Or like the father last night who knew and said out loud that it was wrong to pit their 6-year-old twin daughters against each other but apparently doesn't have the balls to put his foot down with his wife who smiles at the camera and without any shame explains how one of the twins "looks just like her mama" and is very pretty and wins more than her sister. Although I do give him credit for refusing to let the "pretty" twin finish the contest when she was having a melt-down and throwing a temper tantrum. Which left the ugly duckling daughter to win ..and Mom didn't even have to good grace to hide her shock that the daughter who doesn't look like her would win something!
What gave me pause is that the pretty dresses, makeup, hair...well this goes on in my beloved sport - Figure Skating. Little little girls are dressed up and put on the ice who often have to be carried out to their spot. I will say that MY daughter did not begin to compete until she was 11. And she didn't wear the really glitzy dresses - they were more sporty. We couldn't afford the fancier dresses. And at least you are judged by a skill, not how you look. I've even heard skating judges say they don't approve of the real fancy dresses for little girls because "what will they have to look forward to when they are older?"
I say there's no right age for a beauty pageant. If I were Queen of the world I would ban them all for everyone. But what is the right age for children to begin competing? Is there something wrong with a 4-year-old working on a skill like figure skating or tennis or gymnastics instead of playing? What exactly "is" a normal childhood? Playing all day and having no responsibilities or goals?
In skating, I've seen very talented children who would cry when you told them it was time to get off the ice. I've also seen parents nag and yell and push their children mercilessly. It's a delicate balance for parents, how much we push and how much we let them decide what is enough. When we moved I wouldn't let my daughter quit high school band (she played the flute) because I knew that would be a good way for her to make friends. She was not happy. But guess where most of her new friends were from? But another time I pushed her to take a skating test she was ready to give up on and it did not go well.
We do the best we can and as long as we are clear that we are doing this for our children, not ourselves...they will survive our mistakes. But NO BEAUTY PAGEANTS PLEASE!
Posted by Pastor Joelle at 11:32 AM