Feb 4, 2010

Controversial? Make up and high heels... on little girls. Discuss.

I haven't actually watched it, I can't bring myself to do so, but I have seen enough of it on TV to know the gist of it.  Crazy moms convinced that their children LOVE dressing up and dealing with adult stress and being judged based on appearance and a small amount of poise, presence and talent. Little girls that look like this:
 
and this: 

and this: 

or this:



What do you think?
Just harmless fun, a way for kids to earn money for college, great training for futures in modeling and build self-esteem
OR  child abuse, a pre-cursor to eating disorders, getting them trained to dance in Vegas & just disturbing?

My thoughts:
I find it disturbing and possibly damaging.  I could go on and on about teaching children that their self-worth should NOT come from prostitute-level make-up and skanky clothing.  The damaging effects of the stress, or heaven forbid the child be a winner every time, creating a child who finds their value COMPLETELY in the little plastic crowns the judges give them.

I had a normal friend, who had a normal daughter, who spent a lot of money to participate in these pageants, in the end they only did it for a few years.  Their daughter went on to be in a made for TV movie and a model for Pottery Barn Kids.  They have a nice chunk of change for her in a college fund.  She is now slightly overweight, and I don't think they are doing it anymore.  I have no idea how she really feels about it.  It didn't seem to permanently damage her, but the friend was also not zealously trying to get her daughter into every pageant.  What do you think?

Just me, AJ

35 comments:

  1. I have to say, I really don't think this is healthy for kids. Imagine your child not getting first place! Then they get to leave the pagent feeling like they weren't "good enough." It's awful!

    I will admit though that I'm a cheer mom and my girls do participate in cheerleading competitions. The difference, in my opinion, is that they are learning teamwork, and being a participant in organized sports is very healthy for young kids. It helps teach self esteem, and show them that hard work pays off, but if they don't win 1st place, we (the parents and the coaches) are very quick to tell them that the most important thing is that they had fun.

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  2. I couldn't have said it better.

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  3. If they were doing it just for the fun, would there be so much makeup and revealing clothes? Wouldn't they just be wearing kid appropriate clothing and no makeup?

    Dressing up your 10 year old like a 25 year old is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I think these pageants have more to do with the mom and her own issues than they do with the kids.

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  4. PS - I left you a bloggy award over at my place! http://www.sweetmamajones.com/2010/02/its-sunshiney-day.html

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  5. I admit it - I have watched Toddlers & Tiara's more than once. I adore little girls & think that if my little girl were alive today I would LOVE dressing her up - but NOT like this. I don't have a problem with pageants - I believe that in moderation, without the makeup and hairdo's and fake tans, it can be a fun experience that would offer as much as any sport does for other kids. I DO have a problem with parents who push their kids into overdrive - with ANY activity. It's disgusting yet they always seem to justify it by calling it healthy & motivating & whatever. I'm sorry, but when someone has to give me a full explanation on why they have their kid in a certain activity then I start to wonder what their motives really are. And don't even get me started with moms who put their kids names on the back windows of their vehicles. Do they not realize freaks can follow them home???

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  6. I have watched the show, but for the same reason that I watch to desperate housewives; to marvel at the crazies. I feel like you do. What are we teaching these girls, dress like a hooker and people will like you......GROSS!

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  7. I have to watch these shows- it's like a train wreck.

    I guess it's all in the parent's attitude. Watch sometime- there some who are crazy and some who try to keep their kids "normal" despite being in pageants.

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  8. I came across this show once and it made me literally ill. I have a very difficult time with our society's need to sexualize our children.

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  9. I have watched it once to see for myself. It seems a lot of these moms are living through their daughters, and forcing them to do what the moms wish they could do. I think it is sad. I think if your daughter wants to participate in pageants why not? But not at that age, and not forcing them to do things they don't want to do. The show is rediculous, and I am surprised they would even show such horrible treatment on tv.

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  10. I agree with you completely! I think it's terribly unhealthy and leads to a most unnatural sense of beauty and warped sense of what's normal! I just hate it!

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  11. I can't believe there are really shows devoted to this. Cuh-razy!

    I see clips on the soup all the time.

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  12. I had to study the first row of pics, I thought those were dolls. Like plastic dolls! OMG.

    A pedophiles dream. Sad sad sad.

    100% no on this one from me. Dressing up at home is one thing for fun. This is a whole 'nuther' ball of concealer here.

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  13. Not too fond of little girls looking like that or the parents who have them do it. My 4 year old likes to dress up just like any other girl, but we keep it fun. Being from Colorado and watching all the footage from these things when the whole Jon Benet Ramsey murder happened - it opened a lot of eyes to the reality of these pageants.

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  14. I am trying to remain calm....I haven't been able to post about this yet, because I get so heated! Ughhh....
    breathe Tracey....

    * exploitation
    * attracts pedofiles
    * TOTALLY UNHEALTHY
    * makes my teeth hurt!

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  15. I have watched...don't hate me! I am strangely fascinated. I think the moms are the real problem...and from what I have seen many of the moms seem to be living through their kids.

    As for doing competitions or being in the public eye as a kiddo..my opinion is mixed...if the parent doesn't get sucked into it or isn't trying to relieve their youth or a fantasy, I think it can be "ok."

    I have a friend who's ex-hubby was a child actor...they have a son who looks exactly like Harry Potter...he was offered big money to do harry potter type parts and look alike stuff...but Dad said no that being a child actor messed him up too much.

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  16. I think it's creepy! They look like they could be in a horror movie.

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  17. I will admit to watching several reality shows. Project Runway, Survivor, Amerca's Next Top Model, Little People Big World. I could go on. But this show sickens me. I have never watched it...the commercials are enough to send me over the edge. While I'm not saying Jon Benet Ramsey's death had anything to do wth her involvement in pagaents, the pictures of a sweet little girl all dolled up like an invitation for pdophiles was just not right. I think these parents should be slapped around a bit and shown the devastating statistics of child abuse of all sorts before allowing their children to take part in these freak shows. Then again, it probably wouldn't matter to most of them. They don't care about using their children to gain 15 minutes of fame.

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  18. I agree with you - it's disturbing. Very disturbing. I'm following from Trendy Treehouse - glad to have found you!

    Missy at Loving my Children's Gifts

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  19. I don't agree with it and think kids should be kids. There is plenty of time to be an adult. Following from Follow Friday!

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  20. Ahhh gross, please make them go away, are some of those photos real or did you photoshop them? There are sometimes when I am so glad I don't live in the USA, I think they are a bit freaky!

    It's not the idea itself that I find weird it's the way they dress the kids up so tehy don't look human anymore. I'm not aware of any studies into the long term effects but it must be really odd for the kids.

    Thre's TV shows with this stuff on them - gross gross gross. Right I'm off to find something else to look at to try and remove this image from my head!!
    Jade

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  21. following from SFTC. I agree with you on this one. I did see one of these shows once and it was horrible.

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  22. Personally I think the little girls would be a lot prettier if they were not wearing adult level makeup and braids and pigtails instead of a fancier hairdo than I wore on my wedding day. I don't think competition is necessarily a bad thing but I don't think kids that age should do one activity to the exclusion of all else. They can't possibly have been exposed to enough things to know what their passion is yet.

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  23. SPEAKING FROM THE CRIBFebruary 5, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    ITS YOUR TOP BLOG DAY! WOO-HOOOOO! hope you get some new followers, more comments, and all the best love today! you deserve it! have a great weekend.

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  24. SPEAKING FROM THE CRIBFebruary 5, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    ps i have watched the show and it is clear a lot of moms living thru the kids b/c most of the moms ARE hot messes

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  25. I agree, it is very disturbing..little girls can dress up and have fun and still be little girls without looking like scary, mini fashion queens gone wrong.

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  26. I'm a new Friday Follower!
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com

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  27. I agree with you completely. I think it's detrimental to girls' self esteem to be involved at such a young age in this nonsense....

    p.s. loved your post over at Kelly's place today! I'm already your follower, but I've been horrible about visiting--sorry!

    Congrats on being Top Blog!

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  28. I find it VERY disturbing! What is that? They teach their kids to be superficial early?

    I loved your article over at Speaking From the crib. I've been a follower for a while.

    May

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  29. All I can think about when I see this stuff I Jon Benet Ramsey and it makes me sad. :(

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  30. It makes me cringe to see those pictures. I just don't understand it at all. I have two girls and think that they are the most precious things in the world, but they're GIRLS and they should look like GIRLS. After seeing just a teensy bit of some of those shows, I agree w/a previous commenter -- it looks sometimes like the moms have a lot of issues that they're going to be passing on to their girls. :-(

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  31. Oh, there's a TV show that features these little girls? What a surprise...more money to be made exploiting children.
    I'm sure these parents love their kids, but they are probably so consumed in living out their unrealized dreams through their children, that they just can't think clearly.
    Too bad.

    Found your blog through speaking from the crib.

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  32. Visiting from SFTC! Man, I think it's totally detrimental to a little girl to do this. It's just abusive in my opinion. My little girl loves to play with makeup and dress up. She also loves to be a pirate and play with slugs. I like it that way.

    Lovely blog! I'll be by to visit more! Cribs has good taste! :)

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  33. I've never watched the show, but I must admit I've been "morbidly curious". I agree with your viewpoints, and I'm so relieved to see all of the like-minded support from your commenters. There's plenty of time to be image conscious once a girl gets to her teens (like it or not); childhood should be about running barefoot, making messes, and being yourself ~ not makeup, heels, runways, and stage moms. Glad to have had the opportunity to chime in. Here from Friday Follow.

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  34. Following you from the Friday Follow!

    http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com/

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  35. oh man it's so amazing. They are all named Mackenize, Mackenzyl, Macie, Mae
    I die.

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