Social Question

Kayak8's avatar

What could possibly explain my fascination for the train wreck that is "Toddlers and Tiaras"?

Asked by Kayak8 (16438points) July 8th, 2011

I am a lesbian with no children. I have no interest in the Miss America or Miss Universe Pageants, and typically detest all reality TV. For some reason I am completely drawn in by the absolute disaster of Toddlers and Tiaras. I am uptight the entire time I am watching it (I think the kids are spoiled and the Moms are absolutely nuts). There is so much disturbing pathology played out in every episode that I am loathe to admit my addiction to people who really know me.

What dynamics could explain the hook?

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28 Answers

Aethelflaed's avatar

Schadenfreude?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Dude, it must be masochism. I’ve got it. That’s why I watch the wedding channel, as well. I think part of it is about watching something that’s very foreign to the core of my being and philosophies, so in a way I am watching National Geographic-like programming. The other part of is about trying to figure out what other people are about so that we are aware of dangers and the like, on an evolutionary level.

Bellatrix's avatar

In the past, people turned up to watch executions and gladiators being ripped apart by other gladiators or animals. It is one of the weird things about human nature. Something can be truly horrible, but we are inexplicably drawn to watch and to keep watching.

Brian1946's avatar

Who doesn’t have a morbid fascination with real and metaphorical train wrecks? ;-)

Unlike those of us who slow down to see the aftermath of a major vehicular disaster, at least you’re not contributing to a traffic jam caused by rubberneckers.

Kayak8's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir (I am not a dude) but I also caught an episode of Redneck Weddings (stuffed squirrels on the cake) . . ,. I agree with your National Geographic philosophy (the Toddlers and Tiaras thing is completely foreign to my world). On an evolutionary level, I am grateful that I do not know anyone who does this to their children . . . argggh

Bellatrix's avatar

@Kayak8, I watch Australia’s/America’s/Britain’s top model… I also watched Geordie Shores the other night .. it was…. awful (not a strong enough word believe me) but I could not turn away. So, I don’t know what the psychological term is for the phenomenon that is this compulsion to watch such horrors, but I am sure there is one and I regularly experience it too.

Aethelwine's avatar

I feel the same about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I’ll show you a real housewife, please. It’s so foreign to me that I can’t help but watch it, jaw dropped and all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Kayak8 I know you’re not a dude, I just say that to anyone but sorry if it bothered you

filmfann's avatar

Who isn’t fascinated by a train wreck?

Kayak8's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir not bothered, just clarifying . . . LOL

JLeslie's avatar

This is very interesting because my husband likes to watch Intervention and I cannot for the life of me understand it. We don’t have addiction in either of our families and he and I almost never drink, or even think about taking an illegal drug. He also likes to watch Jerry Springer. I think I am not like this. I generally don’t feel entertained by things that I find repugnant or don’t identify with. It’s one thing when it is a scripted show, but when it is reality I usually find it boring or offensive, certainly not entertaining.

Interesting Q.

Aethelwine's avatar

@filmfann My husband teases me for looking out the window in fascination if I hear emergency vehicles. He calls me Mrs. Kravitz. But pass Jerry Springer while flipping through channels and he throws a hissyfit. ;)

Plucky's avatar

I think it’s the shock value. We are curious beings ..especially regarding things that seem foreign to us.

Another reason, I think, is those types of shows tend to further validate our own (usually more decent/normal) way of life. It’s almost like an unintended self-help class. Feeling low about yourself? Just watch an episode of Jerry Springer ..I guarantee you’ll walk away feeling better about yourself (well most of us).

Kayak8's avatar

@Plucky I tend to agree with you. The only problem is that I can’t watch Jerry Springer due to the frequency of bleeps. There is very little dialogue on the show with two out of every three words bleeped and I can’t follow the conversation at all . . . (old and deaf).

Plucky's avatar

Lol @Kayak8 I can’t watch it either, for much of the same reason (the sound of the bleeping though). However, it didn’t used to have as many bleeps, stripping and pole dancing. In recent years, I only see it on tv at my mom’s house. She loves that crap. She told me that bald bodyguard dude on the show got his very own show ..gawd. Makes me feel bad for Americans, lol.

Kayak8's avatar

I decided to be bold and pose the same question on my FB page and a friend of mine from high school shared this. It really kind of sums it all up!

Plucky's avatar

LOL @Kayak8 that’s hilarious! Thanks for the link. :)

Bellatrix's avatar

LMAO I love that @Kayak8. Ty for sharing. Sexy baby…........ oh dear.

rooeytoo's avatar

Maybe it’s like the way when I drive past a car wreck, I don’t want to look, but I have to. I hate myself for it, but I can’t help it.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I abhor and adore Toddlers and Tiaras, also.

I’ve always thought there was an element of catharsis in watching the show.

augustlan's avatar

If I see it while flipping through the channels, I’ll stare at it for a good five minutes before I realize what I’m doing and switch to something else. Those mothers are awful, aren’t they? I don’t know what it is that sucks me in, but it happens with Hoarders, too.

That Tom Hanks video is hilarious.

Plucky's avatar

@augustlan My partner loves Hoarders ..she’s addicted to watching others’ addictions. o.O

JLeslie's avatar

Did you see the episode of Dr. Phil this past week with the dads from Toddlers and Tiaras?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I often find that I am drawn to programmes that cause me to feel annoyed by the characters. I watch Made in Chelsea for the same reason even though I am extremely irritated by nearly everyone on it.

Kayak8's avatar

@JLeslie Nope, I missed that one and I would have loved watching that too. The only stations my cable picked up this week was the Casey Anthony channel (the other train wreck)!

filmfann's avatar

@Kayak8 That was hysterical! Thanks!

JLeslie's avatar

Here is a link It is not playing for me, but it looks like the right Dr. Phil show.

DrBill's avatar

first, most people have a soft place in their heart for children, even if we don’t have any, even if they annoy us.

second most people thrive on turmoil and the suffering of others. that’s why we laugh we we see someone walk into a grass door, trip, etc.

Third a lot of people feel better about themselves when we see people worse off than our own

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