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mollydrew's avatar

What do you think of "toddlers in tiaras" children beauty pageants?

Asked by mollydrew (641points) August 6th, 2010

Have any of you ever watched the show Toddlers in Tiaras? There are little kids around 3–9 years old that participate in beauty pageants. There are also 1-year olds, but for them, the parents just carry them around on stage. The kids that actually understand what is going on is mainly what I am focusing on.

If you ever watch these shows, they get fake eyelashes, nails, tans, and put on a ton of makeup and expensive clothes. The kids start thinking about being too fat at the age of 3.

Do you think is helping build self confidence?

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30 Answers


Personally, I think it’s bizarre. Some of those parents who enter their very young children in stressful, competitive beauty pageants, making them cry out of pressure to win, should get their heads examined. I’ve seen documentaries about these parents and the beauty pageants they get their kids into, and although the children seem to like it (a few don’t, outright), it seems unfair to the children. They are like puppets, forced into these contests at the whims of their lunatic parents. Sigh, I weep for these poor children. :(

Berserker's avatar

I don’t even want to think about the people who act as judges. Sick fucks.

TexasDude's avatar

They freak me out. It kind of sexualizes little kids, in my mind.

Aethelwine's avatar

I don’t do any of these things to my body, and I’m 39!

poor girls. give me a week with them and I’ll have them playing in the mud… and enjoying it

Likeradar's avatar

Confidence is a child knowing she’s (or he’s) just dandy with their natural teeth, skin coloring, hair, eyelashes, etc. These parents are not teaching their children to be confident.

I think it’s great to teach children a skill or talent and to confront the world positively. These over done pageants are, in my mind, a sick and unhealthy of doing that. Little girls do not need to be taught that their gap teeth are a flaw, wear expensive clothing, or that they have to shimmy to win approval.

I was in a small handful of pageants as a little kid. The majority of them consisted of putting on whatever dress I wanted, sloppily applying my Bonnie Bell lip gloss, and clumsily twirling a baton or playing Twinkle Twinkle on a keyboard. Those were fun, supportive, and friendly. Then I entered a “real” one. I was in a knee length sailor dress and my mom let me use her blush. The other girls were true pageant girls, like on the show the OP mentioned. I remember feeling scared, intimidated, and uncomfortable, and I remember that no one clapped for each other like in my other pageants. That was my last one. I simply do not understand how it’s healthy.

DominicX's avatar

The thing about pageants is that they’re not done for the girls, they’re done for the parents. It’s the parents living vicariously through their daughter. Not a fan of that.

Mana's avatar

I’m not really a fan of child beauty pageants. I see them as parents spending lots of money, putting their kids through all this stress, and making the poor kids work really hard just so the parents can try to live through their kids. I think kids should be kids and be allowed to enjoy their childhood while they can.

jerv's avatar

The first thing that comes to my mind is “living vicariously”. IMO, it’s a form of Munchausen by proxy.

Things like those pageants also gives pedophiles bad ideas not like they aren’t full of bad ideas already so I see absolutely no good in them.

asmonet's avatar

Those parents should be forcibly sterilized. All of them. No questions asked.

jerv's avatar

@asmonet A sledgeammer and some superglue oughta do the trick :D

Buttonstc's avatar

I feel so sorry for those poor little Barbie dolls ( Oops. I meant to say children.)

Wow. Just think; you too can teach your child how to train for a lifetime of anorexia, beginning at age 3.

What an opportunity.

“Oh look, Mommy. Can I get a poster of Jon Benet Ramsey for my bedroom wall, pretty please. She’s so beautiful.”


Live fast. Die young.

jerv's avatar

@Buttonstc You forgot, “And leave a pretty corpse”. I believe that many people would argue that that is the most important part.

Buttonstc's avatar


Correctomundo. Thanks for the reminder :)

NaturallyMe's avatar

I don’t have children, so can’t imagine what effects such things will have on them, but i can imagine that they may end up beauty-obsessed and fake in their attempts at beauty. Children are still learning and developing at those ages, so whatever they’re subjected to at that stage will probably have a big and lasting impact on them for the rest of their lives.
Personally i don’t like beauty pagents of any nature, they bore me, and if i ever do have a child, i’ll never enroll them in anything like that. What’s the point? I think it’s just a waste of money. Children should do children’s things at that age, not adult things like beauty pagents.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Those kids freak me out, the parents freak me out even more.

Afos22's avatar

Show creeps me out, it’s like pedophile porn. Those moms should all be smacked in the face repeatedly.

ucme's avatar

Stop the world, I wanna get off!! Or, ARRRRRRGHHHH!!! Until my head almost explodes.

shego's avatar

It makes me sick. I don’t know how the parents can do that. I saw something last night that was talking about childrens beauty pageants in the UK and a mother had her 7 year old daughter get plastic surgery just so she could look beautiful.
The show comes on BBC America on Sunday.

MissAusten's avatar

I’ve only watched the show once, but it was pretty ridiculous. There was a little girl, maybe two years old, who clearly did not want to be there. She had one tantrum after another, cried while getting her hair done, and had to be practically dragged out onto the stage. Interestingly, once she was out on stage she put on a cute little act, but then started with the fit right away when she was done. Another little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old, had a mom that went all out with the hair, makeup, and outfits. The little girl seemed to enjoy it, but what kind of message does that send?

There was one mother on the show that I kind of liked. Her daughter was in the 4/5 year old range and had a completely natural look. Her clothes were cute, but not extravagant or custom-made. The mom said they were there to have fun, and she didn’t agree with using makeup or subjecting her daughter to hours of hairstyling. The little girl was adorable just as she was, and next to her the girls that had been made-up to look like small women looked grotesque.

Anyway, I could never put my child through that. I think it’s pretty sick, and some of the parents take it way too seriously.

@jonsblond After you get the little girls to play in the mud, send them to my house. I’ll teach them how to catch snakes and find bugs!

NaturallyMe's avatar

@shego that is truly disturbing….. :0 What’s even worse, is that the doctor actually did it!!

jazmina88's avatar

I had a dream about them last week. disgusting.

truecomedian's avatar

I think it’s just fine, I’ve watched it for a minute or two and I didn’t see anything wrong with it. The values and ideals being ingrained into these young children is awesome. The mom’s are so into it how could it be bad. I mean to think, in America, something wrong going on, never. So this must be ok. Dressing little girls up like prom-date prostitutes, and teaching them what’s important, what’s important, I have no idea, looking good, I don’t think these girls look good, they look like white trash hood ornaments. Someone mentioned the judges, imagine that group, as a man why would you even sign up to judge that. Oh well, guess it’s not as bad as gay marriage.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Beauty pageants are totally wrong for any age. Attractiveness comes from the inside out.

truecomedian's avatar

That’s just what ugly people say

aprilsimnel's avatar

As usual, Mr. Show was way ahead of the times.

I find the whole thing repugnant.

Aster's avatar

I think they should be using that time for learning a musical instrument and another language. It appears the parents ARE living vicariously through those kids but I don’t think it’s going to have an awful affect on them although it may teach them that beauty is more important in life than it is. Many enjoy it.
But there is a kind of agony watching so I don’t watch.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@truecomedian, LOL. Good one! That’s what superficial people believe.

Buttonstc's avatar


That clip was too funny for words !

Everybody needs to see that

Pre-Natal Beauty Pageant indeed. .

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I haven’t watched it, but I have seen a commercial for it. Personally, I’d rather sit outside in the 90+degree heat and watch the grass grow than view the show. I would, however, be interested in a follow-up documentary in about 15–20 years to see how they turned out.

keobooks's avatar

I got hooked on it for a while. There was something mesmerizing and train wreckish about it. I watched some documentary that came out in the 90s about child pageants and then saw a follow up when the girls were 18. I wish I could remember it. I saw it on Youtube in segments. I will post when or if I do remember the name of it.

The sad thing about the follow up. The girls spent hours upon hours with all of this rehearsing—and they didn’t have much to show for it as adults. One of the girls spent hours practicing her singing at age 6. At age 18, she was TERRIBLE and off key. She also had no goals worth mentioning and really not much to look forward to.

I watched a few episodes of toddlers and tiaras after that, and I was very saddened to see that these kids really weren’t learning much useful that they could actually make a living off of in the future. The kids really did work forever on these painfully bad routines. I thought maybe the terrible singing or the awful dancing was just due to their young ages. But I looked on youtube and found many child performers who had plenty of talent and didn’t have to prance around on stage like hookers to get noticed or earn it.

Long story short—I had some sympathy for the moms when I thought they were actually teaching their kids some useful skills, if maybe in a twisted way. But seeing that they had little or nothing to show for it in the long run, I couldn’t bear to watch it anymore.

Also pained me to see parents who were living in poor conditions pouring money into these pageants. One mom said that she chose not to pay medical bills so they could enter a pageant. And the prize money was less than the entrance fee. What a scam!

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