My Problem with “Toddlers and Tiaras”

So as I have come home from school and I’m currently on winter break, I’ve been plenty of time relaxing after finals; sitting on my couch playing video games and watching TV.  The other day however I was flipping through channels when I came across a commercial for the show “Toddlers and Tiaras.”  My first initial reaction towards seeing the commercial was to immediately change the channel, as the show quite honestly disgusts me (it’s bad enough there’s kids as young as four years old competing in beauty pageants, It’s worse that it’s televised.)

However I was somewhat compelled to watch the rest of the commercial due to the fact the episode being featured in the commercial seemed particularly appalling, since the spin on this featured episode were that the parents of this particular “toddler” were the owners of a strip club.  What I found even more profoundly disturbing was that weren’t even discreet about their business to their young daughter. The commercial featured a scene with some of the strippers from the club talking to the girl and even asking her to “show them some moves” where she attempted to perform a split on a pole.

Before I go any further in describing the details of this commercial that I found disturbing, I’d like to first express my reasoning for why I’m disgusted by the show “Toddler’s and Tiaras” and not just because I don’t want to offend any fans of the show.  You see I have no problem with children, even as young as four, being in competitions.  I myself can remember being involved in a competitive sport every year for as long as I can remember until graduating high school (with the exception of seventh grade when I lost interest in baseball).

What I do have a problem with is children as young as four being in competitions where they’re being judged mostly on their looks.  Being judged on their looks is something that almost all young people struggle with in their adolescent lives, and in today’s modern world of photo-shopped models  and spray-on tans, I think it’s a trend occurring way too much these days.  Especially when you consider the fact that problems such as depression, eating disorders, and overall body dissatisfaction is on the rise these days among adolescents.  Furthermore I feel as though having a child compete in something where them winning is almost entirely determined by their looks is only starting them on this typical trend far too early before they can even develop any self worth that isn’t based on their looks.  It’s hard enough already for some people to develop any self worth that doesn’t revolve around their looks.

As for the parents featured in the particular commercial I saw, as much as I want to criticize them for exposing their daughter to their business of owning a strip club (not to even mention having their daughter compete in beauty pageants) in the end it is up to them to properly raise their daughter as they see fit, with or without the opinions of others  Therefore all I can say is this : That with children, the younger they are; the more impressionable they are.

Their biggest aspirations are to be like the people they admire most regardless if what the person does is good or bad, because a lot of times they can’t even distinguish what’s good or bad without the influence of the people raising them.  So keep that in mind and be careful of who your daughter aspires to be, because the last thing that any parent would want for their child is to aspire to be a stripper.

Furthermore if you want your children to be in competitions, teach them to compete in athletics, in academics, in the arts- teach them to develop a self worth that doesn’t revolve around their looks, because the truth is that they probably are gonna struggle with their looks at some point in their young lives, regardless of however many beauty pageants they compete in when they’re young.  So again, raise them to have a self worth that doesn’t revolve around their looks, and they’ll be better for it.

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