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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » "Toddlers in Tiaras"

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Author Topic: "Toddlers in Tiaras"
JoshCrow
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So I only recently became aware of this television show, which occasionally rivets my wife somehow (in the manner that a car crash is riveting).

Essentially, I was wondering why some people, like myself, seem to have this gut-churning reaction to watching it (as in: "this is the most horrifying thing ever"), while others seem to view it as harmless mother-daughter bonding opportunities.

I just can't shake it - I cringe with horror everytime I see girls that young subjected to a "pageant" by their mothers.

I also have to wonder what the thoughts are of the filmmakers documenting this behavior. Do they approve? Disapprove? My wife suggested that there might be a tacit criticism of the events going on, but I don't see it. The show itself seems to be fairly neutral... does that mean it is being encouraged?

I just feel like somewhere, some people ought to be ashamed of this, except that they aren't.

[ March 31, 2009, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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scifibum
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Did you see the show "Little Miss Sunshine?" It managed to be completely damning with a relatively neutral perspective. (The pageant director was kind of a witch, but other than that they just showed little girls in makeup and fancy dresses.) I've only seen commercials for the show you're talking about, but it sounds very similar.

That kind of stuff does bother me, and I think it's because adult beauty pageants have a (usually) tacit subtext: wouldn't it be nice to lay these chicks? In imitating those competitions in nearly every detail, the little girl pageants inherit the meat market undertone, and that makes it creepy. (There'd be some of that anyway, from heavy makeup and clothing styles that were originally designed to play up secondary sexual characteristics.)

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Lina Inverse
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Creeeeeepy.

See also, because things this horrific are meant to be shared.

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scifibum
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Gah! My eyes! Lina, what have you done?

Seriously, it's hard to believe that is for real. Could anyone really think making kids look like plastic is a good idea?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Back in the days of temple prostitutes, we didn't have this problem. Gimme that old time religion.
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scouser1
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Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG!!!

There is only 1 set of people to blame-their mothers.
Most of them trying to recapture some of their own youth by putting their children through things like this, to live their own wants and ambitions through their kids.
Hell, my ex-sister (I call her that for a reason) is doing a similar thing right now with my niece, making her go to college and doing something she herself had always wanted to do but never got the chance.

I think all of this should just be stopped.
Exploiting kids like this should be illegal or something.

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TommySama
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These mothers should be arrested and shot for child abuse
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OceanRunner
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We don't have cable, so I sometimes watch "Toddlers and Tiaras" on the interwebs. Jezebel, which is my bitchy-feminist-take-on-the-news site of choice, offers clips with sarcastic commentary for every episode, and occasionally I want to watch the entire trainwrecky thing.

I think it's crap, but I don't think it's necessary ALL that much more inherently harmful than a lot of other things parents do. The activities that I'd consider far more wholesome - soccer, karate, music - can turn into a horribly negative experience with poor parenting. I think you get a big concentration of parents with a personal problem motivating their behavior in pageants, which makes it more noticable. But, I watched an episode recently with a fairly sweet mom who had entered her daughter in pageants because kids at school told her she was ugly. They had really helped her self-esteem, and they both seemed pretty happy and sane. (Not that those people make for the best TV)

In short, while I don't think pageants are the best thing in the world for little girls to be doing, by a long shot, I think its parental attitudes that can cause damage - not the pageants themselves.

Even though I still think its weird to spray-tan a seven-year-old.

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OceanRunner
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quote:
Hell, my ex-sister (I call her that for a reason) is doing a similar thing right now with my niece, making her go to college and doing something she herself had always wanted to do but never got the chance.
Is your niece at the age of majority? Then her mom can't *make* her do anything... she can pressure her, but that's not quite the same. At some point, crap parents or good parents, I think we have to just take on our lives for our own.
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Jordan
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Lina, that is some awful photo retouching. They seem to think that any texture whatsoever in skin is a "blemish". And as for what they're doing to the eyes, it beggars belief. Even a complete layman could tell that it's been retouched.

In case anyone's interested, a more professional technique for retouching blemishes is to use the "clone" tool. You select a "source" area of clear skin, and the clone tool copies the image from that area over the top of blemishes, gradually fading them out. This leaves skin—with its beautiful texture, all the tiny reflections from hairs and natural sheen—actually looking like real skin instead of just smoothing it away into Barbie-like plastic, which is very amateurish. As for eyes, it's best just to gently modify the colour curves to enhance what's naturally there, instead of making them look like a cross between a terrified deer's and the spare parts that the toymaker doesn't like to use.

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KnightEnder
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Scouser is right. But if you pointed a camera at any baseball park on any summer day you'll see thousands of dads doing the same thing. Trying to be athletes through their kids because they sucked. [Frown]

KE

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Jordan
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Reminds me of an old article—Doctors see a big rise in injuries as young athletes train nonstop.
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flydye45
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Lina, may you be forgiven.

KE, if you ever decide to go ultra violent again, I'll pay for the plane ticket...

[ April 01, 2009, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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scifibum
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I'm about 90% sure that retouching site is a hoax.

I can't imagine that if they were genuine they'd be able to restrain themselves from posting something defensive in response to the hate mail I'm sure floods to them on a daily basis.

Or is this just a defense mechanism against the horrific idea that people would make Zombarbies out of their perfectly nice looking children?

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Jordan
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It seems scarily genuine. The prices and T&Cs are fairly realistic.

What I want to know is how they ever get business. How many people look at the "after" "photos" and think, "that's gorgeous, I really want them to do that to my little girl's face"?

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scifibum
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I could see a market for sending in photos of your porcelain dolls to get that treatment. Maybe that's it.
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Lina Inverse
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quote:
I'm about 90% sure that retouching site is a hoax.
I don't know, they do seem to have an actual Paypal account. And I have seen far more horrible things perpetrated by--and praised by--completely sincere people.

[ April 01, 2009, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: Lina Inverse ]

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Jordan
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Well, in the end… What does one expect for a few dollars? They're not exactly asking much for piecemeal work. But seriously, I could do better, and I'm hardly au fait at image editing. The first image on that page looks a little like the results of my earliest dabblings in the arcane arts, in which I made my pretty sister look like Malibu Stacy. [Frown]
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scifibum
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Sadly the little girls whose mothers opt for this treatment will grow up into people who do this to themselves.
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kmbboots
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I had enough once I caught a bit of an episode where the mother and daughter were anxiously waiting for the fake teeth to arrive.
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Colin JM0397
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I tried to gouge my eyes out with a spoon after about 30 seconds of the very, very, very gay man in makeup singing the pageant song to all the contestants. I suppose he has to be gay or would be accused of being a pedophile.

I swear he's the same guy from Little Miss Sunshine.

What's with all the fat moms? I think it's telling there is not a single MILF among the bunch.

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Lobo
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Sadly the little girls whose mothers opt for this treatment will grow up into people who do this to themselves.

I loved that show...
http://www.space-debris.com/sci_perlman_vincentRose.jpg

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scifibum
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That's funny! [Big Grin]
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KnightEnder
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Thanks Fly, I'll keep it in mind. (When are you going to back down here? I got my teeth all fixed up finally so you want mistake for a panhandler anymore. [Smile] )


Jordan, I married Malibu Stacy. Are you insulting my wife? (And that was in the 80's, so big hair and blue eyeshadow. I had to insist she cut back once we got together.)

KE

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flydye45
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February or so.
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KnightEnder
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Cool.
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scouser1
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What, ya mean there is such a thing as a Malibu Stacey doll?? I thought it was just the Simpsons takin the piss outa Barbie.
Well slap me in the face and call me a bitch... [DOH]

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