St. Lucy's Priory High School

Opinion: ‘Toddlers and Ti​aras’ comeback is for the worst


The infamous show “Toddlers and Tiaras” recently made a comeback after being canceled on the popular cable network TLC three years ago. The startling reality series was canceled due to a plethora of controversy in October 2013. After the hiatus, this toxic television program returned to the screen on Aug. 23.

“Toddlers and Tiaras” follows the personal lives of families that enter their young children into the vicious world of glitz beauty pageants. These caretakers often become obsessed with the materialistic and meaningless crowns and trophies; so much that parents take out loans or a second mortgage to fund their child’s weekend pageants.

Parents dress their young children in provocative attire that crosses the line of what many claim as just “playing dress up.” One parent went as far as padding her child’s chest to resemble Dolly Parton and another adorned their 3­-year-­old daughter with gold cones on her chest for a Madonna routine. In another case, a mother forced her child to pretend to smoke cigarettes on stage to act like Sandy from the late seventies musical “Grease.”
A recent episode featured a young girl at the age of 8 twerking and shaking her behind for her talent routine.

The clothing and inappropriate dancing however, is only a minor part of these twisted pageants.

Cambrie Littlefield, a well-­known glitz pageant coach requested that her clients be on “pageant diets” on the premier episode of the new season. Littlefield stated, “to win you have to be in shape,” and she asked for assistance from professional athletes to help her 5-year­-old students to “lose all the chub chubs.”

The last thing to instill in a young girl is the idea that she needs to be stick thin and win crowns to be seen as beautiful.

Instead of learning how to live healthy balanced lives, the pageant system is condoning young girls extreme dieting so they can be skinnier than the girl next to them or fit into a dress.

Child pageants are truly a form of child abuse with the entirety of unnecessary things parents do to their children.

It is now common to spray tan the girls, and wear a flipper; which is a set of false teeth to make it look like a child has perfect teeth.

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The young children also have layers of makeup applied on them, transforming their youth into a riské and adult-­looking style. The looks are completed with large hair pieces sewn into the head, fake nails, and false eyelashes.
Often times this process becomes too much for the child to conquer, so there are inevitable meltdowns and extreme bouts of fatigue. Parents address this by feeding their children things that possibly affect natural growth of young children.

There is no excuse for toddlers to be drinking the extremely, unhealthy energy drink “Monster” or highly caffeinated coffee. One mother went as far as making her own concoction that she named “tinker tea.” This drink that the mother mixed for her 2 ­year old contained Mountain Dew, sweet tea, and pixie sticks to keep her daughter’s energy up. This drink clearly would not even be stable enough for an adult to drink.

“Toddlers and Tiaras” has only presented how little girls are treated like objects right from the get-go. No positive results have come from this series, and it has only glorified glitz pageant systems and made delusional parents even more competitive for a ridiculous plastic crown on their child’s head.

–Caitlin Moore


TLC YouTube channel. “Beauty Pageant Boot Camp.” Online video clip. TLC, Aug 16, 2016. Web. September 21, 2016.