Jump to content

Toddlers & Tiaras


  • Please log in to reply

12750 replies to this topic

#31

LitDr

LitDr

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jan 19, 2009 @ 7:57 PM

What, exactly, was supposed to be the "talent" in the "talent" portion of the pageant? I didn't see anything that really qualified as talent, but did see a whole lot of gushing on the part of several of the parents about how talented their daughters were. What a skewed perception these girls are going to have of their own skills and abilities (or lack thereof) later in life. This just really feeds the sense of entitlement that the younger generations have.

The talent seemed to consist of dancing or lip-synching to pre-recorded music (LMS!!). Is this an editing issue, or is this the extent of talent at these events? I am surprised it was all this strange quasi-dancing. Do any girls sing, or play instruments, or perform a dramatic monologue (since someone upthread referred to money spent on dancing lessons, singing lessons, etc.)

I was also surprised to see the lesbian couple buying into this, since the vast majority of lesbians are all about self-empowerment for women. Placing the lion's share of your self esteem in your looks does not seem to be very empowering.
  • 0

#32

PolkaDotty

PolkaDotty

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 19, 2009 @ 7:58 PM

I've heard of young Olympic athletes' parents going into debt, putting a second mortgage on their house, and even quitting their jobs to be able to have the time and finances to support their kid. And all for what? Very few end up in the Olympics/at the top of their given sports - for every Nastia Liukin or Sarah Hughes who gets millions in endorsements, there might be 10,000 girls who never got there, and millions of dollars invested in their careers. Sure athletics promotes a healthy lifestyle, and these kids are probably pretty well-socialized and do well under pressure situations (hopefully), but how many slots are out there for professional adult gymnasts or figure skaters?


I think the difference is that children who do sports, music, ballet, etc., are actually accomplishing something. They have mastered (or attempted to) an art or a skill requiring dedication, perserverance, and sacrifice. There are abuses in those families, too, but hopefully the children come away learning something they wouldn't have without all those hours of practice.

The children on this show seem to be directed by their mothers [with $ I guess from the fathers?] and have to be forced to smile. (I think it was the fake smiles that bothered me most. You can tell when a child is happy, and when they are showing off their "flippers.") I'm actually glad that that little girl (Brionne?) decided not to smile, move, or cooperate in any way. Good for her. She's got spunk. (And I like spunk!)

I'm confused about how the big time winner is determined. They do the runner ups and then there are 2 girls left with one being the Queen for the group. She gets $1000, crown and trophy and the other girl goes to the grand supreme poohbah and one girl gets that. What do the other girls in that group get?



Let me introduce you to my friend Ponzi, and his scheme. Every girl gets a trophy. You are a runner-up, or a winner, but if you are left standing after the winner is announced, you get to move up to another class and compete there. Even if you don't win there, Mommy is very, very proud of you but you have to work harder next week. If you are a very good girl, it seems, you get a cow.

Edited by PolkaDotty, Jan 19, 2009 @ 8:04 PM.

  • 0

#33

IvySpice

IvySpice

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 19, 2009 @ 8:05 PM

How different is the life of one of these girls from the life of a kid who aspires to be an Olympic figure skater or gymnast?


Not necessarily that different if they have a crazy parent. There are plenty of crazy parents in those sports.

One substantive difference might be that at least in sports, there is SOME emphasis on mastering truly difficult skills that take years to achieve. Pageant moms might argue with me, but I say there's a huge difference in the character-building potential of mastering the perfect pageant turn and the 1000+ falls on the ice it takes to get your triple Lutz. There's plenty of pressure to be skinny, early sexualization, etc., but there's also real accomplishment. To me, it's far less sick to have the child's looks and stage presence as a secondary component of the competition as opposed to those things being the entire point of the exercise.
  • 0

#34

SprSeekritBroad

SprSeekritBroad

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 19, 2009 @ 8:17 PM

One big difference is the pageant world is to make money for the pageant managers and the support personnel. Training for Olympic sports is usually not in it to make a ton of money for the training facility without much return to the athlete. You can always find another club or gym for training. Plus those places do not encourage (usually) the kids without talent to continue. They keep you from moving up or suggest to parents to go find another sport or activity. The pageant world actually encourages the reverse by seeing that everyone gets a trophy. The pageant manager in the first special gave me the creeps. Most of what she said was spin to justify her business. I agree most of the moms seem to be living through their children. Some even slip into "I" mode and most say we instead of she. The pressure on those little kids to perform and win just seems wrong to me.
  • 0

#35

HaveMetalIssues

HaveMetalIssues

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 19, 2009 @ 8:21 PM

The entry fee is $900 or close to it and the top prize is $1000.


It is unbelievable how much money is spent for these pageants, with little to no return on the investment. The dresses alone can cost hundreds of dollars even for the teeny sizes.
  • 0

#36

shibori

shibori

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 20, 2009 @ 2:45 AM

I've heard of young Olympic athletes' parents going into debt, putting a second mortgage on their house, and even quitting their jobs to be able to have the time and finances to support their kid. And all for what? Very few end up in the Olympics/at the top of their given sports - for every Nastia Liukin or Sarah Hughes who gets millions in endorsements, there might be 10,000 girls who never got there, and millions of dollars invested in their careers. Sure athletics promotes a healthy lifestyle, and these kids are probably pretty well-socialized and do well under pressure situations (hopefully), but how many slots are out there for professional adult gymnasts or figure skaters?


I don't think you're a failure in those pursuits if you don't achieve an Olympic medal. I know plenty of people who paid their way through college and/or achieved success at some other level in a sport or other pursuit like music, acting, dance, etc. There are plenty of opportunties for legitimate success or even careers without going to the Olympics. I doubt even many Olympic athletes are in it for the money or endorsements-look at all the people who play sports that don't even get televised every four years, but do it anyway for the competition and sense of achievement. Also, I'd be a whole lot prouder to list- bronze medalist, 1994 Olympics-curling, than to list Ultimate Grand Supreme Miss Pretty Princess 1984 on a resume. And despite the often-cited Miss America system, I bet there are a lot fewer pageant kids that earn legitimate "scholarships" than child athletes.

The "skills" you learn as a pageant kid don't exactly translate well to the real world, no matter what blather about poise and self esteem the pageant people spew. Want a career in modeling? Try walking your spray tan and flippers into Elite, Ford, IMG or any other model agency and doing your best pro-am walk, and try not to get laughed out of the building. Take your lip sync routine, off key yodeling or bad dancing "talent" to a conservatory or legitimate performing arts program at a University and see how things go there. Don't hold your breath waiting for that scholarship check. And for all the talk of poise and self esteem I'm still waiting to see a pageant kid or parent exhibit anything that looks like sportsmanship or social skills at one of these events- it looks to me like hissyfits, shit talking your competiton, and pouting are in great supply.

Are there crazy parents in both categories that push their kids inappropriately? Sure. Does that legitimize kiddie pageants? Nope. It doesn't change the fact that the majority of the prizes at these "competitions" go to the person who spent the most money with the preferred vendors who support the pageants. In this show alone, how many moms, judges, pageant directors admitted that you won't win without the right clothes/teeth/hair/etc.- none of which has anything to do with the child sporting them? And if you're so bad at math that you think it makes sense to spend $900 to win a chance at a $1000 prize, you're better off spending quality time with your kid scratching off instant lottery tickets or playing bingo down at the fire hall.
  • 0

#37

JingerCat

JingerCat

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 20, 2009 @ 8:01 PM

Yikes. I found the website. It's not any prettier than the poor little contestants. Any English majors out there? Here's a fun activity: choose any page from this site, grab your red marker, and go to town! http://www.universalroyalty.com

Here's a brief excerpt:

With 20 years Pageant experience, I started Universal Royalty in 1995. I wanted my pageant to be a Positive Learning Experience for contestants to learn the meaning of Competition, Positive Self Confidence & Striving To Be The Very Best.

No, I did not make that up. I wish I had. Pray for our chidren.
  • 0

#38

cousinsrock

cousinsrock

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jan 20, 2009 @ 9:59 PM

With 20 years Pageant experience, I started Universal Royalty in 1995. I wanted my pageant to be a Positive Learning Experience for contestants to learn the meaning of Competition, Positive Self Confidence & Striving To Be The Very Best.


Good lord. I'm an English major, and reading that made me want to cry.
  • 0

#39

JustADream

JustADream

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 20, 2009 @ 11:59 PM

With 20 years Pageant experience, I started Universal Royalty in 1995. I wanted my pageant to be a Positive Learning Experience for contestants to learn the meaning of Competition, Positive Self Confidence & Striving To Be The Very Best.


Back away from the Caps Lock...
  • 0

#40

Trojangirldance

Trojangirldance

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 12:56 AM

I can sort of break some of the pageant madness down having been down that road. First entry fees. Anyone who will pay $900.00 in entry fee when the biggest prize is $1000.00 is a damn fool. But, that is how these directors make their money. Now entry fee alone isn't 900.00, it can be anywhere from 35.00-250.00 depending upon whether it is a prelim, semi-national, or national. Then you add in talent entry, pro-am entry, swimwear entry, photogenic, best dressed, prettiest smile, best hair, etc. You cannot compete for the Ultimate Grand Supreme however if you do not enter every optional there is, thus you end up with a 900.00 entry fee. Now, you win Ultimate Grand Supreme so you have come out 100.00 to the good-NOT. Those who compete in Nationals and on a regular basis will pay around two grand for a dress that will be worn maybe three times before being re-sold for at minimum 1900.00, sometimes because their daughter has "won" in this dress or because it has won "best dressed" three times they will ask for 2500.00 for a dress they paid 2000.00 for. But that extra 500.00 they get is turned around and put in the new dress that is being made for their daughter. Swim suits are not bought from Target. They are custom made and generally for nationals can run anywhere from 250-500.00 depending on just how gaudy you want it to look. A pro-am/western wear costume, like swimwear usually run about 500.00 because in order to win you must look like a craft store has puked on you. Photos-now that is a real money maker right there. You pay 250.00 sitting fee, that is just to get your picture taken. Then you pay an additional 100-175 for hair and makeup for said photos. You usually get three different looks. The actual pictures usually end up costing about 1500.00 after all the retouching and making a kid look like a freak. Now we cannot forget those wonderful pageant coaches who charge at minimum 75.00 per hour, and you usually have to travel for up to an hour one way to get to them. Some kids go once a week, some once a month. Usually you don't get the actual coach rather one of their "junior" coaches who is around fifteen years old but such a star! This is all in preperation for the big day. It's pageant day! Now you have to get to the hotel, which means travel (gas, food) and then hotel costs. Most of the "names" have someone do their hair and makeup for them which is about 350.00, this is a hair do and makeup for each event if you are lucky! The "vendors" are the ones making the killings, the dress/swimsuit/costume makers, the hair/makeup people who are NOT licensed cosmetologists by the way, the photographers, and the coaches. They usually have kids who compete and many times if a coach can bring so many girls to a pageant, they are promised wins. If you make dresses and my daughter needs a new one and look I just happen to be a director, we can trade. Your kid gets a win and I get a new dress for my kid.

The Ultimate Grand Supreme is the girl with the highest score in the whole pageant. Unless a director double crowns, she will not win her age group or the side awards. Some pageants do give every contestant a trophy, some don't. But many directors require the contestants to bring gifts to be given to outgoing royalty which is such bull because you'd think that would be the director's job. Some even require two gifts, one for outgoing and one for the newly crowned.

Now, this is all the glitz kiddie circuit pageants. You also have natural or scholastic pageants where makeup (or age appropriate makeup for 12 and up) is not allowed, fake hair, fake teeth, fake tans, etc are not allowed. They wear more flower girl style dresses for younger girls and the teen and up wear age appropriate formal gowns. The talent consists of real talent not pro-am bullcrap. They must have platforms and present community service information as well as scholastic records. These winners represent the system all year through events, parades, luncheons, etc and is a beginning for those interested in programs like America's Junior Miss, Miss America Organization, etc. These can be costly but nothing near glitz and you do see more benefits in the forms of scholarships, savings bonds, possible placement with fine arts schools, etc.

So there ya have it from one who is guilty of putting her child in glitz but now daughter does the scholastic type because the benefits far outweigh the cost. Also, pageants can be like anything else. You have sports obsessed parents, dance obsessed, cheer obsessed, and they are just as scary, cruel, and expensive as pageants.
  • 0

#41

Edie Wharton

Edie Wharton

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 2:20 AM

But many directors require the contestants to bring gifts to be given to outgoing royalty which is such bull because you'd think that would be the director's job. Some even require two gifts, one for outgoing and one for the newly crowned.


Thanks, Trojangirldance. I wondered why the toddlers were bearing gifts!
  • 0

#42

BuyMoreMakeup

BuyMoreMakeup

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:58 AM

So there ya have it from one who is guilty of putting her child in glitz but now daughter does the scholastic type because the benefits far outweigh the cost. Also, pageants can be like anything else. You have sports obsessed parents, dance obsessed, cheer obsessed, and they are just as scary, cruel, and expensive as pageants.


Thanks for the rundown! I am obsessed with these shows. My daughter is now 4, almost 5, and my husband made me turn this show off because she was getting way too interested and wanted to know when she got to wear the pretty dresses and dance on stage. The flippers, spray tan, and hip shaking freak-me-out, but I would like to try the flower girl style pageants. She is such a clown. I thought precosious kids were only on sitcoms, until she got to this age. Do you have a starting point to find information on the natural pageants? I've tried to look them up, but I got caught up in the horror of photoshop baby pics, so I gave up. I live in the South, so I know they're around here somewhere.
  • 0

#43

MiMiCubed

MiMiCubed

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 2:18 PM

A pro-am/western wear costume, like swimwear usually run about 500.00 because in order to win you must look like a craft store has puked on you.

You owe me a new keyboard.
  • 0

#44

Trojangirldance

Trojangirldance

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 5:09 PM

Sorry MiMiCubed LOL. For natural pageants try American Co-Ed in a google search. Also a good place to start for those a local pageants. I'm in the south too and we have things like Petite Miss/Little Miss/Teen Miss (insert name of town or community here). Depending on your state, they might have Forestry pageants you can google those as well. Sometimes festivals will have little pageants. In our area we have Miss Chitterling (I kid you not), Miss Catfish, Miss Tomato Festival, Miss Watermelon. Those are usually good ones to start out on just for a good time and not having to invest your child's college funds LOL.
  • 0

#45

JennDear

JennDear

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 5:35 PM

On most of these shows, the pageant families are not the richest of folks. Yet they spend thousands of dollars and countless hours on their child's hobby. I would like TLC to do a show where they really show how a family pays for all this crap. As loony tunes as I think it all is and as bas as I feel for the little ones, I am fascinated by the whole thing.

Did this show have a new episode about a girl from England or was that a different special?
  • 0

#46

GeoBQn

GeoBQn

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 6:58 PM

That was a different special, "Pre-Teen Beauty Queen." Maybe we should just merge these all into one gigantic kiddie beauty pageant thread. WE is starting a show called "Little Miss Perfect" in February, that looks like it will be an actual series instead of a special.
  • 0

#47

LitDr

LitDr

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 7:15 PM

That was a different special, "Pre-Teen Beauty Queen."


Different special, but taking place at the same beauty pageant as the epi of Toddlers and Tiaras.
  • 0

#48

leew261

leew261

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 8:27 PM

I would like TLC to do a show where they really show how a family pays for all this crap.


Hello Visa and Mastercard!
  • 0

#49

SprSeekritBroad

SprSeekritBroad

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:38 PM

When I was the one "puking a craft store" on the dresses and costumes, I charged the seamstress $20 an hour for the easy and simple and up to $100 an hour for the nasty really solidly puked on ones. It's no fun attaching all that trash to an outfit. But hey, it helped pay my kids dance class and college bills. For the record, no child of mine ever wore one of those creations and did dance class for exercise and fun. Competitive dance is another whole range of gussied up costumes that I also sequined and glittered. After looking at these shows I'm wondering if I should find a new seamstress and get back into making some money off those outfits again. Another shocking thing to me about this pageant was the babies who had to be carried being in it. What on earth can justify infants in a beauty pageant?
  • 0

#50

Fabricationary

Fabricationary

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:06 PM

Another shocking thing to me about this pageant was the babies who had to be carried being in it. What on earth can justify infants in a beauty pageant?


Moms who haven't lost their baby weight yet, or are far removed from properly looking after themselves, seeking superficial gratification from their babies. Or just moms who think their babies are beautiful (what mom doesn't?) seeking other avenues outside of family, friends, and the supermarket crowd to ooooh and aaaah over the infant.

I'm not trying to make sweeping assumptions here - I'm sure there are plenty of pageant moms who take good care of themselves - but what's with so many (hardcore) pageant moms spending thousands of dollars on glamorizing their daughters' physical appearances, yet paying so little attention to themselves? I'm talking to you, oh 30-something pageant mom of the baggy t-shirt and stretch jeans, no make-up, hair in some short curly mop, often overweight or obese. Why not spend ten minutes in the morning doing your hair, putting on whatever make-up to enhance your natural features, and taking a jog on the treadmill/yoga/walking with friends around the neighborhood a few times a week? Otherwise, let's start a petition for a special What Not to Wear: Pageant mom edition (and put the daughters on the show too!).
  • 0

#51

AUgirl

AUgirl

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 22, 2009 @ 9:47 PM

Otherwise, let's start a petition for a special What Not to Wear: Pageant mom edition (and put the daughters on the show too!).


Sweet! Let's start with Debbie Tye.
  • 0

#52

GeoBQn

GeoBQn

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 26, 2009 @ 12:50 AM

Looks like this is turning into a series, or there is a different series starting with the same name and topic. It starts this Tuesday at 10/9c and each episode will focus on a different pageant.
  • 0

#53

djphob

djphob

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 26, 2009 @ 11:05 AM

As a former infant pageant winner who is dating a former infant pageant winner, I can tell you that the motivation for our parents entering us was that fat check you got when you won.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing this show. I never caught it when it was a special but you can bet I won't be missing it now!
  • 0

#54

RoadTrip

RoadTrip

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 6:19 PM

Get your sequins and spray tanners ready folks...the series starts tonight.
  • 0

#55

JazzieCazzie

JazzieCazzie

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

TiVo is locked and loaded .. now just hoping it doesn't refuse to record like it did with "The Bachelor" last night. Even my TiVo apparently has better taste and higher limits in TV than I do.
  • 0

#56

Fabricationary

Fabricationary

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 10:15 PM

Re: tonight's episode:

Pageant dad is hilarious. Methinks little Ava was an IVF baby.

That one pageant mom's hair was bizarre - was it graying just on the top, or does she purposely dye it that way?
  • 0

#57

lurkylurkerson

lurkylurkerson

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 10:44 PM

Pageant dad reminds me so much of Jon Lovitz' stoner character on "Friends" - tartlets! Tartlets!
  • 0

#58

trojanchick99

trojanchick99

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 10:57 PM

There are no words. I was sure that the pageant dad would not be married to a woman.

The costumes were blinding absolutely blinding.
  • 0

#59

damagedkids

damagedkids

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 11:05 PM

That judge! I am so scared. He was SO Kreepy!

He said HARD. I hope that's not what he is...
  • 0

#60

ChocolateCherry

ChocolateCherry

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 27, 2009 @ 11:06 PM

I wonder if Anita realizes how regularly she contradicts herself. Tanning = bad, fake hair and lashes = good, huh?
I would watch a show where Ava breaks trophies and fixes them
  • 0