In time, all of my pageant friends became so obsessed with their appearances that they made every woman who walked down the street into a comparison, celebrating when they discovered that they were still the "fairest of them all" and reaching a near breakdown when a long-legged stranger made them feel as though there was more work to be done. A petite blond at a cafe immediately made them "fat." A girl with acne made them scoff and cackle like hens. In time, the side show of pageantry bled off into their every day lives with such vehemence that each moment became a graceless performance.
We live in an image-obsessed, fat-phobic, thin is in, skinny jean-wearing, thigh gap-measuring, binging and purging, forever dieting, body-hating society where kids barely out of preschool are begging their mothers to keep them home from school because they feel like they're too fat to fit in. And that pisses me off.
To most parents Toddlers & Tiaras is so offensive that we can hardly watch it, let alone relate to it. While this may be obvious to many, what we often fail to see are the grains of these behaviours "normal" parents may engage in. Here are the top five lessons all parents can take from these pageant-parents in order to help their daughters build authentic and long-lasting self-esteem.
Teen girls were mortified when photos of themselves in bra and panties or topless were sent all around the classroom. They just were doing what they'd been taught to do by TV, YouTube, magazines, their friends: "be cute," which has become code for "be sexy," which means show your stuff. And then they'd been shamed for it.
Maybe some people like to feel superior by laughing at the characters on these shows, but by choosing to waste their time on such drivel, they inadvertently demonstrate their own lack of discernment.
I can think of four reality TV shows that have stupid females in common. All four are about females dressing up and and having fights. I can't think of one example in any of these shows where somebody visits a library or a museum or applies to school somewhere.