There’s Nothing Natural About Mini Beauty Queens

There’s Nothing Natural About Mini Beauty Queens

Last night, I saw the most disturbing commercial I’ve seen in quite a while. It was for a television program called “Toddlers and Tiaras,” and it featured Lady Gaga’s anthem to being yourself, “Born This Way,” while showing footage of a bunch of little girls—toddlers, obviously, under age five—primped up in makeup, showy dresses, much too-old for them hair styles, and worse.

Um, no.

No, TLC, there is nothing “Born This Way” about toddlers in tiaras. And though while researching the program I discovered that most people believe the show exists to make fun of the pageant moms who are shown fussing over their Mini Mes on the show, that sure as hell does not excuse the show at all—or its victims, the girls whose body image is already at stake come adolescence.

Honestly, I think that putting little girls in pageants should be considered a form of child abuse—or, if that’s simply too strong, then it should just be made illegal. Many people are calling the show “a pedophile’s wet dream,” and while I hate to think of it in those terms, they are certainly right. But what’s disturbing about the show to me is that:

  1. It’s not natural in any way, shape, or form. There is nothing natural or even positive about slathering your child with makeup—whether it’s safe cosmetics or not.
  2. If it’s not safe cosmetics, you’re painting your progeny with chemicals like lead, formaldehyde, and other toxic crap that has been linked to many problems in life. Hell, I wore makeup for a wedding last week and was still feeling the effects three days later. Why the hell would you do this to your daughters?
  3. Your daughters are going to be made into sexual objects for the rest of their lives by our media, government, and society itself. She will learn to hate her body, change it any way she can, and possibly even harm herself all in the name of so-called beauty. Can you not wait for that to happen before you make it occur even earlier? How can you not make yourself sick by doing this?

TLC is promoting and enabling some of the most disturbing child programming ever to be on television, and I don’t know how they can sleep at night when they’re exploiting children so blatantly. There is no way they can actually believe they are broadcasting quality television shows—with regards to this program as well as their many other television shows.

Isn’t TLC supposed to represent The Learning Channel? I don’t think they’ve done that in years. Just as the Discovery Channel morphed into some kind of weird station where dirty jobs and myth busting took over programs about space, dinosaurs, and animals, TLC is now about weird addictions, weddings, and apparently child beauty pageants. If this is what we equate with learning and discovery as a culture, I feel deeply sorry—and worried—about our kids and what learning and discovery means, and will mean, to them.