Monday, May 21, 2007

Child abuse in one of its many forms

"High-heeled shoes and make-up don't belong on no baby child."
At first, I wasn't sure if I was still hung-over from Saturday's festivities, but it was late afternoon on Sunday, so any lingering effects of Belgian Beer Poisoning would have been long gone by then. So, I sat up and paid close attention because I figured if I was going to be repulsed by something, it would be worthwhile if I knew precisely why I was being repulsed.
There it was, on VH1: VH1 News Presents: Little Beauties, The Ultimate Kiddie Queen Showdown, live from Gatlinburg, Tennessee (a town that would appear to be custom made for such nonsense). The International Total Miss Contest, featuring 6 year-old girls made up like circus clowns, replete with enough Aqua Net to stop a train. At first, I thought I was watching some "Little People" beauty contest - women who were just kind of short - but no, these were children. Six years old, made up, hair-sprayed and tan-sprayed to look like little adults. You know the kind, like that JonBinet Ramsey. Old before her time and just prissy enough to make me think that the whole event was some sort of pedophile fantasy land.

But it wasn't. These children were being closely supervised by what appeared to be adults. Moms of all shapes and sizes doting over their daughters. The only thing missing was the father. The one father who showed up was dragged kicking and screaming to the show. Something tells me that the fathers are as repulsed by this behavior as I, and they were probably at home doing what I was doing on Saturday night, hoping that drinking would make it all better. But it wouldn't. VH1 optimistically describes the program thusly:
Little Beauties: Ultimate Kiddie Queen Showdown is a one-hour documentary special that will take a light-hearted look into the wonderful world of children's beauty pageants through the eyes of four, precocious six-year old girls. This documentary reveals the humor and love behind an American tradition; the always colorful characters on the pageant circuit; and the "sparkle" it takes to win a crown.
Wonderful world? OK, if you say so. I would have said, "Demented and sad", but I don't want to get hung up in semantics. Anything with kiddie and showdown in the title is trouble from the start. The pageant was hosted by someone named Mr. Tim (anyone who uses a first name and a title has a problem - Dr. Phil) who, dare I say, appeared to be as queer as a four dollar bill. The kids were being dragged back and forth from the hotel room to the stage in evening gowns, casual wear and - yes - swimsuits. Pardon me, but ... a child in a swimsuit is not something that should be put on display or judged.
Meanwhile, doting moms were spray-tanning these children, spewing enough Aqua Net to make the planet warmer and fitting them with something called a Flipper. What is a Flipper? It's a dental implant that costs $250, and makes the child's teeth look like adult teeth, because, God forbid they show a gap or have teeth that an actual child would have.
God forbid that these kids have anything that a kid would have, including a normal social life or a parent who understands what it means to be a child. It wouldn't have surprised me if mom had thrown in some fake breast implants. Hey, why stop with the hair spray and fake teeth?
I've never watched an entire hour of television without closing my mouth or blinking, but this show made it difficult.
Through it all, I figured that there must be some massive payday in store for these abused children, like a commercial deal or some big modeling contract. Nope. The Grand Prize for the pageant winner - wait for it -- a $1000 savings bond. Retail value, $500. Which answers the question: What is the future mental health of a child and the vicarious life of a mom worth? A savings bond.
By the way, since Blogger is tied-into Google, I'm sure this little rant will come up in a search from some moms who are entering their abused children in one of these ridiculous contests. Hey mom, I don't have any children, but if I did, I sure as Hell would not allow them to be a party to this nonsense, and if you take a step back and realize what is going on and what you are doing to your child, you will stop. I wonder where the fathers are during all of this, since we only see one during the show. My guess is they are as dominated as the children, and if either of them had any guts, they would tell you to shove that can of hair spray and let them spend some time being a kid.

If you can watch this without cringing, you're a different person than I.


rattln along said...

Over on my page I have the other side of the picture. It is soooooo sad that each of these kids will soon be doing what is shown on my blog.

I was shocked at the make-up that the girls were forced to wear. What is wrong with a 6 year old being a 6 year old? Why do Mothers have to make them up to be so old? It is not cute nor beauty.

Anthony said...

I don't know. I'm not a psychiatrist, but I can only imagine the "living through my child" mentality that is going on here.
The bigger part was the absence of fathers, and the fact that the one who showed up didn't really want to be there.

As far as I'm concerned, it's sick and demented and borderline illegal.

I really hate to sit in judgment of others and how they lead their lives, but when children or animals are involved, I get emotional.

kimmyk said...

This makes me sad. I thought they were life size dolls for a second. Those moms need hit upside the head...

Pedophilers love this stuff. they'll tune in.

Ladyred said...

I can't imagine any child 'wanting' to go through all the shit that they are forced to for these. Granted I can see dressing up in mom's clothes and putting on makeup for a while, but not to be paraded around the world. It is sick, and I don't even have children. I agree, what is wrong with children being children? I know that children are wanted for tv commercials, acting in shows and even modeling for magazines etc. but why put on them all the shit that adults have to go through?

I just really believe that the parent(s) are totally selfish. You can't tell me a child wants to be put through this, because no way do they even understand what they are doing until an adult 'tells' them. It's all about the parent, their own selfish desires that they never got to do so they want their kids to do it.

I don't care if it's judging. It's simply inappropriate. And still I wonder why the world is going to have no respect for anything other than themselves, destroying property and the earth. Oh I could go on......

rattln along said...

Oh ladyred, I think you stopped too soon. Please go on...

Kate Michele said...

The things these girls will have to work through when they get older is stangering.

Handeling attention form men at our age is hard let alone when you are 6!!

So wrong SO SO SO wrong!!

supergirlest said...

belgian beer will never poison you. :)

can i just say that it completely freaks me out to see little girls looking like this?

Sparky Duck said...

well, Dr Phil is getting mileage from these kooks we call moms, why not you