I guess you could call me a TLC junky. Whether it’s Say Yes to the Dress, Hoarding, Extreme Couponers or The World’s Largest Man, I’m watching it. But the truth is that most of these shows leave me feeling a little uncomfortable. They are so ridiculous. I usually find myself jaw-dropped after most shows. $5000 for one dress?? Let’s get real, people. But nothing--absolutely nothing, shocks me more than Toddlers and Tiaras. Have you seen it? This show is in a realm of its own. It's about super young girls doing beauty pageants but, mostly it’s just hours and hours of footage of mothers (and occasionally fathers which is disturbing) physically and emotionally abusing their daughters (and occasionally sons which is also um…weird). Has no one turned these people in to social services yet? Just kidding. It's probably not that extreme. But for reals, have you seen some of the things they do to their children? These girls have been wearing fake teeth, hair, eyelashes and nails since before they could walk. They are forced to be spray tanned, waxed and plucked. They endure hours upon hours of their precious childhood lives rehearsing routines and sassy little struts. But just you wait, it gets better. It’s been recently revealed that there are mothers who personally perform Botox on their eight year old daughters.....I’m sorry, since when does an eight year old face need more plumping? Are they nuts?? This pretty much pushed me over the edge.
Some people say the reason the parents make their daughters do pageants is because they want to relive their glory days or need to live a life they never had. I’m sure others do pageants because they truly believe that their daughter is the bomb.com and a bag of chips which may be true, who knows. Maybe some just do it because it’s lots and lots of fun. I don’t actually know what the motive is and I don’t really care. It’s the principles behind the pageants that really get to me. Pageants teach you that winning a fake crown and a few hundred dollars is more important than whether or not you had a fun time. That it’s appropriate for a four year old to go on a stage in a bikini and dance to Lady Gaga. That screaming and crying will get you absolutely anything that you want. That true beauty comes when you spend hours in front of a mirror or at a salon. That even as a perfect little eight year old girl, she isn’t pretty exactly the way she is. When you tell your daughter that the only way she can win a beauty contest is if she sticks a bunch of needles in her face and pumps it with artificial crud, the only thing that you are teaching her is that she is not, and never will be, good enough. And that just makes me want to scream (I initially wanted to say “hurl” or “punch something” but then I thought everyone would think I’m disgusting and violent—but really, that’s how mad it makes me).
Don’t get me wrong--I don’t feel like these are bad people. I’m sure they are loving mothers and do not have bad intentions at all. My heart just aches for these girls who will never be able to look at themselves and feel like they are beautiful just the way they are. It’s not just an issue in the beauty pageant world, though. I see it everywhere. And do you know what I think? I think that it sucks. And I think it’s the work of Satan. Because Satan wants you to feel not good enough and he wants you to believe that you should be something other than what you are. Because as soon as you believe that, you’ll believe that you aren’t good enough to do anything and so you’ll so stop doing things and you’ll stop being awesome. And it’s a bunch of lies. The truth is that you’re perfect. You’re perfect because you are exactly the way Heavenly Father made you the way He wanted you.
So do yourself a favor and look in the mirror and decide that you like what you see. Decide that that weird crooked thing your lip does is charming and that your extremely bushy eyebrows frame your face quite nicely and that the way your hair curls up at the bottom adds personality. Then, smile at yourself and remind yourself that you’re awesome and move on. Now doesn’t that seem much better than giving yourself puncture wounds? I thought so, too.
Ok, end of rant.