'Toddlers and Tiaras' Recap: Pageants Are Dangerous

Julie Ryan Evans
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TiaraBesides all the potential mental distress pageants can cause children, they can be physically dangerous as well. Just ask the little pageant king who fell off the back of the stage while dancing on this week's episode of Toddlers and Tiaras.

Thankfully, he was fine, and sure, it could have happened anywhere. But, it was definitely the most memorable part of this week's episode, which centered on America's Best Pageant in Arkansas.

Otherwise, it was more of the same. More flippers (fake teeth), more big hair, spray tans, facials and fancy costumes for toddlers. More moms living out their dreams through their children and pushing them into adulthood way too early.

There was more evidence of families making huge financial sacrifices to fund the pageants, and more tantrums and tears from both the mothers and the daughters.

There was more perpetuation of the message to young girls that looks are everything ... and you're going to be judged on them.

I think that's the part that bothers me the most, when each week they line the girls up and give awards for things like "Best Smile", "Best Hair" and "Best Personality". I don't want anyone telling my daughter that someone else's smile is better than hers; nor do I want anyone telling her that hers is better than anyone else's. How exactly do you console a child who is crushed that she doesn't have a good enough personality?

One good thing does come from Toddlers and Tiaras each week: Parents watching feel a little bit better about themselves and the job they're doing.

Since school let out, I've been feeling guilty about how much television my son watches and how I've put my toddler daughter in daycare. But after watching Toddlers and Tiaras tonight, I felt a little of that guilt slipping away knowing that, at least, I'm never going to force them to wear flippers.

Do you think pageants are dangerous? If so, how?

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