It's hard to believe one of the moms on TLC's frightening hit show, Toddlers & Tiaras, has just said something that's sensible, but it happened. As T&T gears up for its third season (only three? how are there are so many things to talk about in only two seasons???), Joey Lynn George, mom to Hailey, wants you to know you'd better not say anything negative about her daughter and pedophiles to her face. But the thing is, what this mom to a house full of beauty pageant contestants actually said makes a lot of sense.
Joey Lynn schooled a reporter by saying, "The biggest misconception ... is when I hear anybody say that these pageant moms are putting their children out there for sexual entertainment for the predators out there. If someone ever said that to my face, oh my gosh, I would put them in their place ... "
You go, Joey Lynn! Because you are 100 percent correct. About this, anyway.
Pedophiles aren't going to commit a crime because a little girl is dressed inappropriately in front of him. Potential sex offenders don't suddenly offend because a stage mom used horrible judgment and cakes makeup on her toddler. Should you dress up your toddler and teach her that looking like an aging prostitute is a fantastic way to get attention? Hell, no. But does that mean that she is suddenly going to be the target of a sick person who abuses children? That would be a no, as well.
Pedophiles are messed up people who target children. Any children, not just those who have horrible and inappropriate parents. It's like saying rape victims who dress in short skirts are asking for it. Sick people attack, and there's nothing you can or cannot wear to control the actions of a nasty, aggressive individual.
Are you screwing with a child's self-esteem by pinning rewards to their physical -- and false -- appearance? Yes! Is putting your toddler in a sexually suggestive show girl outfit wildly inappropriate? Absolutely. But making the leap to attracting pedophiles is not accurate, and winds up making excuses for pedophiles.
What do you think about Joey Lynn's defense of the kiddie pageants?
Image via TLC