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Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch – Toddlers and Tiaras

28 Aug

Some of you already know about my masochistic, unexplained obsession with 16 and Pregnant. Well folks, my unhealthy obsession with reality TV that makes me crazy has taken a turn for the worse. I have decided to make it an ongoing series.

Yes – I will be watching stupid reality TV that pisses infertiles off so that you don’t have to! Look how I much I sacrifice for you people (ok not really)!

So for my inaugural post I have decided to take on the mother of all reality trash. I’m sure you’re all dying to know what I chose first. Oh, wait – it’s in the title. Oops.

Toddlers and Tiaras!

I discovered this little gem while recovering from my lap surgery. I admit that I marathoned the heck out of it during my almost week of stabby pain hell.

Don’t ask me why. It’s like crack. Only more masochistic than crack.

For those of you who don’t know the premise, Toddlers and Tiaras follows kids as they compete in beauty pageants. Kids and their insane parents (who apparently have money to burn). The competition ranges from newborn babies to teens. But of course, the show wouldn’t be interested in the teens. The oldest contestant I’ve seen so far was I think about 10 years old. Most of the featured kids are around 4-6 years old.

These kids (and yes, there are boys who compete too!) get spray tans, fake teeth (known as “flippers”), and hair pieces. Yes – the boys get spray tans too. There are also swimsuit competitions. Even the 6 month old babies do the swimsuit competitions.

Now here’s the kicker – the kids wear outfits that usually cost upwards of 2000 dollars. Their parents pay entry fees in the hundreds. They stay at hotels. They pay coaches. They build elaborate sets.

All so their kid can walk onto a stage in a rather shabby looking convention hall in bumfrak nowhere and compete for crowns.

The “Ultimate Grand Supreme” (apparently this means the person with the highest overall score in the pageant regardless of age category) will sometimes win cash. But I’ve never seen a prize higher than 1500 bucks. No one breaks even here. Yet all of the parents claim they’re doing this to “invest in their children’s future”.

Here is a list of things they could spend this money on that would truly “invest in their children’s future”:

  1. A college fund
  2. Private School
  3. Museum trips
  4. Tutors to teach them a foreign language.
  5. Violin lessons
  6. Piano lessons
  7. Ballet lessons
  8. Art classes
  9. Karate classes
  10. An internet specialist that will go in and erase all pictures of their dolled-up kids from the web so pedophiles won’t oggle at them, and a google search of them in 15 years won’t keep them from getting a job.
  11. A therapist to undo the damage the parents have done to the kids.
  12. Put the fund in a trust account for a lawyer – they’re going to need it for when their children attempt to file for emancipation.
  13. Give the money to a nice infertile couple who can’t afford treatments.

Ok – the last one doesn’t really involve the kid’s well being, but that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

I think what surprises me most here is just the sheer trashiness of it all. Here is a picture of an “Ultimate Grand Supreme” winner:

Hopefully this will eventually pay for this girl's therapy.

Yeah so apparently they give the money in cash, glue it to a paper plate in the form of a fan, and make the winner pose with it. Is it just me or is that just… Wrong? Cheap? Gross? I don’t know if there is a word to describe this, really. So I’ll make one up: horricheapagusting. That just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

And you know these parents are teaching their kids the right things to do with their money. Check out this girl’s solid education of fiscal responsibility (skip to minute 41:52):

Yes! Cheese dip! You know what? I should invest in cheese dip futures. There’s a market for that, right?

Oh, but this is nothing. Please, meet Makenzie (mangled spelling courtesy of her parents):

Now I don’t know about you – but I have a sinking suspicion that her mother has a whole road planned out for her. A couple more years on Toddlers and Tiaras, then she can move on to America’s Got Talent, be a cast member on The Real World, and finish it all off with a nice emotional arc on Celebrity Rehab. Once she’s out of there, she can probably make a couple of extra bucks shilling out her tell-all book: “From Ni-Ni to Cocaine: How My Mother Ruined My Life”

Speaking of substance abuse – most of these parents are well on their way to educating their children about a healthy lifestyle, evidenced by this little gem:

Hmmmm… She can’t get herself together? Really? Perhaps it’s the constant stream of refined sugar that you keep shoving down her mouth? Just a thought.

PS – they also give their kids Red Bull. I just couldn’t find a clip of that. You’re going to have to trust me on that one.

I could go on for hours, but let me end with…. Drumroll… Eden Wood.

Eden is currently 6 years old. She has now officially “retired” from the pageant circuit. More on that in a second. First, here’s a look at her (and her mother) in action:

Eden’s mother has decided to capitalize on her daughter’s Reality TV fame. At the ripe old age of six, Eden is currently on a mall tour across America singing her “hit” song – Cutie Patootie (as seen on the cheap imitation of The View The Talk).

Note the horrified look on Sharon Osbourne’s face. And this is the woman that is married to a guy who bites heads off of bats and who has raised Kelly Osbourne. ‘Nough said.

I read a blog post not too long ago (sorry – can’t remember where!) about how infertiles sometimes look at parents and feel all superior, and say “I’ll never be like that” only to find out that once they are parents themselves, they make some of the same mistakes.

Here’s what I think is comforting about Toddlers and Tiaras: I can totally feel superior to these parents. I know my feelings are justified. Guilt-free.

Here’s what’s not so comforting: I’m going to have to work to get my kids. Work  really hard. And these parents most likely didn’t. And they’re pretty much abusing them. Which honestly, I’d like to say I find funny, but mostly it just makes me sad.

And perhaps that’s why Infertiles shouldn’t watch it.

(On the other hand, it is a really good target for our hostility. Just sayin’)

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30 Responses to “Stuff Infertiles Shouldn’t Watch – Toddlers and Tiaras”

  1. missohkay August 28, 2011 at 03:09 #

    I can’t watch 16 & Pregnant or Teen Mom, but I am ALL OVER Toddlers & Tiaras. It’s so terrible but I still seek it out. And the worst thing is that most of those families *don’t* have the money to burn. The dads are all like “I think we spend like a couple thousand a year on this” and the moms are all, “No, it’s tens of thousands but don’t tell him…” Ugh.

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 00:59 #

      Good point. It just makes it all the more irresponsible doesn’t it?

    • Port of Indecision August 29, 2011 at 03:35 #

      It’s the exact same phenomenon of people who live in a single-wide and drive an Escalade. In fact, I think they are the exact same people.

  2. BleedingTulip August 28, 2011 at 03:24 #

    “Here’s what I think is comforting about Toddlers and Tiaras: I can totally feel superior to these parents.”
    LOL!!!!!!!!!!! And every single host on The Talk
    looked horrified/disgusted and the girls’ mom didn’t even notice!!!!!

    Sometimes I watch “Supernanny” and still judge those parents…. and figure that this is like “research” for when we have kids. But really, I think so much of it is that people can’t look ahead and say “If I teach my kids X, or allow Y, or ignore Z, what am I going to have in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?”

    If I may make an analogy… it’s like when people get puppies, and think it’s so cute when they chew on their fingers and jump on them to say hi, and then they have some adult giant great dane that’s causing serious harm and wonder “how did this happen?”

    One of my SIL thinks it’s hilarious when her daughter says “stupid daddy” now that she’s 2…. but it just horrifies me. I want to go out and shake my SIL but I know it wont do any good. I know in another year she;s going to wonder what happened to her “well behaved” child and I will have a really hard time holding my tongue…

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 00:59 #

      Hear hear!

  3. Annissa August 28, 2011 at 06:12 #

    This had me cracking up…. I’m an IF Grad ad I still watch shows like this and think … How did God give these morons kids????

    I have seen Makenzie and her “ne-ne” … OMG drives me nuts….

    Happy ICLW from #86 ❤

  4. Whoismom August 28, 2011 at 06:40 #

    Oh heavens, Mo! Turn it off! Yikes!

  5. Kristin August 28, 2011 at 07:06 #

    Did you see the one where the mom took her daughter to an auto paint shop to get spray tanned? I was watching The Soup and they featured that nonsense.

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 01:00 #

      Yes I did (both the episode and the soup version). It was even worse in the full episode.

    • eighteenyears August 29, 2011 at 23:15 #

      I saw that part of a show. I think I saw only The Soup version. It was really awful…

  6. endoandbeyond August 28, 2011 at 07:37 #

    I’ve watched that show a few times and it’s so terrifying!! The flippers freak me out. Also, a 6 year old wiggling suggestively and saying “bootie” is creepy on so many levels.

  7. Wendy August 28, 2011 at 08:56 #

    Watching these clips was like watching The Exorcist: I had my hands covering my eyes for most of the time. Seriously, pageants for little children should be legally banned.

  8. bloggingreluctantly August 28, 2011 at 14:06 #

    That show is awful and those parents are insane! 16 & Pregnant makes me want to throw things at my tv.

  9. Betsy August 29, 2011 at 00:53 #

    Yeah, I totally feel superior to those parents. I will be the first to admit that inferility has made me totally judgemental towards parents, but T&T is a whole separate ball game. That poor baby getting her EYEBROWS WAXED. She reminds me of Bernadette from “Hope Floats.” I think waxing IS bordering on child abuse.

  10. Jjiraffe August 29, 2011 at 01:23 #

    I read Peggy Orenstein’s book “Cinderella Ate My Daughter”, and interestingly a number of the pageant moms have special needs children and use the pageants as a way to give their other child attention and “specialness” since their special needs brother/sister get much more attention on a daily basis. Orenstein implies TLC willfully ignores this angle since it would give a more well-rounded story.

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 02:00 #

      Wow I had no idea. I still don’t think it justifies either TLC or the parents for that matter. It’s not only the pageants after all, it’s the fact that these parents signed their kids up for a reality tv show. That’s just as bad if not worse.

      • Port of Indecision August 29, 2011 at 03:37 #

        Yeah, that’s a good point. It seems the parents of a special needs child wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to a TLC program. Though that *is* a nicer angle and portrays the parents in a better light. But I still have my judgypants on and they’re too tight so they make me cranky, and I think maybe there are better ways than this to make your other child feel special.

        • Mo August 29, 2011 at 12:00 #

          Judgypants! Love it! Totally stealing that word!

  11. Emby August 29, 2011 at 02:54 #

    This post was such a good post. That show is ridiculous, as are the parents who raise these poor kids to be the way they are. Thanks for sharing and for making me laugh!

  12. Jonelle August 29, 2011 at 03:28 #

    o_O Those moms are crazy!!!! The Talk clip was awesome! The hosts all looked horrified, even members of the audience were a bit out of sorts on how to react.

    I don’t watch Teen Mom or 16 and pregnant. I can’t even watch Baby Story or any of those shows. Its too frustrating. I haven’t even attempted to watch Toddlers and Tiaras. Although the clips you have provided were definitely an eye opening experience (Makenzie especially…a four year still having a pacifer?) YIKES!!

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 12:01 #

      Glad I could be of service. 😛

  13. Port of Indecision August 29, 2011 at 03:40 #

    This show is such.a.train.wreck. And impossible to not watch. (Side note: a friend of my husband’s is currently living with us and he loves awful reality TV like this show and Bridezillas and Millionaire Matchmaker, so I LOVE having him stay with us!)

    Another thing that may seem weird to nitpick but is rampant amongst this…population: the kids’ diction. I know little kids don’t enunciate well and they’re still learning words and what not, but listen to that 4 year old. She sounds like a late 2-year old or early 3-year old in her pronunciation and inability to put together a sentence. You can’t even understand her without subtitles. I can’t help but think it’s a by-product of the pwincess baby guhl treatment.

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 12:02 #

      I agwee wid u. The ‘nunsashen is tewwible! (I watch bridezillas too. Gasp!)

  14. missohkay August 29, 2011 at 14:28 #

    I came back to point out that I HAVE to watch it, otherwise I won’t be able to give my kid a totally unique name. Like I had my heart totally set on Syreniti (Serenity) or Bayleigh but now I know they’re taken! This is a valuable public service! (I don’t have to explain the sarcasm, right? Good.)

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 23:20 #

      I think you’re right. We’re too obsessed with correct spellings. If we want something Yooneek, we have to look to the right people.

  15. B August 29, 2011 at 17:55 #

    I was watching what ever channel this show is on-not the actual show itself-when I saw a clip of an upcoming episode that was so damn funny I actually spat my drink due to uncontrollable laughter…

    Mommy is sitting on the floor with her pageant daughter acting as if they are having this loving bonding moment with the cameras running…

    mommy says while leaning forward toward her daughter:
    “What honey you want to tell me a secret?”

    Daughter leans into her mothers ear and whispers:
    “I hate you.”

    hahahahahahaah. Still funny. Hahahahahhahaha!!!

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 23:21 #

      I saw that episode. It’s even worse in full form!

  16. Kristen August 29, 2011 at 20:48 #

    Good Lord, those poor kids…
    And I’m totally with you on reality TV being soooooooo easy to get sucked into…the trashier the better.

  17. eighteenyears August 29, 2011 at 23:17 #

    Ugh, I can’t watch this show… but thanks for watching it for me! My 12 year old stepdaughter is obsessed with it and gives me regular updates about it (that I only half pay attention to). I can’t blame her for bad TV taste though… I watched the ENTIRE first season of Rock of Love.

    • Mo August 29, 2011 at 23:23 #

      I don’t blame you for the Rock of Love thing. Brett Michaels has always been a crush of mine since I heard “unskinny bop” for the first time (even though I had no idea what that meant seeing as I was about 10 years old).
      I am happy to say that I skipped rock of love.
      But I did watch celebrity apprentice. Don’t judge me!

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