Tag Archives: TLC

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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