Humor Magazine

Gnashing My Flippers Over Toddlers and Tiaras

By Dianelaneyfitzpatrick

Gnashing My Flippers Over Toddlers and Tiaras
What can I say about Toddlers & Tiaras, the eweylicious show about child pageants, that hasn’t already been said?
Actually, a lot. So much material . . . so few adjectives to adequately express disdain . . .
This show has a Svengali hold on me. I’m a big fan of shows where I hate the people and I sit there hoping they’ll do more and more outrageously stupid things. Apparently I’m so lacking in self-esteem that I need to watch other people be worse than me, so I can say, ”Well, I’m not perfect, but at least I don’t:  glue false eyelashes onto my 18-month-old baby / keep old Burger King straws / shoot meth instead of taking my grandpa to get his chemo like I promised.
Yes, I am comparing Toddlers & Tiaras with Hoarders and Intervention. They are today’s train wrecks that we can’t keep our eyes off of. (And since trains don’t often wreck these days, it’s all we’ve got. If public hangings are brought back into vogue, these shows are screwed.)
I have to hand it to these TV show producers. I thought they were doing a bang-up job with Nanny 911. I loved watching the mamby-pamby passive parents let their kids swear at them and hit them and demand Twizzlers for dinner and turn their houses into big boxes of anger and dysfunction.
But Toddlers & Tiaras raised the bar. Raised it high. Covered it with sparkles and spray-tanned it. Taught it how to pout-and-nod and most importantly when to pout-and-nod.
I’m fascinated by how long these shows can stay on the air. You would think that eventually the moms and kids who are in pageants would start to refuse to be on the show.  I mean, they’ve seen the show, haven’t they? This isn’t a program about cute little girls in the pageant world. This is a televised freak show about psycho parents. Getting the call from the producers of Toddlers & Tiaras is like a corporate CEO getting the call from 60 Minutes: You know it’s not going to turn out well. But yet there’s always someone to go on camera the next week, episode after episode. Where do they find these people?
In the case of the pageant princesses, it appears the American South is full of moms (and dads) who refuse to believe that anyone would have the gall to make fun of their lil’ darlin’ daughters (and yes, sons . . . you heard me, sons) who look like the Vegas strip during pedophile week.
This is what happens when people don’t travel. They get all entrenched in whatever little subculture they fall into, they are surrounded by others of their kind, and no one is allowed in who will say, “What’s with the Marie Antoinette hair? That looks ridiculous on a 2-year-old, just so you know.” It’s a country club mentality for people too trashy to get into the country club.
If they could just step outside their microcosm and notice that everyone else’s kids are playing soccer and doing their homework, they might see how absurd their kids look with fake teeth, an unseasonal tan, a stripper costume and anklets.
On second thought, God forbid. I’d be stuck with the History Channel and Ice Road Truckers. And they’re usually on their best behavior.

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