Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Train Wreck That is Toddlers & Tiaras

This blog post is inspired by the fresh madness brought to me each week courtesy of the TLC program Toddlers & Tiaras.

According to a Wikipedia page devoted to the show, it’s described as:
“Toddlers & Tiaras is an American reality series that debuted on TLC in 2009. The show follows the controversial world of child beauty pageants, looking closely at the pageant contestants and their families as the children prepare for their pageant shows. The show airs without any narration to avoid passing judgment.”

Not so sure about the not “passing judgment” comment – it’s amazing how much judgment can be passed through strategic editing. Anyway, even if you haven’t watched the show, suffice it to say it provides a television platform for a unique genre of parent known as a “pageant mom,” and in some cases, pageant dads. Think ‘stage mother’ but far more twisted. It’s a train wreck that I can’t help but watch.

This week I caught the episode that chronicles the inaugural “Miss Georgia Spirit” pageant in North Georgia, and the story of a child inexplicably named, Story.

In addition to Story’s story, other highlights of this episode include:

• A mother who claims her 2-year old “loves her tanning sessions” (if you have to ask why a 2-year old needs a tan, tune in)

• This pageant has a swimsuit competition – why oh why do we need a swimsuit category for babies and toddlers?

• One of the judges was some poor man described as a “local businessman” who must have been duped into the experience of being a beauty pageant judge – the look on his face can only be described as “kill me now”

• One of the pageant director’s thoughts on diversity: “the kids all come from different homes, and different families (really??) and even – from different parts of the state of Georgia!” Ok …

• Now when I think formalwear, I think 0-24 month-olds.

I don’t like to think about it much, but there are people making a lot of money like the pageant directors, the stylists, the coaches, dressmakers. (One dress. For a child. Can cost upwards of $1000.) Seems like it could be a lucrative endeavour – have you ever seen the movie “Happy, Texas”?

Love me some Steve Zahn, a poor man’s Bill Macy.

Incidentally, if you are looking for unusual baby names, look no further than T&T, which is thick with kids with names like Story, Paisley, Paris, Sterling, Destiny, Essence (kind of literal, dontcha think?), Makynli, Sparkal, Yrvana, Daylee, Kianna, Dianely… c’mon, people!!

Recommended watching is Tom Hanks’s send-up of Toddlers & Tiaras on the Jimmy Kimmel show? A funny six and half minutes, even if you’re not a Hanks fan.

If you have the stomach for this, in this heart-warming clip my friend Will kindly posted on my wall, Paisley shows her skill at nose picking.

Toddlers & Tiaras: Booger Snack : Video : TLC

Oooh, the Universal Royal Grand Nationals episode is on right now – with the doting dad who intends to use the prize money to put a lift on a truck, and thinks of spending money on his daughters as being akin to performing maintenance on a car – and the mom who keeps her child’s energy up with the use of “dance candies,” also known as sugar cubes. Gotta go.

Bonus link, check out my previous post on the show for more info -


  1. Ha! Great stuff. AND I got a shout-out in the post. I am SO permalinking this.

  2. Will, you are my muse.