Thursday, January 13, 2011

Toddlers & Tiaras... Who'll Save the Wee Children?

Where is her song, Sarah Mclaclan?
Who indeed, Groundskeeper Willie? Here's the thing... apparently, TLC has a reality series called Toddlers & Tiaras. Apparently, it just started its fifth season.  And apparently we live under a rock because we just found out it exists. So apologies if we're recycling old news here, but it's a lot to take in all at once and we need to process. It's not everyday you get to see childhood die in HD.

To catch you up if, like us, you've been living in ignorant bliss, Toddlers & Tiaras is about "parents" who dress up their daughters (some as young as fourteen months) in swimsuits and heavy makeup and parade them through pageants. The "Learning" Channel is now in the running for most ironically named cable network alongside American Movie Classics, MTV and FoxNews. We don't really have anything funny to say about Toddlers & Tiaras. Some things transcend our capacity to make jokes, but if anyone deserves to die in a fire it is every single adult even remotely involved in the making of this program.

Despite the fact the show plays like an Amber Alert promotional video, it's really the kids' eyes that make you want to gouge out your own. Watching this show is awful the way watching videos of animal testing is awful - you know they never had a chance, and they're trusting enough to sit still as they're poisoned. They may not be in cages but all the tears in the world didn't save the five year old girl from getting her eyebrows waxed. Feel the quality family time.

The whole enterprise is just an exercise in awful because the kids exude the same vibe as the animals in those evil Sarah Mclaclan/ASPCA ads. An "all we want is to be loved, and we'll do anything if you'll just take us home with you" desperation. It's obvious these kids love their parents (the way kids tend to do) and will do anything to please them. And to watch the parents exploit that bond to feed whatever empty, Nietzsche-ian void they are unable to fill at Applebee's is, well, awful. Because sometimes when a two year old stares into the void, the void dresses her up like Madonna from her Blond Ambition tour... right down to the conical bra:

We'll leave you to mull the immortal words of Keanu Reeves in Parenthood: "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car... hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father." 

Amen, Keanu. Amen.


  1. As a side note: I actually watched the episode to which you are referring where the child dresses a la Madonna style, what don't judge, I was flipping channels and it was was like driving by a horrific highway accident. You know you're not supposed to look, but you just can't help it. Point of my musings is the following: Her father made that outfit for her...nuff said!

  2. I like the Keanu quote, but doesn't he know where the penis needs to go to make babies?

    Honestly, I think it would serve everyone well if there was a "where are they now" segment for former toddlers with tiaras at the end of every show... letting aspiring pageant winners see how fucked up these girls are by age 25. Maybe they all just become parents of new toddlers with tiaras to torture their own daughters as they were tortured.

  3. Been needing a daily distraction. Kaity, get your bikini on, wax those eyes and go make daddy some sweet pagent money. God its nice to live vicariously through your children; takes all the pressure off. Thanks for the 411, off to book us on TLC!