Have any of you checked out WEtv’s new show “Little Miss Perfect“? It’s a look at the (often frigtening) world of children’s beauty pageants. I caught the show last night and found myself horrified and amazed all at the same time. I’m going to say it up front–pageant moms scare me. It seems like these women will do anything and everything to make sure their child is crowned the winner.
I flipped on the show just as young Ashley’s mom talked about reactions she gets from non-pageant parents. “I guess you would think we’re doing something wrong if you have an ugly child,” she said with a straight face. Of course, I snorted with laughter. Yeah, everyone who thinks it’s silly to spend $1200-$1500 on outfits for a pageant where little girls prance around wearing too much make-up has an ugly child.
See, I have no problem with little girls, teenagers, or adults competing in beauty contests. I don’t think they are horrible events that objectify women and ruin the women’s rights movement. There are scholarships and other rewards for winners of beauty pageants. I don’t particularly like them either because they do seem to value beauty above everything else (even with the talent and question portions, an ugly girl wouldn’t have a shot). What troubles me is that the beauty all seems so fake.
Fake tans and hair pieces and glizty make-up and glittery costumes all give these little girls a look that is truly out of this world. I mean, seriously, why on earth does a 9 year-old need to wear a wig? And more make-up than Joan Rivers? These girls are beautiful without all that other junk, so why hide the natural adorableness behind a mass of curls, frills, and false lashes?
The mothers of pageant participants argue that the little girls like it. I guess they do, but then again, most 6 year-olds like wearing make-up and dressing up like princesses. Some of these little girls started competing in pageants at the age of three! What happened to the good ol’ days when a kid could be a kid?
And there were times when the girls on last night’s episode–Ashely and Brandi–clearly were not having fun. One of the girl’s kept messing up her dance steps for her talent routine. Her mother “encouraged” her little girl by yelling, “You’re gonna do it until you get it right.”
The girls didn’t really seem to care if they won (of course, their houses were already overflowing with trophies and ribbons. One mom was even making a quilt of award ribbons for her daughter). The mothers, however, were frantic as they primped and coached their daughters through the various elements of competition. If these wasn’t a reality show, I would have thought the whole thing was a spoof on the stereotypical pageant mother. I was scared to know they really do exist. Ack! Should you or anyone you know get attacked by a pageant mom, just throw a can of aerosol hairspray in the opposite direction and RUN!
(Then again, pageant directors seem pretty scary, too. Check out the video below.)