Monday, January 12, 2009

Sneak Peek of Series Premiere



The following is a reprint of this January 8, 2009 article with permission from Cafe Cynthia:

The new docu-series "Toddlers and Tiaras" premieres January 27, 10 p.m. on TLC, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the season opener today.

continued...

12 comments:

Serena said...

The following is a reprint of this January 8, 2009 article with permission from Cafe Cynthia:

The new docu-series "Toddlers and Tiaras" premieres January 27, 10 p.m. on TLC, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the season opener today.

Each week, the reality show will follow several contestants of different ages, including kids under 5, through the pageant scene. There's only one toddler in the first episode -- spunky 2 year old Ava Perez from Santa Rosa, Texas.

"We're sure she's going to grow up to be a mega superstar," says her dad, David, who makes all Ava's outfits, which are overflowing from the racks in her room. That toddler has five times as many clothes as I do, LOL!

The two other girls profiled are older -- 6 year old Rebecca, a Hannah Montana fan who wants to be a rock star, and 9 year old Meaghan, an aspiring gymnast. There's a scene showing Meaghan working with her coach at gymnastics class with her mother yelling at her to "follow through with that flip" underneath a sign that says "Parents, please do not coach your children."

The girls were all competing for a $5,000 prize in the Universal Royalty competition -- a glitz pageant that means the more diamonds, sparkles, wigs, hairpieces, and fake eyelashes the better.

Little Ava looked gorgeous, though she was more concerned with playing with her blankie than letting Daddy curl her hair for the big competition. When she bounded on stage in her glamorous silver gown with Mama, she twirled around, fell, got back up and waved to the audience.

This particular pageant had a category for moms -- so all three mommies worked the stage in bathing suits along with their daughters. Now that takes guts. One of the older girls even made a bet with her mom -- if she wins, she gets to go to the snake farm. If mom wins, daughter has to make her bed for a week.

Anyway, I found the show fascinating; It gave me a glimpse at a world I know very little about.

Wendy Bird said...

Thanks for the new blog. I will be watching the show. Some of my children were involved in dance and talent competitions when they were young, and often there were beauty pageants associated with them. (My children never took part in the beauty pageants.)

That whole scene is beyond belief. I was pleased to see that in the original special, no one except the child's parents, siblings and grandparents were allowed to watch the competition. When my children were younger, anyone could purchase a ticket to the pageants and watch these girls all made-up, flirting and winking at the judges, and often using very adult and seductive body language. This was all prior to the JonBenet Ramsey tragedy.

Thanks for posting the article, Serena and thanks to Cafe Cynthia for the sneak peek.

Serena said...

I was pleased to see that in the original special, no one except the child's parents, siblings and grandparents were allowed to watch the competition.

I agree that is an excellent change -- to bar outsiders from the audience. But now that Authentic Entertainment has wormed its way in to film these pageants, we are back to square one. And TLC will happily broadcast it worldwide. TLC has no conscience.

By the way, do you think your children gleaned all the benefits from their dance and talent competitions that some say these beauty pageants offer? In other words, do you think your children grew in self-confidence and poise even without participating in the beauty pageants?

Wendy Bird said...

Serena said:
By the way, do you think your children gleaned all the benefits from their dance and talent competitions that some say these beauty pageants offer? In other words, do you think your children grew in self-confidence and poise even without participating in the beauty pageants?


You know, I honestly don't know. They certainly gained some interesting experiences. One I am reminded of regularly, even though my daughter is now 24. Apparently I once burned her head with a curling iron at a competition.

My oldest is a boy, and he was the one who begged and begged to compete through his dance school. He did local and regional (less than an hours drive from our home) competitions from the time he was nine until about age 12 when he discovered dog shows. He has always been competitive and certainly has no problem with being in front of large groups of people. He was even a Jeopardy contestant a couple of years ago.

One daughter competed (and won) only once. She continued to dance and sing and perform, but in the theater, not in competitions. My other daughter competed twice and did well.

Again, I don't know what affect it had on them overall. They did point out the freaky-ness of the pageant girls' hair, and make-up.

All three of my children who competed in limited dance and talent competitions have grown up to be confident, kind and caring people. I doubt that it had much to do with the competitions, though.

I hope that I sort of answered your question, Serena.

I do agree with you about the show being broadcast makes the rules about who is allowed to be in the audience null and void. Yes, here we go again.

Serena said...

Thanks Wendy... that does sort of answer my question. I was just wondering because I often hear pageant moms defending their actions by saying that they're just trying to give their girls self-confidence and poise. I think there are TONS of ways for girls to get that without having to get tarted up and flirt with judges and strive to win a tiara as proof of their worth.

Wendy Bird said...

Serena said:
Thanks Wendy... that does sort of answer my question. I was just wondering because I often hear pageant moms defending their actions by saying that they're just trying to give their girls self-confidence and poise. I think there are TONS of ways for girls to get that without having to get tarted up and flirt with judges and strive to win a tiara as proof of their worth.


I agree with you...I didn't state it too well, but I know that my children had confidence long before their dance competitions, and continue to have it long after those few experiences. It is the parenting and their choices of appropriate ways to build their child's self-confidence that are going to have a positive effect. Trophies, tiara's, expensive clothes and accessories will not make a child feel more confident, especially if they are given ultimatums if they don't win "I spent all this money..." and rewards if they do (a cow???)

My daughter had a friend who did pageants. When this child was about six years old, someone mentioned the color of her hair and asked if it was dyed...the little girl's response was "no, it is my 'red shampoo.'" Ugh! What other crap were they feeding this child?

Thanks, again, for this blog, Serena. I will post more when the series starts.

Serena said...

Thanks, Wendy. If you would consider it, I may invite you to write something for the blog... I think the perspective of someone who has experience with pageants would be helpful to offering a wide range of views.

I think there are some reasonable, sane people involved, but the ones that worry me are the crazies who have all sorts of harmful motivations for having their kids jump through these hoops.

zoey said...

I already know this is going to be another Horrible show.
how disgusting to put on fake teeth tons of make up a hair piece and gross dresses when you are so small.
why would any grown woman allow a child to participate in this.
there is nothing remotely cute about any of this.

Wendy Bird said...

Serena,

So sorry it has taken me several days to get back to you. I would be happy to write something for the blog. Although my children have never been involved in pageants, we were exposed to them while they were involved with dance competitions.

My daughters were both involved in professional theatre productions while growing up, I have some insight there as far as auditions, etc. I am not sure how these experiences would transfer to my writing about pageants, but I would be happy to try.

Serena said...

Wendy - no problem. If you wouldn't mind emailing me at serenaleighbell@yahoo.com I can send you several ideas you could pick from for something to write, if any of them appeal to you and you think you'd be able to address them. Thanks!

Lesbian Mommies and Chubby winners! said...

I found the first airing of this special to be interesting and disturbing at the same time. I was intrigued to see an African American family with two mommies and two competing daughters! I thought that this was a great spin on the face of pagentry. I was also pleased to see little Bella compete and win the second highest title in the whole pagent. I was happy to hear that her weight was not a factor yet a bit troubled to hear that they may have to diet in the future. The other mother/daughters were rather typical to the pagent scene so they weren't that interesting to me. However, for the first two that I mentioned, I think that it probably will instill confidence and courage for their "non-traditional" backgrounds/family/overall look.

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