Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tiaras, Tears and Awesome TV

I dream of sparkles, lace and diamonds, hairspray wafting though the air and the chaotic frenzy of a team of doting women stressing over hair, make-up and nails. I want the full glitz and the fake teeth; I want to be on Toddlers and Tiaras!

TLC seems to have run out of already obscure ideas for television shows. You would think after a line-up of shows focused on families with an obscene amount of children, the creation of cakes, cupcakes or chocolate, those of short stature, or any combination thereof, there could not be any worse programming. Alas, they have done it by airing a show focusing on delusional mothers living vicariously through their young children parading around in feathers, sparkles and a spray on tan only the cast of Jersey Shore would be proud of.

These pageants are held in back rooms of hotels that make the Waco La Quinta look like a four start resort. With dark lighting, a small stage and a backdrop that looks like it was painted by drunk elves, its no wonder the crowd it brings out has the grammatical accuracy of a third grader – and I am talking about the moms, not the children. These contestants range in age from 10 months to adult, yes adult. The day always seems to start with the mom stressing out about the “glitz” range of the event. Is it low glitz – or over made up flower girl? Is it medium glitz – reminiscent of a young, under developed Dolly Parton? Or - my favorite - full glitz? To be able to compete in full glitz, you better be ready to bust out the fake teeth, weave of curls and a dress that makes a Vegas dancer swoon.

Behind every little pageant girl is an over obsessive, competitive and ridiculously intrusive stage mom. They choreograph their child’s act, dance behind the judging panel to remind their daughter of the Brittney Spears inspired dance moves or don their own floor length formal dress to compete along side her youngster in the attempt to fulfill her wildest dreams. They congregate in groups and gossip about the other competitors’ mistakes, and bring complete “beauty teams” to cover up their five year old's facial flaws. They grasp hands with other mothers and cry tears of joy when their daughter manages to walk 5 yards across a stage dressed a dollar store Barbie. They do all this in the pursuit of a crown and a title or maybe the possibility of landing their kid a spot on a future season of Celebrity Rehab.

Speaking of the crown and title, the awards ceremony is the dumbest part of this ostentatious money trap of a hobby. Somehow everyone manages to walk away with some gaudy, rein stone encrusted crown or title. I sure pity the girl who wins best hair, I mean come on, its probably not even real and most time it looks like they stuck their finger in a socket. Another personal favorite: “Best Personality” for the 8-12 month age division. This seems like an obscure category to judge. How can personality be judged on sleeping, slobbering or pooping?

These pageants are not for the girls, they are for the moms who dream of being able to fit in single digit sized dresses and not have to mask their natural hair color with drug store quality dye. So to all the mothers out there parading their children around in rainbow sherbet inspired balls of tulle, I give you the award of “Most Likely to be Raising a Future Playboy Bunny.”

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