‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ promotes negative fantasies

Shannon Galvin, Staff Writer

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be in beauty pageants—mostly because I wanted to be a princess. I loved the sparkly gowns and crowns and the thought of a distant prince charming. But as I grew up, I learned I was meant to do more with myself than smile and wave in parades. TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras,” however, seems to believe feminism is a waste of time and little girls should be spending their energy on becoming the “princesses” society wants.

Not only does the show give beauty pageants a bad name, but these spoiled six-year-olds are the farthest thing from princesses. In fact, I would describe them more as the ugly step-sister I love to hate. In the real world, the girls who do win are smart and beautiful, not just eye-candy.

The girls on the show may seem cute and innocent, but under all that glitter and makeup are the makings for the mean girls that would make Lindsay Lohan proud. The girls treat everyone around them, family and friends, as if they are personal servants, there to accomodate her every desire. The worst part: the mothers not only accept the horrible behavior, but actually endorse it. One girl threatened to hit her mother, and she just laughed it off as if the daughter had done something cute.

The outfits that the girls of “Toddlers & Tiaras” wear appear almost as atrocious as the girls’ behavior. A typical episode features the young girls dressing extremely promiscuously, best exemplified in the “Vegas” episode. The girls dressed up like the stereotypical Vegas show girl, baring more skin than any child ever should on television. Short skirts, tight tops, and feather boas are not only inappropriate for toddlers, but for anyone who portrays themselves as princesses.

As national television stars, the girls of “Toddlers & Tiaras” undoubtedly play the part of role models for children who watch the show. Wouldn’t it be wise to give girls real, less bratty stars to idolize?