Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toddlers & Tiaras

TLC has a reality TV show called "Toddlers and Tiaras." In it, you see young children, some months-old babies, perform in pageants, egged on by their frustrated, manic parents, dressed in age-inappropriate and extremely tacky outfits that cost thousands of dollars. Many of the parents apparently sacrifice their lives for this obsession that they claim the children are also keen on. The children however, seem to be operating under duress. Also, the families don't seem to be wealthy, so the costs incurred in competing seem to be an unwise expense. If this isn't a sign of Armaggedon, and of the decline of the US Empire (not that there's anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say), I don't know what is.

Young girl dressed up like a Eastern European hooker, didn't they learn from Joan Benet Ramsey? Hair pieces, spray painted tans, fake nails and lashes are all part of the grooming. The routines are quite sleazy in some cases, I just saw (and had to turn off) one episode where a little girl was dressed like a cop, complete with dangling cuffs on her bedazzled uniform, and threatened to "arrest" the rapt panel of judges. Another one in a bikini pointed her finger beckoning the adults, egged on by her mother who was mirroring her movements to make sure the little baby got the moves right.

Seriously, as those three or four of you that read this blog know, I have an extremely high tolerance, indeed affinity with, extremely campy cultural manifestations, often viewed by most as in vary poor taste. And I have a major fascination with "reality TV." But even I don't think I can stomach this stuff.

Two infants "performing" in a pageant

Here's the website for the program: