Keep beauty pageants out of reach of children

Every Wednesday night on TLC, “Toddlers & Tiaras” showcases the competitive world of child pageants, as three families have their children judged on beauty, personality, and their “costumes.” On an episode that aired on Sept. 9, one of the toddler contestants walked on stage wearing a prostitute outfit with a yellow wig, high leather boots, and a mini-dress that showed her midriff.

The three-year-old toddler was trying to look like Julia Roberts’ character from “Pretty Woman.”

The outfit that the tot wore was extremely disturbing to many viewers. Who wants to see a toddler dressed as a prostitute? I don’t, as I’m sure most wouldn’t either.

The toddler’s mother, Wendy Dickey, told US Weekly magazine, in an interview, "I'm raising my child just as well as any mother does … I take my kid to church every week."

Here’s the thing, Mrs. Dickey. Just because you are taking your child to church doesn't mean that you are raising her the “right way.”

Many parents have different standards and expectations when raising their children, but I'm sure that most parents want their children to be smart and not just “pretty” and stuck up.

After watching this particular episode, not only was I nauseous from the message it represented, but I was also surprised at how ignorant and logically inept the parents were.

These girls are dressed to look older, wearing makeup and hair-dos that make their faces look like that of a 20-year-old.

These are toddlers that should be playing hide-and-seek in the park and should not be strutting on-stage in skimpy outfits. It is repulsive; these are children’s bodies decked out in glitter and tights, sexually exposing them on television.

Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council, wrote an article for the CNN website, stating that “instead of creating ratings-friendly buzz, TLC engendered outrage among millions of parents and grandparents who are tired of seeing children exploited for ratings and robbed of their innocence by a greedy entertainment industry that will stop at nothing to make a buck.”

The mothers of these toddlers are very pushy and want them to be in a pageant more than the girls themselves want it; it’s obviously helping the mothers fulfill some kind of self-indulged dream. Not to mention, these mothers get a lot of attention when their child steals the spotlight.

Being pampered and always the center of attention, these toddlers have very bad tempers.

They always have to get what they want, which is something that makes them come across as snobby, stuck-up children. This is one of the main problems that stems from these children’s beauty pageants.

These girls aren’t living a real childhood, but instead they’re living in a make-believe world where they can pretend that the whole world revolves around them and their needs.

They aren't learning life-lessons, morals, or self-respect, which are the most important things a woman needs.

Instead, these toddlers are learning that beauty is all that counts and that to look beautiful, fake hair and teeth are needed, along with lots of make-up and skimpy clothes.

Imagine what these little girls are going to be like when they get older. Some may be clueless may need a bitter reality check. Others may think that the only way to be accepted in this world is to be perfectly presentable to everyone and to always wear a ton of make-up and hairspray.

The point is that looks aren’t going to get you accepted into college or give you the fundamental knowledge that is needed to succeed in life.

I’m not saying that all of them will grow this way, but many will live life based on how they were raised and by the environment they were exposed to throughout their childhood.

A lot of people have very strong opinions about little girls being in beauty pageants. As I see it, it’s a very sad and terrible lifestyle for a child to start off on at such a young age.

Not only are these pageants taboo but they also attract the wrong kind of attention.

This series on television only shows how ignorant people can be. Being pretty may be a plus, but what about intelligence? As Judge Judy said, “beauty fades, dumb is forever.”