Toddlers & Tiaras & Eating Disorders ? (MAKE-UP #3)



Toddlers & Tiaras is an American reality television show that debuted on TLC in 2009. As controversial as it is, this show follows child beauty pageant participants and their families as the children prepare for their pageant shows. With its 5th season airing January 2012, as a society we must ask ourselves, what is this show teaching our girls? "Many experts agree that participation in activities that focus on physical appearance at an early age can influence teen and/or adult self-esteem, body image and self-worth. Issues with self-identity after a child "retires" from the pageant scene in her teens are not uncommon (Cartwright). To add to a young girl's troubles, some celebrities in the media also portray an unrealistic image of beauty, which can also fuel eating disorders for young girls and a small percentage of boys.

This article, by Dr. Cartwright gives a scientific explanation for the negative consequences of beauty pageants.

Why is there so much controversy around Toddlers & Tiara's? Well, for one, the girls wear skimpy costumes, also the pushy mom's on the show seem to only care about 'winning'. This causes the girls to have temper tantrums. Some might say this all makes for good television, but I think this show is a portrayal of where our society is heading. Girls as young as five begin dieting and worrying about gaining weight. This behavior and mind set will only lead to the development of eating disorders as they get older.

What can be done? Mother's really are the key player in teaching their daughters about healthy eating and exercise. What do you think?


Let me just say that the entire basis for these shows is a terrible idea. Toddlers should not be the least bit concerned about the way they look aside from being generally clean, they should be outside, playing with toys and making friends. The attitude created here is destructive because it bases a child's sense of self-worth solely on physical characteristics. As soon as these girls "retire", they will realize they have no skills, hobbies, or activities to turn to, like normal children do.

I agree that this show is a terrible idea. It's actually fairly sad. It is one thing to have certain ideas of beauty in our society (whether good or bad), but it is completely different to be trying to instill those ideals in 5 year old girls.

I've had a chance to watch this show a few different times and I find it to be ridiculous! One thing I have noticed (and not to sound mean) but most of the moms on this show are not very good looking or attractive and are overweight. I think that most of these mom's are living out their own lives in their child which is unhealthy both for them and their children. I think these mom's need to teach their little girls more important things to raise their self-esteem besides just looks.

I also agree that the show, conceptually, is a horrible idea. Not only because these children are put on display like show ponies but also because it puts the image and reputation of these families in the hands of the producers of this show. While I am sure that the footage that actually makes it to air, I am sure the produces had a strong hand in making the show controversial for one purpose, ratings. This is most certainly the same for all "reality" shows. Events are edited to seem more dramatic then they actually are and puts young girls in a state of being that most likely isn't accurate. I am interested to see what kind of effects this might have one those young girls.

I've seen this show before and it's curious to see. Not in a good way. Mothers are paying outrageous prices for hair, makeup, wigs, dresses, and people to mentor their 5 year old to teach them how to walk properly. There was a another controversy (within a controversy already) where one of the children were dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. For those who haven't seen it Julia Roberts is a prostitute in that movie. The outfit itself wasn't skimpy but the fact that the mother had her daughter dressed as a character playing a prostitute is just wrong. It's awful that many people enjoy watching this show for it to keep on playing...although these pageants won't ever go away. For all we know there could be worse people. Excellent topic of choice for your blog post. I agree with luhm0046 that mothers should be trying to teach their kids how to raise their self-esteem. Once they grow older they may lose all the attention and do anything to receive it or those that continue on will have future problems with trying to fit the perfect image.

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This page contains a single entry by hass0333 published on April 29, 2012 12:50 PM.

What people can really do was the previous entry in this blog.

Skeptical yet Reasonable is the next entry in this blog.

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