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.
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?