Toddlers and Tiaras presents degrading image of young girls

Toddlers and Tiaras presents degrading image of young girls

For most young girls their days are consumed with art projects, playing outside with friends and ballet classes. But for the children on The Learning Channel’s show, Toddlers and Tiaras, life is a beauty pageant filled with caked-on make-up and false teeth. Toddlers and Tiaras is damaging, not only to the contestants, but also to the thousands of other girls watching the show and to society as a whole. Toddlers and Tiaras leads its young contestants to develop a poor self-image and low self esteem.

From the ages of two to ten, children are especially impressionable and will come to believe any ideas presented to them by their parents and other role models. Displaying girls as objects to be judged by their appearance enforces the idea that women have nothing to offer aside from exterior beauty and will ultimately cause the girls to hold these degrading beliefs throughout their lives. Growing up with these out-dated and prejudiced ideas about women will lead contestants to be less ambitious in life. Young girls must be taught that their worth lies beyond their physical appearance. In order to create a progressive society, young girls’ talents, abilities and morals must be valued.

Moreover, losing the various pageants they are entered in may cause the girls to develop insecurities and worry that they are less attractive or less desirable than the other contestants. At such a young age, no child should be forced to consider these issues, which may permanently damage his or her psychological health. According to National Purchase Diary Group, girls from eight to twelve years of age spend more than $40 million per year on cosmetics.

Such young girls should not be concerned with changing their appearance to live up to society’s expectations before they have physically developed into women. Toddlers and Tiaras is also detrimental in that it promotes shallow, mindless broadcasting among other networks in addition to TLC and sets a negative precedent for children watching the show. Instead of enforcing shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, which promote inappropriate behavior in children, TLC and other powerful networks should be refusing to air them because of the ultimate effect they will have on the thousands watching at home. Children will begin to believe that the behavior they see on television is normal and will attempt to imitate the beauty pageant contestants, enlarging the number of young girls affected by the perverse moral environment of the show.

According to the national organization Children Now, girls who were surrounded by the “ideal” images of beauty presented by the media said they wanted to look like someone on television. With eating disorders escalating among young girls, it is contemptible to witness young girls presenting themselves as pageant queens with hair extensions, fake bras and makeup. Toddlers and Tiaras uncovers a life of stage moms and daughters who obsess over winning narcissistic competitions. Broadcasting Toddlers and Tiaras presents shallow values, as well as leadsto significant psychological issues for participants. •