Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pageant Moms and Michael Vick

Fans of the Inklings facebook page know that a few weeks ago I discovered Toddlers and Tiaras for the first time.
Courtesy of Georgetown Indy

Someone please tell me why no one has given these mothers Shaken Mother Syndrome yet. What in the hell is wrong with them?

I'm jumping ahead of myself, aren't I? I'll start with a story- a confessional.

I was in a pageant once. Yep, you read that right, Tatted Mom was in a pageant. This is a part of me that not too many people know about (past high school, that is), so I'm just pulling some skeletons out today. I won my local, small town teen pageant in 1994. Yes, I got a tiara and a sash that said, 'Miss 1994 Teen Stick-in-the-Woods-Town' (not the name of my hometown, but y'all get the idea), and trophies. Yes, I still have them. No, I won't put them on and take a current picture, sorry.

Of the different categories I participated in, the one I'm most proud of winning wasn't even the overall pageant. It was the 'Miss Personality' category. I rock in the category of personality, and I have a trophy to prove it, so Ha!

Anyway, me being in a pageant isn't what you think. A friend of mine was big into the pageant scene, and for some reason couldn't compete that year. Her parents wanted to still be a part of the pageant that year, so they sponsored me to go compete in her place. I was a soccer playing tomboy, not a girlie pageant girl. I did it anyway, and just to show you how much of a non-pageant person I was, when it came to the end of the pageant and they announced the winner, they first did it by the number we had pinned to us. I was number 6, and when they announced second runner up and first runner up and neither was me, I thought, 'Hmph, I didn't even place. Oh, well.' Then, they announced the winner of the Miss Teen pageant as contestant number 6, and I just kept clapping  like I had for the second and first runner ups. That's when I noticed everyone in the audience was looking at me and my mom was going crazy. I had to look down and see that I was contestant number 6. Yeah, that really happened.

To further my 'I'm not a pageant girl' evidence, the next year I had to give the crown away to the new winner. I didn't even make the main pageant part because I was at a soccer game. We had to leave the soccer game, haul ass to the school where the pageant was being held, me, covered in sweat, and changing in the back seat of the car while my mom drove, to get there in time to jump on stage (hair just thrown backin a sweaty pony tail) and crown the new winner. She was a pageant girl. She went on to the state competition. I went back to playing soccer.

So, my rant that follows today isn't based on an outside perspective. I've been there, done that. I had a girl in
tears that year, because it was supposed to be her year to finally win. I guess she had been participating for the better part of 6 years (I was 13 at the time, she was 14 I believe) and had always come in 2nd place. Everyone was saying she was going to win that year, and then I came along- tomboy, didn't really care about the pageant scene- I see now why she was crushed, and while it's an amazing story for me to tell people (and they all react with 'What? You were in a pageant? Get the f*ck out of town.'), I never realized how seriously people take that stuff and how much it damaged her. (She went on to win 2 years later, I believe.)

By today's standards, I'm sure my little 13 year old ass would have been killed. Seriously, think about it. These women take it so seriously, put so much time and effort into it, to have their daughter lose to a first timer who wasn't a pageant person... I would have been taken out so the first runner up could take my spot.

I know it's been said a thousand times before, but I'm going to say it again. The moms on Toddlers & Tiaras have to be washed up pageant queens (or wanna be pageant queens that never quite made it) that are living through their daughters, right? What on earth would possess a woman to put her daughter through all of that bullshit, at such an early age, to such an extreme extent? These kids had fake smiles called 'flippers' for crying out loud. What's wrong with a 6 year old having her 2 front teeth missing for a pageant? She's 6. That shit happens to a 6 year old.

I spend my days as a mom trying not to focus on how large my ass has gotten or how to flip my perspective to love my large ass, so that my daughter learns to love her body and has a positive body image. I spend my days as a mom fixing healthy foods as much as possible to teach my kids healthy eating habits, but also baking butterscotch chip cookies with them because they are kids and can (and should) eat fun things kids eat. I spend my days as a mom playing games with the kids and giving them a run for their money so they know that they can't win at everything and to teach them how to lose gracefully.

I don't spend my days as a mom so caught up on physical looks that it drives a 6 year old to talk shit about how 'fat' another 6 year old is and how they will definitely win over that kid. I don't spend my days as a mom keeping my 7 year old on a strict diet so they can fit into their pageant clothes I dropped $10,000 on. I don't spend my days as a mom teaching my kids that winning is everything and to win at all costs.

These women aren't real mothers. I'm sorry, but they aren't.

Scratch that. By definition, they are mothers, but they don't 'mother' their children.

From Google...

moth·er/ˈməT͟Hər/

Noun:
A woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.
Verb:
Bring up (a child) with care and affection: "the art of mothering".

These women, while they birthed these daughters, are not caring for their children, are not showing these children a world of love and affection; they are not mothering their babies. They are showing their children how to snub, and act arrogant, and base their self-worth on the number of trophies they have. They are pitting their children against each other like fighting dogs...

Hey, didn't Michael Vick get put in jail for raising and training dogs to win at all costs? I understand comparing these pageant moms to a dog fighter might be a little extreme, but maybe it'll take an extreme like this to wake people the f*ck up.

Nah, it won't, and I know it won't. These women will continue on, putting their daughters into pageants as soon as they can walk, pulling out second and third mortgages on their homes to fund $5,000 dresses and hire an agent for their 4 year old. And, they'll continue with, 'We're doing it to put money into her college fund,' or 'She absolutely loves pageants' to make themselves sleep better at night.

Courtesy of Bellenews.com
Honey, if you didn't win the crown 20 years ago, having your 2 year old win isn't going to be the same. There, I just saved you $10,000 in pageant costs and a few years of therapy. Let your 2 year old be a 2 year old for crying out loud. If you want to invest in her future, spend $10,000 on a private tutor for her, or for a year at a private school that focuses on math and science. Build her brain, not her ego.

While the show as a whole pissed me off (and for the record, I did not turn the TV onto the show; my sister and I were watching some wedding show, and Toddlers & Tiaras came on after it, while I was cooking dinner), I have to say the mother (and entire hair styling staff she had hired) who was literally holding her 3 year old down to get her hair ready for the pageant, while the child screamed and cried, got under my skin the most. 'She loves pageants, she's just being a little diva today' the mom kept saying, over and over again. A 3 year old can't be a diva you crazy bitch. She can be a 3 year old that doesn't want to compete in pageants, though.

Personally, I don't think pageants should have contestants younger than 13. If, at the age of 13, a girl decides that she wants to put her self-confidence and appearance on the line against other girls, then sobeit. They are old enough to make that decision, to understand the consequence, and to possibly not be completely shattered by not winning. Any girls younger than that are entirely too vulnerable and impressionable, and base too much of their self-worth on whether or not they won that last pageant.

And anyone putting a baby or toddler into a pageant needs to be brought up on child abuse charges, especially if the child doesn't want to be in the pageant (like little miss 'diva' above). If Michael Vick pled guilty to 'Sponsoring a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture' for raising and training dogs to be pitted against each other, to win no matter what, then why isn't there a charge of 'Sponsoring an Extremely Underaged Child in a Child Exploitation Venture' for these pageant moms? And yes, I understand Michael Vick also admitted to disposing of some dogs that were no longer fit to compete (aka killing them), and I'm hoping these moms aren't killing anyone in the name of pageantry, but they are metaphorically killing their daughter's childhood and innocence. These little girls are no longer girls; they are teenagers and grown women trapped in pre-teen bodies, and they are disrespectful to adults and other girls.

How about last year when pageant mom Kerry Campbell admitted, on national television, to using botox on her 8 year old for pageants. From what I've found, she lost custody of her daughter, but no criminal action was ever taken against her. Why wasn't she jailed for child abuse?

This crap needs to stop, and these moms held accountable for their actions. The pageant laws need to be changed to hinder facilitation of child exploitation, especially for the young children who are not making the decision themselves to be in a pageant, but are being forced by their mothers. And these mothers need to be put into mandatory therapy so they can get out their feelings of inadequacy and get past that pageant they didn't win when they were 8, instead of trying to reenact the scenario with their child in an effort to live vicariously through them and get that crown.

We, as a nation, need to stop supporting this shit. I happened upon an episode because we didn't change the channel, but I will never turn this crap on, on purpose. That would just boost their ratings, showing them that America supports it, giving them larger funding to exploit more kids. Negative or positive press, it's still supporting these crazy non-mothers.

And, extreme or not, I stand by comparing these pageant moms to Michael Vick. If he got sent to jail for endangering the lives of dogs, then pageant moms like those on Toddlers & Tiaras need to be brought up on child endangerment charges. These children look up to their mothers for guidance, for answers to the questions they have about themselves and the world around them. If these mothers can't be positive role models for their children, and mother them, then something needs to change.

If nothing else, we need to pit all of these fat ass, low self esteem pageant moms against each other in a pageant and pick apart their hair, body, outfit, talent, public speaking ability and smile, like they set their daughters up to do. Get judges in there like me, who will 'critique' them up one side and down the other and not allow them to speak to defend themselves. That would be a good starting point on how to deal with these women.

Let me know what y'all think below!


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5 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more! A while back I overheard few of my friends talking about Toddlers and Tiaras, so I decided to watch an episode. I cannot believe there are really women like this in the world. Those poor kids need someone to look after their best interests, not parade them around like puppets. I don't think I'd ever watch the show again.

    I do, however, keep up with Dance Moms. It's in the same genre as Toddlers and Tiaras, but the girls are older, and I can stomach the moms' behavior/terrible parenting since the kids are actually learning a skill. The kids on this show are ridiculously talented, but the moms! Geez, they act like badly behaved teenagers! Maybe they act over the top when the cameras are on or something...but either way, they should focus more on being a good role model for their poor kids.

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    1. I have never watched Dance Moms because I figured it was just like Toddlers and Tiaras. Plus, just the commercials with that large lady who is always wearing black, annoy the hell out of me so I'm not sure if I could stomach a whole show, lol.

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    2. lol! Abby (she's the large lady in black) is pretty annoying for sure. Honestly, I think I only watch for the last ten minutes or so when the kids compete. It's just amazing how talented they all are to be so young.

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  2. hate this show completely agree with you!!

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  3. I love this show because it's a hot mess. But I would be ok if it went off the air, as I would never DREAM of doing any of that to/for my daughter.

    Also, the moms and daughters picture is cracking my shit up because of the look on the face of the lady in the pink and the motorcycle mom looks like she's pulling the strings on a marionette daughter who's playing a harmonica. (I am looking at this on an iPhone. I don't know if the latter is accurate or not.)

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