The Parents on Toddlers & Tiaras. This one was suggested by a reader. I had never seen the show before and I had to go out on the web to see what all the hullabaloo was about. All I can say is: OMG. These people have named their children: Lynsie, Mercedes, Brittanie, Ashley-Noelle and Morghan. Need I say more? You know how I feel about people who give their kids ridiculous names with even more ridiculous spellings.
Have you watched this show? It is a train wreck. It typifies everything that is wrong with America.
All right, I'll give you the rundown. Each episode is basically the same. You've got Brittanie (aged 2-6) who lives in some tiny, crappy town in the south that no one has ever heard of. Her dad works long hours at a factory and her mom's full time job is "managing" Brittanie's pageant career. Brittanie has other siblings who are completely ignored and/or neglected except when Brittanie needs someone to practice her dance routine with or she needs an audience for her painful rendition of "God Bless America."
There is always a shot of Brittanie's small room in her tiny house that is FULL of enormous crowns and trophies she has won over the years. These trophies are 6 freaking feet tall. Mom is there telling us how many times Brittanie has won over the years. The judges "can't get enough of her." And then the question of prize money comes up. How much does Brittanie make when she wins? Oh, well there's always some money. Yeah, usually about $150 plus gift cards to Denny's and a free oil change care of Larry's Lube. But don't forget those beautiful trophies! Those are real crystaline, crystal-type crystals, dontchaknow? Really, though, Brittanie doesn't do it for the money. She does it for... And this is where the mom always says the usual B.S. like "poise...confidence...grace...the ability to overcome shyness"...and of course, "college scholarships." Who are you kidding, Mom? Let's face it, you're not hoping for a college scholarship, you've got your hopes pinned on Brittanie taking over where Miley Cyrus has left off. My favorite mom, though, was the one who wants to her daughter to compete in pageants so she can be a lady, love God and know how to please her husband someday - just like Momma does. WTF?? Do they teach that at the pageants??? That sounds illegal to me.
Now, Mom's getting a bad rap here and I don't mean to exclude the horrible role Dad plays in all of this, because after all, pageantry is a family affair. Dad tells Brittanie that she's got her mother's bushy eyebrows and he's going to shave them before the pageant. So he sits Brittanie down at the kitchen table and shaves her eyebrows with a Bic! The whole time he's shaving her, he's telling her what a shame she got Mom's bushy eyebrows. 'Cause his are so delicate!?! Nothing like giving your 2-6 year old a complex already! Good job, Dad.
Once Brittany's brows are groomed it's time for hair and makeup. She usually goes to the local Kut 'n' Kurl where she's made to look like an extra in a porno film from the 1990s. Insane! She goes in with pigtails and a Mickey Mouse shirt and comes out with extensions, falsies (eyelashes not boobs), and a Vegas show girl outfit.
Ahhh, this brings me to the outfits! My favorite part of the show is what these whackjobs PAY for these outfits! Hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars! And these outfits are RIDICULOUS! One girl looks like a deck of playing cards - only sexier and covered in sequins. Or a sexy cowgirl. They take perfectly cute ideas like Raggedy Ann or a puppy dog and then sex and sequin it up - on a toddler. I don't know how they do it. It's an art - truly. And one of the artists really amazed me. By day she's a local bus driver in BFE and drives Brittanie to school, but by night she is a magical seamstress who can whip up outfits that transform Brittanie into a pedophile's dream.
Finally, it's pageant day. Brittanie is groomed, coiffed and cinched into her costume and she's ready to compete. She's back in her Motel 6 room (the pageant is in the main conference room) getting into the zone: sipping Mountain Dew through a bendy straw and telling her mother that she is going on in 10 minutes and she'd better find the f-ing CD that she's supposed to sing to. WTF???? That sweet little Mickey Mouse-wearing toddler has transformed into a Pageant Diva. Cut to Mom in the confessional: "Well, Brittanie got a little mad, because I did lose the CD. Y'know she works so hard and she's such a professional when it comes time to get on stage that these little outbursts backstage aren't such a big deal. (Nervous laughter). I guess we kind of created a little monster. (Nervous laughter again.) But she's soooo pretty."
It's go time! Dad is in the audience with ignored siblings video taping. Creepy, pedophile looking guy is peering over his shoulder watching the girls through the zoom lens. Does he even have a kid in the show??
Brittanie's up. She takes the stage with her robotic, choreographed movements where she turns like she's on one of those turning daises they have cars on at the dealership. Her smile is plastered on her face with Super Glue and her eyes are hard and flinty - and a bit dead. Her brows look great though - good job, Dad!
The judges show no emotion as they write down their scores. The pressure is maddening! Mom tears into a Snicker bar. Brittanie sucks down another Mountain Dew.
Talent competition. Brittanie puts on her sexy teapot outfit and sings "Be Our Guest" from Beauty & The Beast. The audience loves her splits at the end (Try doing that in a teapot costume, Morghan!).
The judges show a hint of a smile.
Finally, it's time to announce the winners. Remember how this is the generation that never loses? There are never any winners or losers at their soccer games, etc.? Well, pageants are no different. There are TONS of winners and their titles all sound like complete nonsense (Miss All-American Smile Ages 18mos - 2 years, Mr. Most Handsome Ages 3-4, Miss Overall All-American Smile and Friendly Disposition Ages 12 mos - 17 mos). Brittanie sits quietly through all the "loser" winners and is waiting for the big one: Mega-Overall-Super-Duper-All-American Smile and Friendly Disposition Queen of the South Region of Sun Valley Inc. Pageants. The winner will receive a 7 foot trophy, a 3 foot crown, $500 and a framed certificate. This is it, folks, drum roll please......
Brittanie cries, Mom cries, Dad wipes a tear and pedophile guy snaps a ton of photos.
We end our episode with Brittanie back home in her little room with pig tails and Mickey Mouse again. She's got her new enormous trophy and crown in her room and Mom is dusting them. Mom tells us that she's so proud of Brittanie. Brittanie rolls her eyes at Mom and looks like she wants to punch her in the throat.