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Aug. 30, 2011

"Toddlers and Tiaras" sets a whole new image for the pageant world

by Stacy Mathew, Online Opinions and Features Editor
Big hair, glitzy dresses, golden tans, bright makeup and fake nails - this is only the beginning of the preparation a contestant must go through to successfully compete at a pageant. Along with the looks and the outfit, the girls also need a fierce walk, a charming personality and talent that can blow the judges away. When people think of pageant contestants, they usually see a tall, slim young lady. Well, thanks to TLC, that image has changed to a small, chubby, five-year-old girl.

Pageant pros Eden Wood (left) and Makenzie Myers (right) have been seen multiple times on TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras." Courtesy of
Pageant pros Eden Wood (left) and Makenzie Myers (right) have been seen multiple times on TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras."
TLC aired its sixth season of "Toddlers and Tiaras" this summer and it became an instant hit. The show follows young girls and their families as they prepare for national, local or state pageants. The cameras capture drama behind stage and show on-stage performances, as the judges decide who will take home the crown.

Contestants as young as six months compete against each other for the Ultimate Grand Supreme title, which yields about as much power as the average "line-leader" in preschool or kindergarten. The glamour and natural born talent required to be successful in a pageant calls for a standing ovation for these young girls. With dresses ranging from $500-1000, routines that require several hours in a day of practice, the ridiculous drama that ensues throughout the competition, and of course, the hundreds of adorable faces, how could one resist watching "Toddlers and Tiaras"?

However, many people actually detest watching the show. In fact, many people would rather watch anything but "Toddlers and Tiaras." The show attracts a lot of negative attention for the racy talent routines, the revealing dresses and outfits, the rude attitudes, and of course, the crazy mothers of the contestants.

The reason such negative attention has been brought to the show is because it looks like the mothers are pushing their little girls way too far and forcing them to take pageants too seriously for their age. Some mothers are captured on the show forcing their daughters to practice until the routine is absolutely perfect, even when the daughter is desperate to take a nap or simply play. Other mothers are seen spending $500 on a dress for the pageant, partly because dresses shouldn’t be worn repetitively - an unspoken pageant rule. A shocking $10,000 is easily spent on a girl who has been doing pageants since the age of six months up to the age of four, which applies to many of the girls on the show.

However, Toddlers and Tiaras isn’t entirely made of black magic. Thousands tune into TLC every Wednesday at 10 to watch young girls, and sometimes even boys, compete for the crown. The hard work and determination of the girls is admired by many as well as their beautiful faces and graceful walk. "Toddlers and Tiaras" has given viewers an entire new perspective of the
pageant world. People are now familiar with young pageant stars such as Eden Wood, who has retired from the pageant world at the age of six, and Makenzie Myers. While the show is seen as a complete disgrace to some, it is also considered just as entertaining as “Jersey Shore” for others.

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  • armani (View Email) on August 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    I personally like the show toddlers and tiaras. it teaches the girls discipline while they get to dress up like little princesses. But yea i do think that the mothers go too far at times.
    • nope! on September 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM
      the show is terrible!
      -end game.
  • ballerinamom (View Email) on September 6, 2011 at 6:21 PM
    I admit I watch this show because I find the mothers completely outrageous but time and time again I am apalled by their complete lack of awareness to the fact that pedophiles must tune in to this show in droves. The things they allow their child to do in those pageants with all of the perverted dads/uncles/judges watching, not to mention the ones watching it from their living room and online is akin to burying your head in the sand. Wake up, people--pedophilia is a huge epidemic in this country. If these mothers think some degenerate isn't getting cheap thrills looking at their precious son or daughter then they need to get a clue. I couldn't even imagine allowing my child to be exploited in that way. And don't even get me started on that kid, Brock. If you google "toddlers and tiaras," that kid comes up as the number one search. He was a pedophile's dream. It's just sad.
  • EsteeDarla (View Email) on October 18, 2011 at 2:49 PM
    Hopefully they don't bring mackenzie myers back and bring kids on that deserve to be on and have a chance to be seen and heard,mackenzie and her family need to russias on adjusting her attitude, that lil devil was in line pulling other kids hair pieces out biting them anything she could do to mess thier look up so she looked better how does she know to do that I wonder thats why eden wood is sky rocketing with all the fame cuz she works for it not trois to stall it and buy it like the mackinzie n family do.the only reason mackenzie kept trying to hang around eden wood is cause eden was the one everyone was chasing to get pictures of, so mackenzie little bratty selfish manipultive wasways was let me hang with eden chastise now one will so rudely knock her out the picture cuz she's a kid sup in that way mackenzie gets in the high profile edens pictures.juana and mackenzie take your ni ni that hard working lady she has over a blundered of them hmmm go back and crawl back under the rock that you crawled out from your a pathetic kid and your parents are too for allowing it.Go Eden Wood
    • Laura Kaminsky (View Email) on October 20, 2011 at 11:45 PM
      Estee Darla, I'm guessing your either an 10 year old girl, or a seriously sick adult. It's extremely wrong to be bashing on a 5 year old child. Do you think that anyone will listen to your little rant? It's very obvious you have not passed elementary school, (please check your spelling). I also felt very compelled to point out that you have just participated in cyber bullying. I'm not sure if you know but cyber bullying is a huge issue and is not to be taken lightly. Children have done horrible things because they have been bullied online. I'm trying very hard to inform young people of the negative effects of cyber bullying. Please don't say a child is bratty, selfish, and manipulative because those are very hurtful words. I hope you think about what convinced you to write this, and what made you feel these emotions.
      I recently graduated from Cornell with a degree in child phycology.
      if anyone has any questions of the effects of pageants or would simply like any information on cyber bullying and its effect please feel free to contact me.
      • Shlieka (View Email) on December 7, 2011 at 9:45 PM
        Strong words there Laura, especially for someone who has graduated from a well-ranked private institution with a degree in child psychology (it seems that you too are capable of spelling mistakes). You speak about the negative effects of cyber bullying, but seem to assume that it applies only to children. Cyber bullying takes place amongst adults as well, and you clearly also bashed Estee Darla in the beginning of your response. If she was indeed a 10 year old girl, then you would have bashed the response of a 10 year old girl, taking part in the same kind of cyber bullying you were trying to discourage. Furthermore, if Estee Darla is an adult, there's no reason to call her a sick adult who hasn't passed elementary school based on her spelling. You may have had the privilege of attending Cornell, but perhaps she hasn't been afforded those same privileges in her life. Education, especially a good one, is a privilege that not everyone has access to. Making fun of someone, who may not have been as fortunate as you in their education , is just as disrespectful as her rant about a 5 year old child.
  • Jo (View Email) on December 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM
    I only like watching Eden in Toddlers and Tiaras because she is well-behaved in the show and her dresses and props outsmarts the other girls ( because Mickie puts a lot of effort for Eden to win the pageant, as well as Eden herself). I only like seeing the nice girls in the show like Alexis-Jade's mum.
  • Alicia (View Email) on October 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM
    OMG!!!!!!! i LOVE Makenzie Myers she is sooooo pretty...she is just like me(:
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