No. Just wrong.

And that’s not just me being judgmental.

A pageant mother put her 8-year-old on an all-fruit crash diet so that she could fit into her $1,200 custom-made pageant dress on the egregious television show, “Toddlers & Tiaras.”

Not that I need to tell you, but here are some dietary recommendations for children from the American Heart Association. See any all-fruit diets there? No. Me, either.

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13 responses to “No. Just wrong.

  1. Jon-Benet Ramsay, deja vu all over again.

    • Why can’t parents see that? Why sexualize little girls like this? I assume there are similar pageants for little boys. Same deal. Let them be kids, you freaks. I don’t say that with love.

  2. Look at the mommas in the clips! They are the ones that need diets. The little girl is of normal, healthy weight.

    Beauty pageants for children? Urg.

  3. Child abuse? Do you think TLC provides counseling for these girls to undo the damage? Then there is the audience of pageant moms that is pressuring their little girls to be good enough to one day be on TV, too.

    This is another show that should be taken off the air and I have no qualms about being judgmental on this one.

  4. “But once at the pageant, it’s all up to the judges and drama ensues when every parent wants to prove that their child is beautiful.”

    To whom, for pete’s sake? Don’t they already know that? Occasionally a friend will say “everybody’s saying I should try to get modeling work for my child,” and I say “don’t do it. Let your kid be a kid.”

    • I’ve said the same thing, most loudly in my own family. I even hate those stupid “glamor shots” for little girls. Sets a dangerous and ignorant precedent, I think.

      • Far away from the extreme of pageantry is real life. As a mother of a daughter, it’s not easy for girls to easily feel confident and good about her looks. There are so many outside messages and fitting in with peers. As a mother, I want to support her in looking good enough (according to her) to feel good about herself without supporting any over-emphasis on looks. There is a balance and I continue to struggle with my daughter in finding it. It’s not easy.

        • I used to have sort-of this conversation with my sons, who didn’t feel that much pressure to be pretty, but I know they worried about their looks at different times. Who doesn’t? I just wanted them to know it really is what’s on the inside that counts.

          • I’ve told my kids the same thing and I think it’s enough for my son. For my daughter, it becomes background white noise to society’s messages. I think it’s tougher on girls now than it was on us because they are bombarded with messages from everywhere: endless TV channels, movies, magazines, the internet…and I think it can be damaging to have such loud messages in one direction. In some ways, it seems women (really young women) have moved backward because of it.

            • It feels that way, doesn’t it? We allow the marketplace to commodify it’s ability to help us feel dissatisfied with ourselves.

  5. “There is a balance and I continue to struggle with my daughter in finding it. It’s not easy.”

    I can’t imagine that it is. It’s hard enough as an adult, no matter how many notes on bathroom mirrors we find.

    A slightly exotically-beautiful relative caved in to peer ridicule and had a nose job and a boob job. She had a small uptick in feeling good about herself, but I’d say she’s not any happier, really. Of course I hope I’m wrong, what with her going through a lot of pain and expense.

    And even before these efforts she was always a guy-magnet (if that’s one metric), and she’s still a guy-magnet.

    • Having never been a guy-magnet (I know! What’s wrong with these guys?!) I never thought much about my looks after seventh-grade or so. I was told I was ugly and rather than dwell on that, I just quit thinking about it. I don’t think there’s some deep well of pain in there. I just decided there wasn’t much I could do about it, so I’d go out and grow a personality. Still working on it.

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