France has just outlawed children’s beauty pageants. They’ve made it illegal to organize one, with a two-year jail sentence being the penalty for doing so. And a hell of a lot of people here in the US are saying that’s a good thing. They’re saying that maybe we should adopt this idea and do the same thing here in the States.
To these people, I say: Have you lost your damn mind? Nevermind that our prisons are already overcrowded (thanks, marijuana laws/for-profit prison system!). Sure, there are some children’s beauty pageants that hyper-sexualize kids, which is what the Frenchies were doing when they made the new law. But we don’t need that here in America. You know what we need?
Instead of making some kind of lamebrain law, we need two things here in the US:
- People need to stop watching Honey Boo Boo on television
- Television networks need to stop putting shit like this on in the first place
People ~ especially the ones who keep saying we need that law here in the US ~ need to realize that what they see on Toddlers and Tiaras is a tiny little fraction of kids’ beauty pageants. The majority of kids’ beauty pageants have kids who dress like those in the picture to the side there.
Most of these kids like doing this. They get to dress up in something all frilly, have their hair done up like a big girl, and they go out and look like cute little kids on the stage. The majority of these pageants don’t have a dancing competition. They don’t let the little girls come out in tons of caked-on makeup or in dresses that should come with their own pole and dollar bills for change.
“But what about the children? What about their self esteem when they lose?” Kiss my big old ass. There are going to be times in life when you lose; might as well learn it as a kid and start getting used to it. There’s always going to be someone prettier, stronger, faster, smarter, whatever. This whole trend of giving kids trophies for just showing up has to stop (but that’s a rant for another day).
The majority of them look like the picture there. And if you see something sexual in that, then, my friend, I’ve got news for you: The pageants aren’t the problem.
So what we need is ~ first ~ for people to stop watching that bullshit on television. And I use the word bullshit because that’s what that show is (was? I don’t even know if it’s still on the air ~ I can honestly say I never watched a single episode of either Toddlers and Tiaras or Honey Boo Boo). The sooner we stop eating the shit they’re spoon-feeding us on television, the sooner we can get to number two on my short list. When they realize that nobody’s watching the schlock they air (more importantly, when the advertisers realize that nobody’s watching), they’ll start giving us real programming again.
PBS took a jab at some of these “reality shows” recently. I won’t link to them, but you can find them here in this Google Search.
So before we start making laws about things, lets try to use a little common sense. There’s no need to make a law that says we can’t have beauty pageants for kids. How about this instead: If you see someone who has a kid in a beauty pageant, and they’re putting that kid in the outfit that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman, just go over and knock the shit out of them. Yeah, you’ll probably be charged with assault, but in the end, won’t it be worth it?
Clyde O. Watson