9.27.2011

Taking Away Childhood – Toddlers And Tiaras



By Lawrence W. Daly

Toddlers.pngWhen it comes to dreaming about what your childhood was like, the memories are generally fragmented, distorted or have been erased over many years. It is a part of growing older. The memories are not as clear as they once were. The memories you do have of your childhood are special and should cherish the specific memories which were so important to you that you still have them at the tip of your tongue. Today’s children are being rushed to adulthood, without their permission. They have no control, they have no say and in the end they do it the parent’s way.

The saying that, “If your parents don’t protect you who will” is something that seems to be a double edged sword when you read this article. Parents are now taking away a child’s ability to say, “No I don’t want to do that.” The child is placed into an environment which are full of anxiety, stress, intensity, diversification and scary individuals who may or may not demonstrate patience. There is no reality in what they are being forced to become. I am talking about the new (2009) American reality series called “Toddlers and Tiaras”.

The definition of a toddler by TheFreeDictionary is, “One who toddles, especially a young child learning to walk…a young child, usually one between the ages of one and two and a half.” The definition of Tiaras by TheFreeDictionary is, “an ornamental, often jeweled, crownlike semicircle worn on the head by women on formal occasions.”

The show follows the controversial world of child beauty pageants, looking closely at the pageant contestants and their families as the children prepares for their pageant shows (Wikipedia).

Toddlers and Tiaras definition seems to conflict with the image of the television show about children who are dressed up to look and act like adults. So what is this fascination with dressing up children? This author’s professional opinion is that this is a form of pedophilia. It borders on distributing child pornography. Sexual offenders all over the world have found a television show which adds to their child sexual fantasies. This isn’t about who is the most glamorous, special and so forth, this is a show where reality turns to fantasy for those sexual offenders in a heartbeat.

Although my opinion may seem extreme, what other reasons can there be to dress up two year old children to make them look adult like? Questions should be asked about the individuals who would promote such a television show and then those who are able to broadcasts this to an audience. In this author’s viewpoint, it seems to me that anyone who would watch such a show demonstrates support to parents who are living their dreams and aspirations through their children. It is simply wrong to indirectly torture a child in such a way that as the child grows older they have lost their self-identity.

Are these children being exposed to an environment which could be termed as mental abuse? In my research it appears that the jury is out on this topic, although little research has been conducted since the inception of this idea. These Toddlers and Tiaras shows have been occurring for years, without any local, county, state and/or federal statues, rules and regulations.

Who are monitoring these parents and promoters who are financially taking advantage of children from the ages of two and up? It is one thing to play dress-up but it is another thing to dress your child up to the point where they look adult-like. Maybe one could argue that the pageants is a child art, one that should be appreciated, valued, criticized, developed and promoted. A place where adults can cherish the beauty of their children and the competitive aspects of the competition which brings about financial success and internal happiness. Is this what the child’s world looks like? Is the child happy; how do parents monitor their child’s mental and physical health? Are children left to fend for themselves? So many questions I have as an author and research on child related issues simply does not have the needed and necessary answers.  Who speaks for the child?

Pedophile.jpgThe Toddlers and Tiaras program appears to please four main groups. They are:

             1.      The promoters
             2.      The parents
             3.      The audience
             4.      The pedophiles

In this list children could be an integral aspect of the above groups however at the age of two a child would not be able to distinguish between reality and fantasy. The child at times would be confused, conform and ask ‘why’. My granddaughter who is approximately two and one half years old, just yesterday asked me the question “why” 20 times during our brief and interesting conversation. It is having two granddaughters which make me such a strong advocate about what these four groups are doing to promote child slavery. These children are indirectly being paid for something they have no idea what they are doing.

In dealing with child sexual abuse allegations there is always a concern about the brainwashing of the alleged child victim. One can only imagine the type of brain washing which occurs prior to, during and after these Toddler and Tiaras competitions? Do children finally acquiesce to their parents, trainers and promoters request?

As I previously mentioned it appears that the local to federal governments have not addressed the problem areas that Toddlers and Tiaras face at each competition. Who baby-sits the parents, promoters and those who provide financial incentives for the child to compete?

Tragedies such as the one that JonBennet Ramsey faced on December 25, 1996 should have been a warning to those who believe children should be dressed up like dolls and treated like adults.

JonBennet Ramsey.jpgTomorrow, I will continue to examine and evaluate the Toddlers and Tiaras program which has a variety of individuals and groups profiting from the ideology behind the concept that children should be dressed up like adults and displayed like a product. This subject should be an interesting one to research and report on. Are you a child advocate or promoter?

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