Have the producers of Toddlers & Tiaras completely lost their minds? On the January 5th episode of the TLC hit show, two-year-old Mia Grande won the coveted Ultimate Grand Supreme title at the Universal Royalty pageant in Austin, TX.
Whether or not little Mia was the prettiest toddler present is a matter of opinion and, quite frankly, it’s irrelevant. What is urgently relevant and downright appalling was the poor child’s talent competition routine and, especially, her appallingly bizarre costume which no doubt helped her achieve the winning score.Â
According to Hollybaby, Mia’s winning Toddlers & Tiaras routine began with her grand entrance wearing a white robe and gliding across the stage to the tune of Madonna’s signature 1980s hit Like A Virgin.
Alas, her demure entrance was quickly followed by an abrupt and totally unexpected change in costume and demeanor when Mia literally ripped off her robe, revealing a mini version of the gold cone bra Madonna immortalized in her legendary 1980s Blonde Ambition tour.
Even more disturbing was the Toddlers & Tiaras audience reaction to Mia as she sashayed her way around the stage in gold bra, skirt, and black lace stockings.Â Â Unbelievably enough “…the crowd–including MiaÂ’s mother–cheered her on…” In fact, Mrs. Grande yelled encouragingly: Â“Yeah, Mia, work it.Â”
Yeah, work it.
Child beauty pageants like Toddlers & Tiaras are, at best, swords with two edges. On one hand, they can help kids learn about competition and the discipline necessary for careers in the performing arts. Unfortunately, they are also lightning rods for pedophiles.
Little girls in ruffled frocks singing and dancing like Shirley Temple are cute and amusing. Sexualized tots prancing like strippers to Madonna songs on Toddlers & Tiaras border on the obscene. In a free society, sexual freedom and the freedom of sexual expression are wonderful things–for adults, not for little kids.
Question: Where was the Parents Television Council when this Toddlers and Tiaras episode aired? Why did their members, who waxed almost apoplectic at the (perfectly normal and natural) sight of 17-year-old Miley Cyrus pole dancing or the adult cast members of Glee posed in leather and lingerie in G.Q. Magazine, remain oddly silent about the grotesque display of a sexualized two-year-old child on Toddlers & Tiaras?
Perhaps the members of the P.T.C. should stop hysterically harassing celebrities in their late teens and early twenties and start doing their jobs by preventing the visual exploitation of sexualized children.
What do you think?