I'm awake late tonight because when one person in a house is sick, there's sometimes too much activity for anyone else to sleep.Tonight I turned to an old standby to entertain me in the wee hours.
I caught an earlier episode of Toddlers and Tiaras before I bedded down for the night. not much about it held my attention other than the commercials for Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which premieres on August 8. In one scene, a child was trying on her pageant "beauty" * dress and refused to open the door to her bedroom so that her parents and the viewing public could see the dress on the child. One or the other of her parents told her the dress was cute once someone finally pried the door open. "It AIN'T!" the kid wailed. If I were a parent, and even if I LOVED pageants and my whole reason for getting out of bed each day was tied into the idea of living vicariously through my child at these godawful competitions, I would pull my kid out of every pageant I which she was pre-entered until she had gone a complete year without uttering the pseudo-word ain't.
The middle-of-the-night episode I saw was lame but slightly more compelling programming than was the earlier episode. This one featured one preschooler telling another she was going to defeat her in the competition, which caused the other child to cry, which caused the crier's mother to say that the trash-talker needed better parenting, which caused the trash-talker's mother to say, "I'm not here to make friends; I'm here to win." One might have thought she was the one competing. One might have been correct.
While there's room for grace at any sort of competition other than war, it's especially silly to believe one must wear her game face at a beauty pageant lest one's competition gain the upper hand. it's not even like softball, for example, where how one pitches directly impacts how well the opposition hits. A pageant contestant goes on stage and does her spiel. Then the next kid goes. The highest scorer wins. period. Psyching out one's opponent doesn't come into play.
My readers, however, unlike the baby pageant contestants' mothers, are not idiots, and already know this.
Many people think there are already too many laws governing what we can or cannot legally do in this our nation, so any movement toward laws restricting pageant activity are unlikely to happen anytime soon. What i would propose, however, is that my tax dollars not in any way fund this obscene nonsense. No child or parent receiving public assistance in any form should be allowed to participate in this ridiculous waste of money. If that seems overly harsh or exclusionary, it's not. I can't think of a bigger favor anyone could do for a kid than protecting her from this peculiar form of abuse even if that would really not be the intent of my proposed law. My intent, of course, would be to make it clear that any child whose family comes up with the funds for pageant fees and dresses does not need taxpayer-subsidized school lunches, food stamps, AFDC checks, or other forms of assistance. Removing a child from a torturous and toxic environment would be icing on the cake.