Pretty Woman?

Who has time to watch TV these days?  If you have, you may have noted the increasing proliferation of programming including mothers and their young children in shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC. According to the TLC website, Toddlers and Tiaras follows families on their quest for sparkly crowns, big titles, and lots of cash. An article by ABC News reported that the pageant circuit includes an estimated 250,000 children who compete in more than 5,000 pageants each year.

Many are concerned that these children are being sexualized at a young age. One young pageant participant, 3-year-old Paisley, was recently costumed as Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman, adorned with a mini-skirt, midriff-bearing top, black boots, and a blond wig. After her brief strut around the stage was highlighted on the show, the Parents Television Council issued a statement, noting, “For years we’ve seen adult sexuality being inappropriately and aggressively foisted on innocent young children, but children today are being sexualized at younger and younger ages. All available data suggests they will suffer for it later in life.”

Pageant mothers claim that they aren’t making their children do anything they don’t already want to do. However, a 2007 study by the American Psychological Association showed a correlation between a premature emphasis on appearance with low self-esteem, eating disorders, and depression. Is the quest for a tiara really worth the impact this type of activity can have on children or is it truly all in good fun?

Read more from ABC News here.

TLC Toddlers and Tiaras