The September 26th cover of People magazine asks if the always disturbing but completely addictive TLC show Toddler’s and Tiara’s has finally gone too far. Too far? What ever do they mean? What, with the fake boobs on a four-year-old, and a mini version of Julia Roberts’ hooker costume in Pretty Woman.
Without even opening up the magazine my answer is yes, yes it has gone too far.
My blatant "yes, it’s gone too far" isn’t about what I think is right or wrong about pageants per se, but rather what it says about some parents. Pageants are a sub-cultural phenomenon and hardly have a short history, so when it comes to believing in their validity or message, to each their own is really the only fair response.
When it comes to projection as a parenting technique though, as in the type of parenting being featured, celebrated, and growing like wildfire in the pageant world, I can’t say that I feel as warm and fuzzy.
It happens to all of us, all the time. This includes but is not limited to: your issues, your fears, your unlived dreams, your unfinished business, your emotions... the list goes on.
We all project, it’s part of the human condition - there’s nothing subcultural about it, but when you project onto your children to the point where they’re being pressured into living out your dreams as their own, therefore masking their true selves with your massive shadow I take issue with it. Major issue.
So yes, the glitz and the glamour of pageants make me want to vomit in my mouth a little bit, but that’s just opinion. But I also can’t stop watching the Kardashians which is basically the same thing, just with older children, so figure that one out.
If People magazine, along with every other magazine, wants to start a conversation about what the real problem is with the world's toddlers and their tiara’s, it might be time to look past the glitz and glamor of the pageant stage, and talk about the unhappy mothers. Clearly, it's their unfulfilled dreams of attention and beauty, which is being lived vicariously through their wig-wearing and makeup-caked three-year-olds.
"Projection-Parenting" may be a Brooke-ism, but I’ve never been more sure in my life that it’s as real as it gets.