I very rarely judge other peoples' children. I don't think there is the perfect parent out there either. But there is a group of mum's - and sometimes dad's - that I don't understand. The Beauty Pageant ones. How can mothers display their daughters like so? And the lengths some go to!
I watched a few episodes through the week (another bout of insomnia!) while channel surfing. It almost made me cry. Not for the joy of watching a crown being placed on the winner's head but how these poor little girls' future expectations of the world might be.
The programme follows 2 girls in particular per episode and I could hardly believe the way they were forced into dance routines, and structured how to 'walk' and 'smile' properly. Being heavily berated for a missed movement. Forced into make up of ridiculous levels. It was more rivalry they displayed with the other contestants than after a bit of fun. Mums hollering at them, tutting from the audience if the poor kid didn't answer questions quickly or cute enough. And the make up on some of them! False eyelashes, I even seen a kid being made to wear false teeth as she had a few gaps from where her milk teeth fell out. Spray tanning!! Then they're trussed up with hair that's far too old for them, wearing dresses like bog-roll ladies from the 70's that cost a fortune.
There is this little British kid called Sasha, 11, I've also read about whose role model is a much older 'glamour model' who bares boobs and buffed up bits for photo shoots or nights out. Her mother supports her child's fantasy future of one day perhaps becoming as 'famous' by popping her tits out in the local and national papers. I bet she must be looking forward to that day of publication. The poor kid even said she doesn't care that her schools grades are low. Glamour and fame is her future. So, could it be some of these mums are living vicariously through their daughters? Or is it in fact simply a way of getting mother and child bonding in the style we females like to often do, with no future problems?
Look, I have a niece who's 5 and I adore her. Being in a house full of men I enjoy the female company when she stops over. We wear make up!! Rachel has me looking fabulous in minutes. Sparkly purple eye shadow on one eye, green on the other, mega-orange cheeks and bright red lippy! Then she combs my hair into her own (tuggy) unique style where the comb often gets lost. Sometimes she brings her crowns so we can play princesses. Sometimes we go to the shops like that!!Then once we're fed up we'll go into the garden and dirty our hands and nails digging for bugs and the worms that she loves snapping in two! Oi! We're still princesses you know - just evil worm hating ones! Then we'll share some food (after a long bath!) moan about about how 'rotten and smelly' boys are. Then off to bed with a good story and no thoughts as to how we'll pass tomorrow. Not in fear of silly steps going wrong. Or feeling the world will collapse if nothing is won. Or if our smiles or crowns are crooked.
Life shouldn't be mega-competitive for under 10's. I'm not saying these little girls don't have some fun out of it but it's the burden on their shoulders if they don't win that saddens me. Some of these mothers take their girls to every pageant they can and it costs them a fortune. PUT THE MONEY AWAY FOR THEIR FUTURE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY YEARS INSTEAD WOMAN!
There, I feel better now! Glitz and glam will always be a part of most growing girls' lives. That's natural. And the competitive stages of how women look will kick in when they're about 15 or 16 where they compare clothes or want to look as good as so and so. But not that young.
I'll leave you with two pictures. One is of my niece Rachel and a rare picture of how one of these little mites may really feel. See if you can guess which is which.....?(She says sarcastically!)
ps..........I promise to post a picture of me the next time Rachel gives me a makeover - I'm stunning! Honest!