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“Toddlers & Tiaras” – Encouraging Kids To Dance On Bars Since 2009

TLC/YouTube

I have a love/hate relationship with the show “Toddlers & Tiaras”. On one side, I love it, because it often makes me feel better about myself as a person. And about how I would be as a parent, since I certainly wouldn’t be anything like the fame-hungry monster mothers on the show. On the other hand, I feel bad for the kids, who are made to think that pageants are the greatest thing in the world, and that failure is not an option, ever. I’m pretty sure it leads to self-esteem problems and eating disorders and most likely a myriad of other problems later in life.

Tonight is the season finale of “Toddlers & Tiaras”, and I think they’ve really outdone themselves this time. In this episode, we go out with our pint-sized divas heading to a pageant in Arkansas, where a face-off between three girls and their coaches turns ugly.

We also meet Riley, a super-cute 5-year-old whose mother looks like she should have been cast as one of the bad guys in the “Lord Of The Rings” movies. Riley’s dad is shown encouraging his daughter to be silly, and herself, and, you know, be a kid! Her mom, on the other hand, will not tolerate such shenanigans.

When Riley is asked what she doesn’t like, she responds with “Losing.” According to her, losing makes her heard “small and black.”

Later in the episode, we learn that Riley’s mom home schools both her and her brother, so that she can “spend more time with the kids”. Riley tells us that she doesn’t want to go to school because “the teacher might be mean” and “might throw me in a locker.”

We also learn that her mom has no worries about her kids not being socialized because they “take them to pageants and take them to drag shows”. And that mom has had Riley “performing ‘Poker Face’ on the bar at Applebee’s”. Seriously.

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