PhotobucketUpdate: Linking this older post up with Brenda's Pondering with A Purpose topic "Baby Contests" today.
I know I have said, Thou Shalt Not Judge! - but I am hoping that in this particular circumstance you will trust (and forgive) me, since I likely have more information and experience in this matter, and thus Yes - I have some strong words for those moms who participate in these contests.  Please know that I say the hard truth on behalf of your daughter; who hopefully remains innocently unaware of the horrors I know.

Angel Girl has taken to hanging out with me in the bathroom while I get ready to go out.  Last week while I was doing my make-up for our big date, and then again on Sunday getting ready for the baby shower, she wanted to see "all the pretty colors" --  my make-up.  Since I want to foster the idea that it is fun to (sometimes) do this to look opposed to it being necessary to look pretty.....I let her put on some pink blush and sparkle eyeshadow.   "Just a dab will do you, honey."     Then she has her own Dora lip gloss for the finishing touch.   At this young age she still sees it more as playing dress up.   Just like she would do with her Barbie dolls.   It's such a big part of a little girls' imagination and fantasy play, and I think as long as it remains in that world, it is harmless.

Nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, I tell her.   We should take care of our bodies.......but you have to take care of your whole body sweetie; inside and out.  So, when does it cross the line?   How do you keep it in the fantastic realm, and away from the plastic realm?   If at age 3 they are already want to add the eyeshadow, lip gloss, and blush when they put on the Sleeping Beauty dress ---- what will age 6, 8, or 10 be like?


Oh, yes Toddlers and Tiara's, I know you have a big fan base, but I have problems with this on sooo many levels.  First, besides the fact that I cannot tell how old this child is since she is painted up worse than a high price call girl; second, the vacant and vapid expression on her face which silently screams "I am already more beautiful than you will ever be and I need not think much at all."; and finally, clearly she is dressed akin to a harem girl.   Seriously, no one else sees a problem with this?  Really?   (And for the record, I am certainly not angry at the ire is directed at the parents who have subjected her so.) 

Well, let me tell who else doesn't have a problem with this.  And believe me, they are counting on your willingness to parade your innocent little girls around like painted, plastic dolls for sale.   Because it will just confirm in their minds that they commit a victimless crime.   Dolls don't have feelings, they can't be hurt.   They exist to be played with.  That's right, I am referring to pedophiles.  I bet I am not the only one with this image on my computer, although the reason will be vastly different.  I wonder how much of this show's fan base originates from behind some very high walls and secure gates.   Don't believe me?  Well, good for you.  You must have the luxury of Not knowing what I know.

I have mentioned before that I worked in a prison.  Well, said prison had a sex offender treatment program, and I was a Case Clerk.  Yeah, the files I have read would make you run screaming; your children tucked safely under each arm.  We had a poster on the office wall, much like the pic above.  A little girl all dressed and made up to look like a cheerleader.   Sure, on one hand it was cute.   Her little pig-tails perfect, pom-poms pink, and belly-button exposed.   The same pouty, vacant expression. She's just a little girl right?   It's all good fun.  Until you read the caption underneath:   Because Innocence Is Sexier Than You Think.    Except, it's not.  Or it shouldn't be.  But these people are making it so.  Shame on you TLC!

The danger is, that's how they think.   And since I have sat in on counselling sessions:  you're going to have to trust my word here.   It confirms, in their sick minds, that children are sexual.  And Willing.   That society's constraints are just holding them back from what is natural.   Sure the can also take what is just fun or play and twist it to suit their appetite.   Please, tell me the world has not fallen so far that the majority of us cannot see that the image above is so far from "play".   Adults are using this little girl for fortune and glory.  Don't kid yourself.   The pageant world is fiercely competitive.   But parading your little girl around to look like a grown-up, with grown up appetites......are you that blind?  Just adding fuel to the fire. 

Relax, you say?   I think not.   These are children we are talking about: innocent and depending on an adult to make the right decisions for them.   To guide them safely into maturity.  They don't know the dangers out there.  Who will speak up for them when their own mothers can, or will not?   This is a very serious problem.  A problem you Never want to have to deal with.  You DO NOT  want your child's destruction chronicled in some prison psychologists case files!!   You DO NOT want your child the subject of a Perverts R Us circle share time!!  Why would you even take the chance?   Why set them up to be a victim one day?  If not as a child, what will they carry over into teens, or young adult when their earlier years were focused so much on their looks?   To shake their money-maker (and it sickens me the dance moves some of these girls are doing in their performances.  sickens me, but I guarantee, it's exciting someone else!  Isn't just one person thinking that about your daughter too much?)  And you just make it more dangerous for MY daughters....and that I will not abide silently!

I am not saying that little girls cannot dress up and have fun......even enter a contest or a pageant.   I am sure it can boost their confidence and self-esteem.   If it is age appropriate.  Do you also tell them to do their homework, allow them to play a sport, do some charitable or community service?   Do they know that God loves them: just as He made them?  These little girls are beautiful - no doubt.  But what are they already learning about the world and how it treats women according to a physical standard.   Sure, I loved Barbie....but because she could be anything.  Anything I wanted her to be.  A surfer, actress, writer, doctor, mommy.  And that's why I allow my daughter to also play with Barbie.   The limitless possibilities are fantastic.

Why, why, why, would I deceive my little girl into thinking the only interesting, or even acceptable version of herself, was the limited, albeit beautiful, plastic one?  Why would I do that to her, when they are so many out there already willing, soooo willing and able to deceive her?   A smart and loving mother would better equip her daughter.  If, when she is older, she wants to conquer the world in glitter and 4 inch heels.......then it will be her decision.  But for now.....I am taking a stand on her behalf.  Because innocence shouldn't be lost, or should gradually slip away into confidence, maturity, self awareness, and self respect. 

Until then, I stand at the gate and declare "thou shalt not pass!"