At the risk of showing my age, I actually recall when TV's TLC stood for The Learning Channel.
Now it means "The Lewd Channel."
To my horror, I saw a promo for a new TLC show called "Toddlers and Tiaras." Even by the title you can pretty much guess where the show is going, but you'd be wrong---it's much worse than you thought.
T&T aggrandizes the beauty pageants for, well, toddlers---and those children slightly older. But they do it in such an in-your-face, shameless way that it should make proper thinking people squirm.
The promo was filled with little girls ---and I DO mean little girls---with their faces painted like ladies of the night, wearing grown up gowns and that alone was enough for me to shudder.
Then here comes the next worse thing---the moms of these girls. The parental units who are supposed to protect their daughters from this kind of pressure and judgmental eyes are the very ones plunging the kids into this morass.
After viewing the promo, our 18-year-old daughter said, "This show is a pedophile's dream."
No doubt. I imagine T&T is on the DVRs of child molesters everywhere.
I braved a peek at the show's website, which used words like "sassy" to describe one of the pageant's tiny contestants.
These girls should be playing with dolls, not looking like them.
This is a real girl, not a doll, believe it or not (Makenzie of "Toddlers and Tiaras")
From the show's website:
"On any given weekend across the country, toddlers take the stage wearing makeup, spray tans and fake hair to be judged on beauty, personality and costumes.
Toddlers and Tiaras follows families on their quest for sparkly crowns, big titles and lots of cash."
Don't underestimate the power of that last one: "lots of cash."
Apparently the two main competitors are Makenzie and Eden, because the site asks visitors to vote for which "team" they're on---Team Makenzie or Team Eden. I'm not making this up.
Besides, ever since the JonBenet Ramsey killing, I'm haunted by the images of that little girl, who'd be about 20 now, dressed up and made up for her pageant days.
I hope that it's not true that, according to TLC, "on any given weekend" there are pageants like this involving children going on in this country. But they're probably right, which is disconcerting.
But it's the parents that shoulder the blame. Don't tell me that the kids go up to mommy and say, "I want to be in a pageant!"
Any mother that would willingly and knowingly throw her daughter into such a cesspool, where the child is ogled and judged for "beauty," is off her rocker.
The show's website adds, "But once at the pageant, it's all up to the judges and drama ensues when every parent wants to prove that their child is beautiful."
Every child IS beautiful, you nimrods. TLC may not get that, but the fact that the mothers don't, either, makes me want to barf.
The show will draw millions of viewers, of course, which is another indictment on our society. Who's worse: the mothers of the children in the pageant, or the people watching it?
Reality TV and competition shows have been invading television and absorbing it, like that old horror creature, The Blob. Just when you think it can't get any more ridiculous and salacious, here comes Toddlers and Tiaras to remind us that yes, it can!
TLC used to stand for something. It used to bring us thought-provoking television. It used to be above board.
This is disgusting.