Yesterday, I watched Anderson (one of my favorite shows). He always has such interesting topics and guests and this particular episode was no exception. The episode asked the question, "Are girls growing up too fast?"
The guests for the show were two mothers from Toddlers and Tiaras and their daughters. Just fyi, I'm not a fan of pageants and things of that nature. If I had a daughter that wanted to participate I would definitely consider it, but it's not something I will be hunting down to get involved with. With that being said, I think that this show brought up some interesting points.
The Pros of Pageant life (according to the mothers and audience members):
Pageants give confidence.
Pageants teach skills such as poise, interview skills, and communication skills.
Pageants encourage creativity.
The Cons of Pageant life (according to audience members and author, Peggy Orenstein, Cinderella at my daughter)
Girls are taught from an early age to focus on outward beauty rather than inner.
Girls usually start off in pageants at a very early age, and can't voice how they really feel about what they are doing.
Some parents are very involved in the pageant world: opening Twitter accounts, having their children's eye brows waxed, marketing products with their child's name. It seems they are setting their child up for a life in the spotlight, whether that is their dream or not.
This portion of the show was very interesting, but there was one portion of the show that really blew my mind. A lady was visiting a children's store with her husband, when they were shocked to find that the store was marketing crotch less panties to young girls. The mother was so outraged that she filed a complaint at the mall and the mall manager contacted the store and had the products removed.
This truly broke my heart. What message is our society trying to send to these young girls? I know that this has always been a problem, but I feel it pressing on my heart that it's only getting worse. It is imperative that we raise young girls to grow up confident and with the knowledge that they are beautiful on the inside and out. They need to know that they don't have to act a certain way or dress a certain way to be loved.
I hope I haven't upset anyone as far as the pageant part of this post goes. I mean no disrespect, I'm very aware that there are pageant opportunities out there that don't involve these extremes. ( I hope that everyone can see the point of this post isn't to bash pageant mom's or people who particpate in pageants.)
Please feel free to share your thoughts. If you would like to learn more about this particular episode you can here.