Thursday, December 08, 2011

Does liking this make me a bad person? (Yes.)

I have a good friend at work who LOVES reality TV (you know who you are). One of her favorite shows is Toddlers and Tiaras. While channel surfing last night, I figured it would be the perfect background noise while I packed up for my trip. Here's how that went...

First 15 minutes - "OMG, these parents are sick. They are spray tanning 4-year olds! Also, that much hair spray can't be good for them. Huh, is there another episode after this...?"
After an hour - "I guess the girls enjoy themselves, though. At least some of them? And some of their little outfits are so cute!"
Two and a half hours later - "I can't wait to see who wins Grand Supreme - Mackenzie's got the personality, but Eden's such a consummate professional."
Two hours and thirty-one minutes - "I... have to turn off the TV now."

Creepy, yet so addictive!

Obviously, this is a normal reaction or the show wouldn't still be on the air... right? I mean, I am pretty certain that intellectual feminists who were themselves tomboys are not included in the target demographic for child pageant shows. But Toddlers and Tiaras uses all the reality show editing tricks (manufactured pauses, overly dramatic music, etc etc) to add to the human drama of it all. With such rich source material (psycho moms, sobbing toddlers, and that ruthless, do-anything-to-win attitude), it's not hard to create something that, I am forced to admit, is strangely compelling.

If you value your dignity, do not tune in to Toddler and Tiaras, Wednesdays at 10pm on TLC. 

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