Pageant Queen Wants a Pageant Princess

Dear Robin:

I live in Atlanta with my “Southern Belle” wife and 4-year-old daughter.

My wife recently told me she wants our daughter to participate in beauty pageants as she did when she was young and I am very against it. She and her mother are pressuring me and my daughter is asking me why I won’t let her.

I was raised in a very progressive home with an independent professional mom and I believe these types of activities are not healthy for young girls. It seems ridiculous to say but this is becoming a real issue in my home right now.

We are at a stalemate and neither side is willing to bend. What do you think?

Feminist Dad

Dear Feminist Dad:

I think the entire pageantry business is a horrid one but the children’s contests are especially appalling.

These shit shows take our baby girls at an incredibly vulnerable and impressionable time in their lives and teach them to focus on outer appearance and competing against other children rather than the values of intelligence, knowledge, kindness, and empathy.

These are factories converting little girls into future bitches.

The children’s pageantry industry is wholly generated by adults for adults while it pretends to be for children. Think about it: competing in a beauty pageant is not something any young child would think of on their own to do.  These parents push their children into pageants so they can live vicariously through their child and compete with the other parents as well.

Robin’s Research on Pageants

In the past few years I’ve done intensive research on this subject, meaning I’ve caught a few episodes of “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

“Toddlers and Tiaras” is a reality show in which morbidly obese and deeply unfulfilled women shove their babies on a stage with 8 pounds of makeup wearing sexually suggestive clothing.

Let’s take a gander, shall we?

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Nothing screams “good parenting” more than squeezing your child into a hooker outfit.

Our little Prosti-Toddler is subjected to adult judges looking her up and down to determine her value.  She hopes desperately to win a tacky trophy that cost the pageant organizers 20 bucks but her family $3500 (more on that cost in a moment).

Your wife and her mother want your daughter to compete in the “full glitz” pageants, not the “natural” ones, which as far as I can tell only differ in the amount of trowel time spent in the make-up chair.

The “full glitz” ones are truly the worst. Instead of a 4-foot plastic trophy they should admit the inevitable by awarding these girls with a glittered stripper pole, a lifetime supply of antibiotics, and a combination therapy/abortion punch card.

It’s All About the Benjamins

Let’s talk about the money, because this is the key to your winning this argument.

Something tells me your wife is not going to be interested in the sociological implications of child pageantry, so we will come at her from a different direction in a language she can understand.

This is a FIVE BILLION dollar a year industry in which parents regularly drop $3,500 or more in preparations for one big day.

Between rhinestones, professional hair and makeup, spray tans, fake nails, flippers (fake teeth to hide the adorable jack-o-lantern smile children often have), entry fees, coaching, voice and dance lessons and travel expenses, we are talking very serious money.

You told me your wife does not work, has no intentions of working (news to you), is trying to get pregnant now, and would like three more children (although you both agreed to have only two).  

I’m wondering if you ever had any deep and meaningful conversations with this woman before you married her.  Please start saving now for the alimony you will be paying one day.

It’s this simple:

  • State your objections
  • Try to change her mind based upon the fact that child pageantry is a disgusting industry that hurts children and skews their developing value system
  • If that doesn’t work, tell her you look forward to her finding a job that can support this endeavor and that you won’t contribute a cent

If you have a joint account, close it.  Happily, your monster-in-law is on a fixed budget so your wife can’t get the money from her.

Pay all the bills yourself and give your wife a small allowance with which she can buy groceries but not things like this:

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This god-awful piece of clothing looks like the vomit that would result from a cotton candy binge and costs (wait for it!) $975.

If your wife chooses to live like a child you must treat her like one, but you cannot raise another weak-minded and dependent princess with serious entitlement issues.

I’m pretty surprised you married a woman with such a different value system from your own.

You may want to think about that before you put your unwrapped hot dog in her bun tonight, because my prediction is this marriage will have trouble down the road and the longer you stay in it and the more kids you have, the more screwed you will be when you leave.

In other words, you might want to keep my email address handy.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jules Moorhouse

    I can’t hold back and need to chime in on this. Robin couldn’t be more correct, so let me just add in my two cents. The beauty pageant business is a disturbing industry and a place where deeply unfulfilled women parade their young girls in provocative clothing in ways to live vicariously through them. Pageants are not for the children, but rather for the very unsatisfied woman that is filled with her own insecurities and lack of self worth.

    Try a children’s theatre class or having your daughter audition for a play. Theatre is a creative outlet for children and a place where children build self esteem, learn to work with others, where they gain the ability to share and yes a place where they can shine both on a stage and off. In theatre little girls can dress up and build a character and create their own interpretation of themselves while having fun with others. It has been proven that theatre helps with brain development in children. Children that are involved in theatre get better grades, work well with others and are more pleasant to be around.

    Little girls involved in beauty pageants, fail out of school and are more likely to drop out by the time they are 16, they are selfish and don’t know how to work with others and are not pleasant to be around. If your wife needs to put your daughter on a stage so desperately, enroll her in a theatre class and then everyone wins. If you need more information on the value of theatre or help finding a class please contact me right away (you can get me contact information from Robin, we are long time pals). I have been a theatre director for 15 years and teach theatre for Portland Public Schools.

    I am also currently working on a book with a college professor on the value of the arts in our youth and how it helps with brain development. Allowing your daughter to be involved in beauty pageants will be the biggest mistake of your life and one you will regret when you are 80 and looking back at your life. Dig your heels in deep on this decision and don’t budge, hold your ground and continue reaching out for support. There is proof as to why pageants are destructive for little girls, use it.

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