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?
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?
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:
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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