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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Toddlers In Tiaras (an angry rant) (Page 0)

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Author Topic: Toddlers In Tiaras (an angry rant)
Orincoro
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To the OP: I agree, it's always struck me as one of the sickest hobbies out there. I saw some of a random documentary about girl pagents some years ago, and I remember seeing a photo of a six year old that could have passed as a 25 year old. It was so twisted, and the way the mothers treated the whole thing was horrifying.
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breyerchic04
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I wrote an lj entry a few months ago about the lack of family/childrens tv now. I'm not saying the shows I remember were that great, or provided the best lessons, but they were prime time network shows with children on them, that I could relate to.
I specifically remember The Cosbys, Full House, The Wonder Years, Blossom, Step By Step, Seventh Heaven, and Punky Brewster.


About the original topic, I watched an episode of this a few weeks ago and couldn't believe the things they were doing, plucking hairs, spray tanning, spending more money on dresses than I ever would.
I know a woman who did this with her daughter for a year or two, until the girl developed alopecia. The little girl didn't love it, wasn't confident on stage, I worry what she'll be like as an adult.

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scifibum
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Someone shared this in a discussion on Ornery.org about the same thing.

Don't click if you want to believe that everyone in the world has some amount of taste and depth. Or if you're easily frightened.

Retouching from hell

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I think there are a very few kids who really love it.
Even for those kids, if you take away the grossly inappropriate culture that surrounds it and the adulation from adults that goes along with it, would the kids still like it?

Probably not.

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Teshi
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quote:
Bah, when I was a kid I watched ST:TNG and I liked it.
But ST:TNG is pretty clean and childish when it comes down to it. There are shows like that, but they're mixed up with the violent crime shows.
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breyerchic04
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Do they think looking like a cartoon is an advantage?


In class Monday we were discussing the difference between Barbies and Bratz dolls, the little girls on the glitz page you linked were bratz! Eww. They begin to no longer look alive. The eyelashes and lack of pores really are the worst.

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scholarette
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One thing I never get is why it is ok to cash in on your brains but not your looks. It isn't like someone chooses to be smart or puts in more work then someone who wants to be beautiful. I arrogantly consider myself both smart and attractive and I honestly don't think I did anything more to be smart then to be attractive. Actually, considering how much time I spend trying to keep my weight in check, beauty is much more work.
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Teshi
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quote:
Don't click if you want to believe that everyone in the world has some amount of taste and depth. Or if you're easily frightened.
Lawl. Why even bother with the photograph at all?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I think there are a very few kids who really love it.
Even for those kids, if you take away the grossly inappropriate culture that surrounds it and the adulation from adults that goes along with it, would the kids still like it?

Probably not.

Conversely, I think that kids that age would get at least as much enjoyment out of any activity where they got that much time and attention from their parents.
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dantesparadigm
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Oh God their poor eyes. What did they do to those eyes? There's no life in them, they're vacuums... the horror... the horror.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I think there are a very few kids who really love it.
Even for those kids, if you take away the grossly inappropriate culture that surrounds it and the adulation from adults that goes along with it, would the kids still like it?

Probably not.

Conversely, I think that kids that age would get at least as much enjoyment out of any activity where they got that much time and attention from their parents.
I don't know. Lots of little girls like dressing up and pretending their princesses, even when there are no adults involved.
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ludosti
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:

Retouching from hell

How very creepy. They took beautiful little girls and turned them into zombie dolls.

Scholarette brings up something I've thought about before. I think the concern with "cashing in" on looks over brains is that one's appearance is the focus on the superficial. When you put yourself on the market as eye candy, you run the risk of being defined (and defining yourself) as that eye candy. One's marketable good looks are fleeting and (short of drastic surgery) irretrievable once gone. What does the aging beauty queen do when she has no other marketable skills and her life (and self-image) has been defined by her pageantry? While lots of work may go into looking good, it is not something that ultimately lasts. Learning and developing your mind can last (unless you get dementia or suffer a brain injury, I suppose).

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Teshi
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Free play is considerably different from the controlled dressing up situation of a pageant.
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ludosti
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Right, there normally aren't strict rules and reward/punishment associated with free play. While little girls may love dressing up and pretending (heck, I still sometimes like getting all dressed up), the focus is not competing against others with winners and losers (reward and punishment) meted out by strangers and parents.
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kmbboots
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Playing dress up is more about making up stories than about trying to be sexy.

At least it was.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
ild like to see a show where a bunch of genius children solve problems, either as a junkyard wars/mythbuster sort of way reality show or a written detective type drama.

My sister and her husband tried. They actually produced a pilot and tried to market it to PBS but they haven't been able to find any sponsors even though everyone agrees its a great idea and well executed.
Oh, do you have it on DVD? I'ld be interesting in watching it.
Well, there was Ghostwriter in the early 90s. That gets your kids and detective angle.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I don't know. Lots of little girls like dressing up and pretending their princesses, even when there are no adults involved.
That's true, Rabbit, but those beauty pageants are work. They don't just get to pick out a pretty dress and then wear it in front of some judges.

What kids, without a culture of fawning acclaim, would expend all the time and effort on beauty pageants, as opposed to doing other things instead?

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scifibum
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I disapprove of parents who let prepubescent kids get spray tans and bleach their teeth even if they only do it for dress up play. (Do they exist?) Of course not quite as much as I disapprove of parents who subject their kids to competition and judgment on how completely they've altered and sexualized their appearance.

(It's fun to occasionally indulge in total derision, isn't it?)

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I don't know. Lots of little girls like dressing up and pretending their princesses, even when there are no adults involved.
That's true, Rabbit, but those beauty pageants are work. They don't just get to pick out a pretty dress and then wear it in front of some judges.

What kids, without a culture of fawning acclaim, would expend all the time and effort on beauty pageants, as opposed to doing other things instead?

Exactly the same thing can be said about any competition. Playing little league soccer isn't the same as kicking a ball around for fun. Competitive gymnastics aren't the same as doing cartwheels or handstands in free play. But the fact is that there are kids who enjoy organized competition and the things they enjoy competing in very often overlap with the things they do in free play.

Certainly not everyone who enjoys running and kicking a ball is going to enjoy little league soccer -- but some of them will. I'm just saying some people enjoy organized competition and human nature being what it is, some girls who enjoy dressing up and pretending to be princesses are likely to enjoy doing that competitively.

A lot of kids play little league sports because of parental pressure, but some kids actually thrive on it and would want to do it even if their parents discouraged it. I don't think there is a reason to suppose beauty pageants are any different.

And none of that is intended to imply that I think toddler beauty pageants are anything but repugnant. Like I said before, its kiddy porn light.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
And none of that is intended to imply that I think toddler beauty pageants are anything but repugnant. Like I said before, its kiddy porn light.
Just to be clear, I didn't think you were implying otherwise.
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Teshi
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I think that competitive gymnastics can be a little weird too, depending on the parent and the club.

That said, I think sports and other activities teach you a valuable useful set of skills which I don't think you get from going with Mummy to a beauty pageant to compete against a lot of other little girls all dolled up.

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lobo
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
The point isn't that their aren't any smart models, it's that they aren't being rewarded for what's in their brains, there job is to look a particular way -- they are paid for how they look to the exclusion of everything else.

I agree. Do you have a problem with that? I don't see how modeling is any different than alot of other very specialized professions in that they are paid for a specific part of who they are to the exclusion of everything else. IE. professional athletes, professional singers and musicians...
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kmbboots
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It depends on where our values are. So we want to value people for what they do or how they look?

There can be some of each of course, but perhaps our priorities are a little skewed to the "how they look" side.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
I think that competitive gymnastics can be a little weird too, depending on the parent and the club.

That said, I think sports and other activities teach you a valuable useful set of skills which I don't think you get from going with Mummy to a beauty pageant to compete against a lot of other little girls all dolled up.

From the very little I know about childhood development, I would guess that competition with strict rules (as opposed to free play) would be more appropriate for children ages 6 and up rather than 3 and 4 year olds.
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Someone shared this in a discussion on Ornery.org about the same thing.

Don't click if you want to believe that everyone in the world has some amount of taste and depth. Or if you're easily frightened.

Retouching from hell

AAAAAH! Should have listened to the warnings. That makes me so. freaking. mad.
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Teshi
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Oh, well, yes. I'm not really sure what age we're talking about here, but I guess "toddler" here implies 3-4 year olds.

Yes, I don't think that children need to be doing intensively competitive activities until at least six. Sure, they can do a little dancing and I know they teach a little Tae Kwon Do at the Montessori School I occasionally supply at, but it's not intensive by any means (one day a week after school). There's nothing wrong with teaching young children to do things for fun. I think competition is unnecessary in pre-school. The children already seem to judge themselves against their peers for almost everything anyway.

I don't think you really develop very much at a beauty pageant. I think that it develops confidence is a lie. Any external confidence is passing and based on one thing we don't want little girls to focus on: their attraction quota. Any teenager can tell you that being obsessed with how you look and how others perceive you is not going to have any substance to it.

I think that the whole idea that playing football, for example, turns you into a well-balanced, team-oriented leader is a line of crap. I also oppose putting your child into something or several somethings that consume his or her free time entirely.

Playing alone and with friends is an important part of a child's development. It's the equivalent of giving the child a blank piece of paper to draw on as opposed to always giving them colouring sheets.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
What does the aging beauty queen do when she has no other marketable skills and her life (and self-image) has been defined by her pageantry?
Why, the answer is right here in this thread. Have a little girl, of course!
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Oh, well, yes. I'm not really sure what age we're talking about here, but I guess "toddler" here implies 3-4 year olds.

"Toddler" commonly refers to 18 months through age 2. 3-4 year olds are "preschoolers." Possibly the producers of "Toddlers in tiaras" are stretching the definition for the alliteration factor, but generally 3-4 year olds are not "toddlers," a word that implies just learning to walk.
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ketchupqueen
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The show actually focuses more on preschool and kindergarten aged kids, you hardly ever see a segment on an actual toddler or baby.
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dkw
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Well that's something, at least.
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ketchupqueen
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I think they do it that way because it's more "entertaining/horrifying" when the kids can talk themselves. They do show that the baby/toddler sections of the pageants go on, we just usually don't see as much of them as of the 3-6 age groups.
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scholarette
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For some of the pictures on that website, some touch up was needed- not on the children but the photographs seemed dark and less vibrant then ideal. But the changes to the kids were just scary. They looked like dolls, not children. And the eyes were too bright- not very real at all. I found the kids cuter before they were "fixed."
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Teshi
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Oh, well, yes. I'm not really sure what age we're talking about here, but I guess "toddler" here implies 3-4 year olds.

"Toddler" commonly refers to 18 months through age 2. 3-4 year olds are "preschoolers." Possibly the producers of "Toddlers in tiaras" are stretching the definition for the alliteration factor, but generally 3-4 year olds are not "toddlers," a word that implies just learning to walk.
Yeah, I know, I just re-read my post before I read yours! When I meant by "toddlers here" was "in this thread and the show (I didn't actually realise it was called Toddlers in Tiaras), toddlers is supposed to be 3-4 not toddler age kids (as you defined them above). That got confused in that we were talking about older kids too.

Yeah, definitely 3-4 not toddlers in the real world.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Retouching from hell

Holy uncanny valley, Batman! Moral problems aside, that is simply awful work.

quote:
id like to see a show where a bunch of genius children solve problems, either as a junkyard wars/mythbuster sort of way reality show or a written detective type drama.
Kid Nation was actually pretty good. It's one of the few reality shows I've seen that didn't make feel dirty on the inside.
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
How very creepy. They took beautiful little girls and turned them into zombie dolls.
Most (not all) of those kids look bored annoyed in the before picture. The retouch actually attempts to change their attitude, not just remove blemishes.

I just saw Little Miss Sunshine a few weeks ago, and I wondered about the girls they had in the pageant, with the vaseline smiles. These were obviously real experienced child beauty contest contestants. I wonder if their parents even noticed that the purpose of the movie was to mock them?

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Most (not all) of those kids look bored annoyed in the before picture. The retouch actually attempts to change their attitude, not just remove blemishes.
I think that's a generous assessment.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by ludosti:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:

Retouching from hell

How very creepy. They took beautiful little girls and turned them into zombie dolls.

Reminds me of the original Extreme Makeover.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Toddlers in Texas (have angry pants).
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Orincoro
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The weirdest pictures are at the bottom of the page. I didn't even realize it the first time I looked. I think the creepiest is the first at the bottom, with the retouch making her eyes point straight ahead in a thousand mile stare.

Then there is the little girl towards the end who's retouch looks, no exaggeration necessary, like a porcelain doll.

The extra weird thing is that the before pictures look fine- there's nothing in any of them to fix.

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DDDaysh
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I actually, briefly, considered putting my son into modeling as a baby. He was an extremely photogenic child, and very well tempered when he was small. He was not shy, and was quite "poseable". A college roommate of my aunts saw him, and thought he'd be "just perfect" for modeling and set me up to meet with a friend of hers that was and agent in the business. It seemed harmless enough if he could make some money at it that could be put away for college...

Uh, yeah, until I actually met with the person that was trying to sell me on the idea and saw her "portfolio". I just about wanted to gag! Granted, the pictures of the little boys weren't that bad, but anyone who could be PROUD of some of the pictures of little girls that were in there definitely lead me to the belief that this was NOT a person I wanted to entrust with any amount of my son's future.

On the other hand, I do want to defend organized sports for small children. My son started soccer when he was 3. It was a team. There were "rules". However, they did not keep score and there was no talk of "winning" or "losing". I liked soccer partly because kicking around the ball does help develop coordination, but also because it gave my son access to new kids his own age that he otherwise would never have met or seen. I suppose it was sorta like a "playgroup" in a sense. One of my favorite memories of his early soccer days was during the "halftime" of the game. The 3&4 year old games have a halftime as long as any of their periods because the kids apparently need a long time to "rest". None of our kids wanted to rest one bit - instead they began chasing each other in circles around one of the adult sized goals at the end of the field. It was SO funny to watch. The kids all had fun.

I was a little more reluctant when, this year, it became time to start him in basketball and t-ball. My son is no where NEAR coordinated to play basketball competitively, and in that league they do keep score. I signed him up anyway, and he had fun, even if they did lose EVERY game. Of course, he had fun mostly because he was getting to do what he had been seeing his uncles do for years - and he got to be out on the court with everyone else in the stands cheering for HIM. However, if we don't set aside times like these, how often is it that we remember to cheer on our kids?

Baseball (or t-ball) has been a little more problematic. My son doesn't really like it that much. In fact, the first few practices he hated. He's also sad because playing t-ball means that he's having to skip the spring season of soccer (because two sports at the same time is just too insane at this point). This is the first sport I've ever forced him to keep playing, and so it does make me sympathize a little with parents who are putting their kids into things that the kids themselves don't necessarily enjoy.

However, where we live, baseball is yearly spring activity for almost all children. If my son misses even one season, he won't develop the skills that ALL of the other boys in his age group are developing, which would put him at a disadvantage if he ever did decide to play. And - well, here's the thing. Choosing NOT to play baseball is something a few (very few) kids do decide in later years. However, it is a major social decision and colors their entire social environment. Often they get labeled as "weird", so much so that kids with broken bones that will keep them from playing ALL season will still sign up for teams and go to the games just to be included. While I will support my son in the future if he decides he doesn't want to play, at 5 I don't think he's really old enough to decide to be socially awkward for the next 6 years of his life. Thus - he plays t-ball even though he didn't like it at first, even though it makes me nearly crazy figuring out how to get him to practices and games that conflict with my work and school.

And... it's not turning out so bad. He's making new friends, and is even getting to rekindle a friendship with a couple of boys who he hadn't seen recently because they're in kindergarten this year. He was really excited about his last game, and even managed to wheedle his way into getting to play in the pitcher position for one of the innings.

So... maybe there is something to these pageants we don't see. Maybe there are advantages you have to be in the inside to know about. At least... I hope so

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ketchupqueen
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I think I would not force my child to participate in any sport she did not want to, no matter what the social consequences.

In fact, I think I'd move if the social consequences of not playing a sport were that extreme.

But that's just me. [Wink]

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Shanna
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Full disclosure, but I won a beauty pageant as a baby. If given the chance, my mother will excited tell anyone about my homemade bonnet to cover my little bald head and how I gave all the judges hi-fives. The trophy was four feet tall and I kept it hidden in the back of my closet growing up, even when she'd try to take it out and put it on display. I'm glad she never took it further.

My last job was a full-time secretary position at a major community recreation park. We organized sports leagues for our district and it was a pretty serious. I never played sports growing up (I was the quiet artsy child) but my younger brothers did and I remember passing endless hours in the bleachers with a book. After working at the park though, I had new found respect for my father who coached my brothers and the leagues he choose to play them in. My dad threw parents out of games and even when his sons outgrew non-scorekeeping leagues (which he kept them in as long as possible) he would always push fun over victory. My favorite story was during baseball season when one of my dad's better players, after striking out, threw down his bat in anger. My dad pulled him aside and told him that he ever saw him behave that way again, he'd sit out on the bench no matter how much his team needed him. What was remarkable was how thankful his mother was because she'd never seen a coach who so highly preferred good sportsmanship over winning.

Working at the park, I don't think I went a week without hearing about how the cops had been called to deal with a coach or parent situation. Referees were often verbally and physically threatened. People threw punches in front of their own children. Even prior to the season, I had people come into the office and scream about how they should be allowed to register late or how their child didn't need to be evaluated (to achieve a balanced talent pool) because he was the program's star athlete. The majority of the coaches were horrible and OBSESSED with winning but we could only refuse coaches if they were serious problems and so the same people coached over and over again. And the parents would complain about the coaches but wouldn't volunteer themselves even as assistant coaches.

Thank goodness before I got out of that job (which literally broke my spirit) they started an inclusion league which mixed kids of varying mental and physical abilities in a for-fun style league. Last I heard, it was a huge success.

I think sports are great for kids and have a ton more value than child beauty pageants. But you do run the risk of similar issues with controlling parents who set a terrible example.

If there is a chance for a child to excel, there will be parents who want to live through their kids no matter the activity.


As for the child above, I would NOT keep him in a sport if he has a preference for another. We went through this same issue with my brothers. Where we lived, football was HUGE. The local high school was ranked high nationally and the coaches often worked with the little league teams so many of the kids would play from the age of four through high school. My brothers, who already played baseball and soccer, went through a phase where they wanted to play football like everyone else. My mother didn't let them because she didn't think it was safe and knew that the level of competition brought out the crazies.

And you know what? They're fine. But both had friends they saw during the sports seasons they did play and they made new friends at school including those who did and didn't play football. When the older of the two switched from baseball to basketball after an injury, my parents were both alittle heartbroken because he was really talented, but they let him. He's not tall enough to be great but now he's on the training team for the LSU girl's basketball team and he couldn't be happier.

I'm all for kids trying something new and maybe making a deal to stick it for x-number of games, but I worry about the motivation.

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DDDaysh
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Ah Ketchup... I have thought of moving precisely because the social consequences are that extreme, but...

Family is here, and to move would be to isolate him from some of the most important people in his life. So, we stay and learn to like baseball.

At least, we're staying until he tells me he'd rather be away from here even if that means leaving his grandparents. I figure that'll happen somewhere between ages 9 & 12, but I might be surprised. There are good things about being here. Even with social life as limited as it is (Shanna was talking about finding other kids at school, but with only 60 kids per grade here, there are no "other" kids), there are benefits to that. My son is growing up in a world where there are virtually no strangers. He knows almost every kid we pass in the grocery store or see walking down the street. Many of the parents of the kids he's going to school with are people I went to school with, or else other students my parents taught. This lends a level of safety that I couldn't find anywhere else. So... I think all in all, it evens out.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
Kid Nation was actually pretty good. It's one of the few reality shows I've seen that didn't make feel dirty on the inside.

Because you always wanted to see how Lord of the Flies would play out IRL?
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Shmuel:
...I miss Powerhouse.

Me too!
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imogen
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
Kid Nation was actually pretty good. It's one of the few reality shows I've seen that didn't make feel dirty on the inside.

Because you always wanted to see how Lord of the Flies would play out IRL?
Hey, I liked Kid Nation! I didn't think it went Lord of the Flies-ish at all.

And that retouching.... ick, ick, ick. I feel desperately sorry for any kids who are brought up thinking the 'after' photos are a good thing.

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Olivet
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Oy. My step-niece was in pageants a lot as a kid, and I went to see her in one when I was a tween. She came in second to a girl who was blonder. She had a huge corner of her room that was all trophies and stuff, and seemed pretty into it at the time.

Years later, she had a daughter a few months after my son was born, and we re-bonded as new moms. Once I asked her if she was thinking of putting her daughter in pageants. She smiled this incredibly pated on smile, shook her head once, firmly, and did not elaborate. I had been mistaken, as a child, when I thought she had been "into" the whole thing, obviously.

Though, I admit I considered modeling my younger son (he's incredibly photogenic, but he's also a bit ADHD). The cost/benefit analysis just didn't pan out. It's good that he's so attractive, though -- I think it has made his social training much easier (he's a bit atypical, but not full Asperger's). Kids naturally want to hang with the tall, good-looking kid, and once he began to internalize how to relate to people, he became quite popular. It boggles my mind that my child with the social impairment is now clearly the BMOC in his third grade class. O_o

But anyway, pageants may give a certain amount of confidence, but they come with a lot of tangent anxieties about appearance.

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Hobbes
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What is "BMOC"?

I've had some experience in the "kid in sports" arena (obviously as the child, not the parent [Smile] ) all through baseball. I remember distinctly the day I stopped playing: it was Freshman year of high school. They always ran a Fall league to try and keep interest and training up for the Spring season. I was actually a decent player (I was a pitcher with average to good speed and control and with a three pitch repertoire, nothing for the scouts to write home about or anything but I could at least play at this level). It was supposed to be a lot more relaxed than the Spring season which was very intense in high school, especially at my school which tended to do very well. I showed up for the first day, as there was no need to register and all the other boys were either older than me or from different middle schools no one knew who I was. Which was fine, baseball has the power to bring boys together and doing some warm-ups with people I've never met was actually kind of nice. After 30 mins to an hour the coach had us all sit on the bleachers so he could talk to us. He began with "if you're not here to win, go home." Which is exactly what I did, and I've never played a game of organized baseball since.

I loved baseball, I was always excited for practice and especially for the game, even if I never lost my fear of batting. [Cool] I told the above story to counter-balance the rest of my experiences in the sport. I started baseball young in the t-ball leagues, worked up through coach-pitch to the standard little league games and then into the "advanced" little-league teams. I was never in any of the super competitive leagues that formed because little league just wasn't competitive enough for these parent's kids but I did get to the point where what we did actually looked like baseball instead of a bunch of kids dressing up to put on a modernist, interpretive dance about the US Senate in the late 30s. The early years I don't remember much of, but from when I can remember I always lucked out with good coaches. I had one guy in particular whose kids weren't old enough yet but he'd played some in the minors as a pitcher and just wanted to be involved. It was from him that I learned most of my technique.

What I always appreciated in my coaches is that they expected things of us, held good practice sessions in which we worked hard and learned. When we did things wrong they let us know, and also told us when we were doing well. They didn't de-emphasize winning, there were no pep-talks before the game about how we should just have fun and not worry about the score. When we were down we'd get talked to about it: strategies were employed and little motivational talks were given.

Yet we lost a lot. None of the teams I was on were ever that great, I don't know that I ever had a better than 500 season. However, we tried hard, it felt great to win, and losing was a learning experience, never a tirade about how terrible we are. My point with this indulgent story is that those parents and coaches who obsess about winning, go over the top and even get in fights about it are obviously out of line and destroying what could be a great experience for their kids. I think we all recognize it when we see it, I certainly saw my fair share of it (one coach went so far as to refuse to let his team exchange the obligatory high-fives with our team after the game as we'd clearly cheated, and made me take off my long-underwear top when it was bitterly cold out because it was the wrong color!). However, going to far the other direction can kill the fun just as fast. Some of my great memories of playing baseball as a kid are when I pitched a shut-out, or when I came in at the last minute in a tight situation to close out a game. Winning was wonderful, and we kids wanted to win. I was lucky and got exactly what I needed: guidelines for the game, organization, support, training, and some discipline; these things allowed me to feel I had done my best and so had my team. When we lost it was sad but that was part of life and it didn't take away from the joy of playing. When we won it was wonderful, and I think all kids know both those things at some level.

Hobbes [Smile]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
What is "BMOC"?

Big Man On Campus
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Belle
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My son played football for one season...and he was miserable and so were we. We decided not to push him into something he hated and to heck with social consequences. There are certainly plenty of them - this is the south, where sports is king, especially football. But my son is not an athlete and he doesn't enjoy sports. He takes piano, and is involved in boy scouts and loves science and computers and video games. That's just who he is. I'm not going to force him to be something he is not, just to help him fit in socially. He will be more likely to fit in socially if he is happy with himself and comfortable with who he is, rather than being forced to be something he isn't, I think.

Not everyone is, or should be an athlete. I have one extremely athletic child and a competitive sport is the perfect place for her. My son is not athletic, and is much more comfortable with music and technology. He would rather read a book on robotics than participate in an organized sport. That's fine with me, I want my kids to be happy and successful with what they choose to do. If it's sports, great I'll support that. If it's piano lessons and making robots - that's also great.

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