Toddlers and Tiaras Review: The Kids Aren’t Alright
You know those really disturbing cannibal documentaries that come along occasionally? They’re a walk in the park compared with this. They are The Lion King – the good bits.
For there is nothing more disturbing than seeing a five-year-old caked in makeup and parading robotically on stage adorning a Barbie dress and strained fixed grin. That’s a fact.
For Miss Georgia Spirit pageant director Lacey Johnson, it’s very much fiction. Then again, this is the first pageant she’s ever run, and she seems unaware of what she’s let herself in for. There’s always hope.
It’s all in a day’s work for the mothers of Georgia who are so deluded they mistake their daughters for second-hand cars. “When you first start out in the pageant world, you say I would never spray paint my child but I’ve done it all,” admits Story’s mum Alison.
Story, aged five, attends one or two pageants per month and practises once a day. The only thing she’s truly queen of is the fixed, creepy smile. But what didn’t work for Eoghan Quigg seems to favour Story who wins crowns regularly.
What’s fun for some is a nightmare for others as Amy forces Marleigh, two, into the pageant world. You get the feeling Marleigh would rather chew on a lipstick than wear it (don’t get me started on the spray tan).
“Personality is gonna make all the difference,” justifies Amy. But how much personality can a two-year-old have? If anything Marleigh’s is a mixture of “bitter” and “twisted”.
“Can you say pageant?” asks Amy. ‘No!’ replies her daugter, proceeding to burst into tears. I’m predicting a mid-life crisis aged seven.
Kayleigh, six, meanwhile seems to be a normal kid, preferring not to wear make up and wearing regular clothes as opposed to, say, the 800 dollar dress that Amy had made for her toddler. But I despair either way.
There’s no time for that, though, as the ceremony kicks off and categories are judged by the following; swimwear; casual wear; evening gown; best hair; eyes; smile and dress.
As babies are paraded on stage, one has to wonder what the hell judges are writing down. ‘Nice smile, crap eyes’; ‘casual wear too evening-y – she makes me sick’.
While Story goes into pageant-robot mode, Marleigh positively screams the house down. It is sad to watch but the part where she starts hitting her mum is ultimately satisfying. Someone give her a crown.
The show ends with a twist that will shock anyone who bothers to watch the full hour. For anyone that does – you too deserve a medal.