Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm Better at Not Judging (but not in this case)

Over the course of seven and a half years, I have worked very hard to be better at not judging fellow moms. I've learned that our upbringing and circumstances lead us to parent the best way we know how, and insert several books into the mix, many of us find ourselves doing a combination of what our moms did, what our moms didn't, and what experts say to do.

I don't even know what kind of mom I'd call myself. I should write a post about things here and there that come to mind that have worked for me or not worked for me, things I feel strongly about, etc.

-I bottle fed my 1st born. Breastfed my 2nd and 3rd.
Plan to breastfeed #4.
Lack of support, lack of knowledge, and going back to work probably kept me from nursing #1.
-I love pacifiers and will not allow thumb sucking.
And pacifiers are taken away at 2-years-old.
-I'm against children being in my room at night (unless it's a newborn in a pack-n-play/bassinet thingy during the first months of nursing).
-I've never cloth-diapered.
-I'm ok with tv.
But not ok with too much tv or electronic time.
-My kids sip my soda sometimes, but they can't have their own.
-My kids quit naps around 3-years-old.

These are just a few little things that I know about me as a mom. But if you don't do all of those things like me, it's ok. I don't care. I think I used to care. I think I would have argued my point with you, but now, I just realize that we all have reasons for what we do. I'll still probably discuss topics as they come up, but I don't let it get under my skin like it once did.

Except in the case of Toddlers and Tiaras. In that case, I judge.

A lot.

Like enough to make my blood pressure go up I think.

Maybe it would be different if the moms were trying to teach the girl class and how to carry themselves. Maybe if they were trying to teach them how to be confident in front of people or how to be good at public speaking. But that's not it at all.

It just looks like a parade of fake, fake, fake.

Little girls who are 5 but look 13.

Little girls who shake their booty and smile that big, sometimes fake smile (because they use fake teeth once they start losing their baby teeth).

Now I admit I don't watch the show, so I can only go by clips I see as previews or clips I see on the Today Show when they've done segments on it. But when it comes to the behavior of many of the girls, they seem to be extremely disrespectful to their parents. The parents spend tens of thousands of dollars to do this, most of them don't have that kind of money (when they reveal what they do for a living and we can see what kinds of homes they live in). They go into debt to do this, and why? And recently I saw a report on moms giving their girls go-go juice, a combination of Red Bull and Mountain Dew. It's supposed to give them energy to keep going during the day.

My sweet 5-year-old daughter looks like this:

She is gorgeous. Yes, I say that because I believe it. I know I'm her mom, but she isn't the only one I think is gorgeous. When I watch her play with her little friends, when I see them at church or preschool, I think they are beautiful, too. Their precious smiles, their kind attitudes, their little shorts, t-shirts, flip flops. They are being little girls.

Graysen (4), Elena (5), and Hannah (5). Three of Sarah's precious, beautiful friends.

They don't wear make-up.
They don't spray tan.
They don't use tons of hair spray to keep up their fancy hair.
They don't have fake teeth to cover up the fact that they've lost their baby teeth.

They are just little girls being little girls. And they look their age.

But in the world of pageants, the girls are praised for their fake appearance. An 8-year-old looks 14. Is the girl shown above beautiful? Yes, of course. In BOTH pictures, and I'd go as far to say, even more beautiful on the left. Because that's the real girl.

I wonder what these girls think of themselves. I wonder what life lesson they are being taught through this experience. I've seen clips of little girls completely breaking down when they don't get the 1st place trophy, even if they do get a 2nd place trophy.

It's hard enough to raise little girls in our they walk past a Cosmo or Glamor magazine at Walmart or see commercials for Hardees with blatantly sexual content (yeah, and it's great that they show these during unsuspecting shows, I keep the remote in hand during pretty much all shows). But when moms are purposefully making their girls fake, I just don't get it. I really don't.

So I'll judge. I can't help it. I've gotten better, but not with this.

Oh, and I might judge you if you don't have your 2-year-old in a car seat of if you put beer in their sippy cups. You know. I'm only human.



Nel said...

Yep! I agree.... Crazy show. And I too try not to judge on parenting, but sometimes we can't help it :D

Lisa Atherton said...

We were fortunate to be taught what true beauty is. And we still struggle with insecurity! It seems to me many of these moms were never taught, never shown and certainly never made to feel pretty. If you asked them I doubt they'd know what true beauty is. But they're making up for the lack of it in their lives by going extreme with their daughters. Not all. If you do watch the show, watch the moms and kids in the background or the ones not being featured for the show; they seem a little more "normal". As though the little girls actually are just having fun playing dress up and the moms and families are in it for fun and lessons in confidence and poise. I totally agree Chrissy! Little girls are gorgeous just as they are! And Josh and Matt are the ones who have the most influence for teaching them that now. No biggie, Daddies - you only have their self-worth in the palm of your hand!! :)

Chrissy said...

Totally agree with you, Lisa, about dads. No pressure for them or anything, but everything about everything is up to them. ;) For both sons and daughters...

Bethany said...

This makes me really angry, to see children focus on competing against others to be most wonderful and to get a crown to go with it. I just deleted someone on FB because they are putting their 8 month old into contests already, and bragging that she wins crows that the ten year olds don't. That makes me fiery. mad.

Carol said...


Kelsey said...

I am totally against this show and this type of show. And that other one that I don't even know the name of but is a loud mouth dance instructor of some sort. Anyway my point is I think it is nuts! And while I agree with Lisa that maybe these parents don't know true beauty, I also think that more than beauty for them it is about being at the top. They aren't at the "top" in their lives in the jobs or their homes so they use their children to be at the top. I don't think this is ever about the children. It's all about them. Which is even more sad.

Maegan said...

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! That's all I have to say about little girls and pageants!! :)

Sarah H. said...

I feel the same way!! I can't watch it either makes me sick!!

debbi@yankeeburrowcreations said...

preach it sister....

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

This is just too sad to contemplate. I feel so sorry for that little girl, and others like her that are being exploited by mothers living vicariously thru their children. Why is there a market for this? Who is enabling this? How can it be stopped? Tragic!

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