Pageant Parents Face Criticism Over 'Toddlers & Tiaras'
A reality TV show that chronicles young girls competing in beauty pageants is causing a firestorm after an episode showed a toddler dressed up as Dolly Parton and another as Julia Roberts' character in "Pretty Woman."
Gretchen spoke to research psychologist and author Dr. Robert Epstein, mommy blogger Elizabeth Esther and Dr. Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood about the practice of dressing little girls up this way and the television show that follows them. Gretchen, a former Miss America herself, said that she's fully against these kinds of pageants as when she competed she was an adult and was fully aware of her decisions.
Dr. Epstein, a father of six, said there are parents out there who have some very "broad boundaries," while Dr. Linn said that what's more troubling than "Toddlers and Tiaras" is the normalization of sexualization for all little girls in this country and this objectification deprives them of a happy, healthy childhood. Elizabeth Esther added that mothers are supposed to be protecting their daughters, not intentionally parading them in sexualized outfits.