Pageant Dads Talk Dark Side Of Unconventional Role (VIDEO)
For years, it's seemingly been the mother's job to prep their little girls for the stage, coaching them to win tiara after tiara in over-the-top child pageants. However, slowly but surely replacing the pageant mom is the pageant dad -- some of them just along for the ride, but some choreographing the dance routines and spackling on the baby foundation.
"Good Morning America" talked to a few fathers who confessed that there's a dark side to it all (no, we're not talking about tween Botox). "I got teased a little bit because when I first started -- there weren't a lot of dads," said Bryan Latta, who, in one of the sweetest moments we've ever seen, gets choked up just talking about the "indescribable" relationship he shares with his daughters.
Self-declared "superdad of pageants" David Perez, once featured on "Toddlers and Tiaras," was subjected to more than just a little teasing. After appearing on TLC show as well as on a "GMA" segment last year, the internet exploded with criticism of Perez's unconventional role, with naysayers questioning his intentions ("stop living vicariously through your daughter") and more troublingly, his sexuality ("Most.gay.dad.ever."). Perez was spoofed by Tom Hanks on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and "South Park" portrayed a stereotypical pageant dad with a cartoon character who looked a whole lot like Perez, down to the pink polo shirt.
The parodies, said Perez, were "cute." But as for the blogosphere mudslinging, Perez admitted, "What hurt is that it would get to my children. Who I am is a dad. The only thing is that I know how to sew."