While many youngsters are getting into sports like soccer or gymnastics, Shian Ingram is participating in another type of extracurricular activity.
Shian is another pageant kid in a slew of glamorized girls on TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras" and like most, her mother is a staunch supporter of her daughter's interests.
When asked what the show got wrong, Trisma Ingram, Shian's mom, explains that "They should show more of the hard work that the kids do...The kids work hard like a sport." Mrs. Ingram's son plays soccer and needs a uniform and cleats. Essentially Shian requires the same support and work to compete in pageants.
Shian preps for the big game with hours in hair and makeup. She has 5 uniforms, from the purple one she's wearing today to orange, pink, and yellow. Some of her game strategies include splits, cart-wheels, and gymnastics. During her 5 months in the pageant world she's already won 2 trophies, or rather crowns, in her division. Are child beauty pageants essentially a glam version of sports?
There's only one glaring hitch to this argument, and that lies in the sexualization of young girls. Putting on makeup and dresses can be cute however "Toddlers & Tiaras" has gotten a lot of media attention due to the raunchy attire and attitude of some of their young beauty contestants.
Little boys in pee-wee league football wear padding to protect them on the field. But the padding that some of the pageant girls wear to fit a theme, like a mini Dolly Parton, doesn't exactly protect them from anything...
Just because you can make child versions of adult activities, doesn't mean that you should. How about body-building, should we start a baby-building league?
The debate over the appropriateness of child pageants continues to rage. Watch the video above for more from Shian and Trisma and weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.