06/11/2012 04:28 am ET Updated Aug 10, 2012

'Our America With Lisa Ling' Premiere: In-Depth Examination Of Child Beauty Pageants (VIDEO)

Viewers are already fascinated by child beauty pageants, as evidenced by the success of "Toddlers & Tiaras," but Lisa Ling wanted to take a deeper look. The season premiere of "Our America with Lisa Ling" (Sun., 10 p.m. ET on OWN) followed the journalist as she examined this bizarre world and the girls and parents who are involved in it.

In the episode, Ling explored pageant dads, who proved just as passionate about their involvement in their daughter's pageantry. For some of them, it was about being more involved with their young daughters' lives.

But there's another side to these pageant parents, the one that often turns the public against the entire experience. Those are the parents many believe are forcing their kids into this for their own selfish reasons, or to fight their own feelings of inadequacy or dissatisfaction.

8-year old Kesha's mother admitted that she loves seeing her daughter in pageants, because it makes her feel normal. She feels that people see her beautiful daughter, without knowing that she was a teen mom. "I don't feel so screwed up," she said sadly.

"Our America with Lisa Ling" continues next week with an exploration of women who pursue a religious vocation, according to the network. The show airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

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