Some see the show as exploitation of little girls, while others see it as an exposé of moms seeking validation through the beauty of their children. I, on the other hand, see Toddlers & Tiaras for what it is surely meant to be: Life Lessons. Seven in fact. Here goes:
- Sparkle. Inner beauty is inconsequential if you have enough glittery objects on the outside. There is no such thing as "overdone." So get a spray-tan on "dark," add as many hair extensions as your scalp will allow, insert false teeth even if you're not yet potty-trained, and sparkle until it hurts. If you forget to sparkle, some well-placed yelling by a third-party can put you back in overdrive. Be sure to wear a name tag, though, so friends and family will recognize you.
- Grand Supreme is never good enough if there is an award with the word "Ultimate" in it. Trophies are everything. Don't settle for good enough. In fact anything short of the penultimate prize is shameful and worthy of tears. Gauge your self-worth by the size of the prize or the heft of the tiara and remember that trying hard or doing your best simply doesn't cut it.
- It's all about YOU. Other people are divided into two camps: your support team and the competition. Either way, they all expect you to treat them with contempt and lack of respect. That's because they are put on this earth to ensure that you succeed. So don't be afraid to throw a tantrum or bark orders or step over someone who's in your path. You are the star and everyone else in this life was put there as an extra in your film.
- Sure there are people judging you -- they are called Judges. But most of the time they have no clue what they are doing so blind them with your beauty and your talent at blowing kisses or smiling as though a crane is holding up the corners of your mouth. Dazzle them (see #1 for more tips on Sparkle.) They seem to particularly like some kind of jazz hands/sashay combo so do that as much as possible.
- Sequins. Need I say more?
- Sugar sustains winners. Pixie sticks (containing colored sugar I believe) and Red Bull or Mountain Dew seem to be the breakfast of champions. Go for the sugar rush and don't worry about the inevitable crash as that will be someone else's problem.
- After winning the Ultimate whatever, do not cave in to baser instincts to appear grateful or humble. Whining is encouraged. Even cuter, crying for no reason or demanding that your support staff carry you to the nearest candy counter. And, if called upon to justify your behavior and/or participation in these competitions, simply say, "This will make me a better person."
So there you have the seven keys to success in life, based on my insistence on taping every episode of Toddlers & Tiaras and watching it when I run out of productive ways to spend my time. Sure, some people find it odious and disturbing but only because they aren't using it as a valuable primer on life. I'd love to stick around and share more insights with you but it's almost time for my mani/pedi followed by my fitting for "flippers." If you don't know what I'm talking about, tune into TLC Wednesday nights and prepare to change your life. Sparkle!