7 Things “Toddlers & Tiaras” Taught Me

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“Toddlers & Tiaras” is Netflix binge perfection. Unfortunately, controversy has surrounded this cultural icon from the get-go. It’s usually aimed at crazy women who make their toddlers dress in enough sequins to shame a drag queen and dance around like a baby prostitute —  all in pursuit of a tiara that’s far too large for their tiny heads.

While you might think watching these mini humans cry and sassy walk is useless (you could just watch your friends do the same after a few too many adult beverages), “Toddlers & Tiaras” has nuggets of wisdom (hidden under layers of makeup). It is on The Learning Channel, after all.

1. Beauty Is Pain.

Despite what Beyoncé says, they did not wake up like this. Look, little ladies, I would kill for full-time, 24/7 spa treatment. Is being a toddler with a tiara a full-time job for adults? If so, I’ll start working on my cover letter. Facials they’ll be getting a different kind on camera in a few years, waxing, manicures– I just don’t see what there is to complain about, until I think about how uncomfortable formal is before I have a few drinks in me. Strapless bra, Spanx, four inch wedges, skintight dress…Luckily, I have enough liquid sedation to convince myself I’m comfortable, but without it, I’d be crying like a baby by the end of the night.

2. Dream Big.

These girls have goals. Some aspire to be Miss America, while others want to dance in Vegas, own Taco Bell, or become octopi. These little nuggets show that anything is possible with a little spray tan and a whole lot of attitude. Over the years, Barbie’s held almost every role possible, so why can’t pageant girls? They’re basically baby dolls, anyway, and in a few years they’ll contain equal amounts of plastic.

3. You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile.

You might think the dining hall is a safe zone when you’re hungover and need sustenance to survive, but even when you’re dying, you could run into your not-boyfriend. It’s science. In letters, sweats, and last night’s fake eyelashes? You’ll see everyone you’ve ever met and MOed with. Dressed to the nines with newly curled pageant hair? You will see literally no one. It’s better to stay safe — by not remembering what your real face (or skin, or hair) looks like.

4. Your Mom Is Great.

Tired of nagging phone calls? It’s not as bad as being force fed “special juice” while you cry. You don’t know parental pressure until you’ve watched a schlumpy mom shove her child into a costume that could only fit a chiuaua, because unfortunately her child continues to grow (I hear that’s what children do). Call your mom and tell her you love her. She may get on your nerves, but as long as she never forced fake eyelashes and a weave on you before you could walk, she was pretty good as far as moms go.

5. Let Your Little Live A Little.

Do you sometimes get stressed when your little, who should be a miniature version of you, goes rogue? That’s how these pageant moms feel, so you can relate. That doesn’t mean you can coach her, unfortunately. Plus, you’d look ridiculous trying to feed her dance moves while she grinds with some dude, which is basically what pageant moms do behind the judging table.

6. You Can Never Go Wrong With Sequins.

Pageants are themed parties, only with moldy old judges instead of drunk frat boys. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next mixer, look no further. Most of these costumes would get you called to standards (and you’re of legal age), but why not go as Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” or Madonna in only a cone bra? You know these toddlers will have the best ever costumes for “Anything But Clothes” parties.

7. A Girl Needs Her Caffeine.

Understandable, as I need copious amounts of coffee to force myself to do things against my will. Pageant moms feed their children delightful concoctions called “pageant crack” made with enough sugar and caffeine to get you through exam season. If you feel bad after Red Bull vodkas, imagine how these kiddies feel after chasing Red Bull with pixie sticks. Instead of walk of shaming out of the fraternity house post-Red Bull vodkas, these toddlers are forced to “work it!” onstage, which begs the question– which walk of shame is worse?

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Fleur de Lilly

Fleur de Lilly (@margaretabrams) is a contributing writer for Total Sorority Move and Post Grad Problems. When she's not corrupting her big's baby, she can be found decoding texts, gravitating towards raised surfaces, and spending time with her gentleman caller, Jack Daniels. She loves Lilly, Louisiana, and her lineage.

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