Whoops. So I accidentally deleted a reblog from this great post about Dr. Phil talking about stage moms and their children. I was talking to a friend about Toddlers and Tiaras one day after class as after my last post I was still trying to figure out how fine the line drawn was between letting a kid perform for fun, and exploitation, and she said “There was one girl who said “I wanted to take gymnastics.” When you use a child to further your own goals, well then, that’s child exploitation.” (Thistle.) I have to agree with her. If the child really wants to be on television or on the stage, then they should be given support by the parents, but if they don’t understand the impact of being on stage- just that it makes the parents happy, well then- it’s time to let the child just be a kid, act like a kid; and give them something that Judy Garland and Shirley Temple never got- a choice.
There’s a high chance that it is exploitation when kids who are on reality T.V are watched more so for the controversy OF this very issue. Every reality show has a controversy. With Toddlers and Tiaras it’s the “doll controversy“- the early sexualization of the children; and their mothers living vicariously through them. Children are objectified- they are still objectified if it sparks a controversy as to whether they should appear on T.V or not. The child’s opinion isn’t asked at all. Through that article, not once is a child spoken to, psychologists, parents- they have a voice; but the one who is being talked about isn’t allowed to talk.
I’m not saying that all stage moms are controlling or bad, I’m just saying that adults really need to be more in tune with what their kids want- because what they say, and what they do or mean, can be very different things. It’s best to wait until a child knows HOW to make a decision before asking them what they want.
So, are child rights activists going too far? Is it exploitation on the magazine’s part to talk about the controversy of children on the show? Maybe it’s a cycle… With the reactions to the shows, sickening, or entertainment, the controversy remains, and the kids are forgotten. So, as for the whole “Make sure it’s their goals, not yours”-Well, Dr. Phil used kids too. He allowed them on a talk show, he made money off of telling them they shouldn’t be used. He still used them as a commodity, just in the guise of “arguing against children being forced to perform”. I’m not saying he’s wrong, but he should follow his own advice.
IMAGES (In order of appearance, everything else in alphabetical order.)
- McKay, Holly. “Mother of ‘baby Hooker’on ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’: Controversy Made Me Famous.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 04 Apr. 2012. Web. 1 Aug. 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/04/04/mother-baby-hookeron-toddlers-tiaras-controversy-made-me-famous/>
- Trimble, Lynn, “Dr. Phil tackles Stage Moms.” July 12, 2012. Stage Mom Musings. August 1 2012. <http://stagemommusings.com/2012/07/12/dr-phil-tackles-stage-moms/>
- Thistle, Rachel. Personal conversation. July 31 2012