'Toddler's & Tiaras' is easily one of TLC's most popular and controversial shows to date! The series displays some of the youngest kids being dolled up for beauty pageants. Some families go above and beyond to ensure their child scores that crown, while others are in it just for the fun.
One family so notorious from the series is none other than Honey Boo Boo and her family who made it so big they even get their own spin-off show. From the giant hair, big dresses, makeup and jewels, these contestants are not playing around.
Although the show is popular, it has definitely created a lot of questions and concerns surrounding the health and well being of these kids. Don't believe us? Here are 20 sketchy facts about 'Toddlers & Tiaras'.
20 Stars Are Not Compensated
Despite there being loads of contestants each and every season, it appears none of them are ever compensated for appearing on the show. The air-time is sometimes enough to skyrocket a family to fame; from magazine covers, interviews and tours, this sometimes makes families more money than a salary would.
19 Producers Prey On The Wacky
It goes without saying that entertainment doesn't come from your average everyday normal people. Producers of the show ensure that they are bringing on some of the most ridiculous and wild cast members that will create the most drama and entertainment that the show has to offer.
18 Pageant Takes Over 8 Hours To Film
If you thought the hour-long episode of a pageant or contest takes a few hours to film, you'd be wrong, very very wrong. According to some testimonials, pageants and filming can take as long as 8 hours to complete. That means contestants have to be dolled up for hours and hours in order to get a full episode sorted.
17 Contestants Are Given Loads of Sugar
In addition to the endless hours, the toddlers are provided with loads and loads of sugar throughout the day. According to NY Daily News, sugar is used throughout the contests to keep the kids going and also makes for some great television moments.
16 Pageants Are Over A Billion Dollar Industry
If an entire television show revolving around beauty pageants is not enough to prove just how big a phenomenon they are, then perhaps knowing that it is a multi-billion dollar industry will! According to The Guardian, the world of beauty pageants bring in over $25 billion annually.
15 Producers Heavily Edit The Show
No show is ever really "real" and that includes 'Toddlers and Tiaras'. Just like every other "reality" show, there is a very heavy amount of editing that goes on behind the scenes with the TLC hit that ensures each and every episode is full of drama and jaw-dropping moments.
14 Pageant Mom's Stage Contests
How many pageants could there really be in a full calendar year? Definitely not enough to film a television series full of contest after contest. So, in this case, parents sometimes stage their own contests simply for the sake of the show. If there is no upcoming pageant in a certain city or community, parents will get together to put one on for themselves just for the heck of it.
13 No Strangers Allowed
We always see audience members participating in the TLC show, however, as it turns out, not just anyone can pop in and be a spectator. Considering how crazy a world we live in nowadays, it's great to know that not just any creepy person can come in and watch tiny humans gyrate on the stage!
12 Crew Members Hated The Show
The show has created a lot of concern and questions regarding the well being of the contestants, however, imagine having to play a role in creating this mess? Well, that's what a lot of previous workers on the show have had to say. Working endlessly to get an episode together is not an easy task, and having to witness all of the ridiculousness is not an easy task, either.
11 The Drama Is Scripted
In addition to the heavy editing, alleged reports have claimed that the show is also heavily scripted. With kids being given zingers and one liners to say during their confessional time or drama between parents, none of it is actually "real".
10 Toddlers Have No Clue What's Going On
With all that has been said and done, it appears the kids are none the wiser. The kids put on their gowns, makeup and smiles and act as if this is just their everyday life not having a single clue that the show is making millions, and that they are being exploited for entertainment purposes... Great, isn't it?
9 Pageant Organizer Scammed Contestants
During many pageants that have taken place in the past, the "organizers" have actually scammed the contestants by not only stealing their money but not providing the prizes that are promised. As mentioned in the NY Times, many families are being cautioned to watch out for any and all sketchy red flags.
8 Parents Push The Limits
As mentioned, some families are in it to win it, and these are the scariest types of parents. Not only do they go to the extremes of ensuring their child gets lessons, but also going as far as adding on extra padding, prop cigarettes and loads of chemicals that equate to "beauty", just for a plastic crown and sash.
7 Toddlers Have Strict Beauty Regimens
As if the parents pushing the limits to the max weren't enough, it appears some even go as far as making their kids undergo some very strict beauty regimens. This includes self-tanning, fake lashes, hair extensions, an extensive makeup collection and fake nails, all for the sake of winning a title.
6 Financial Burden
If you thought this was a cheap hobby, think again! Not only does registering for a pageant cost a few hundred dollars, but lessons, the costumes, makeup, coaching and maintaining all of this can cost a family anywhere between $2,000 - $5,000 per major pageant!
5 Psychologists Disapprove
As mentioned, this show and the industry of child pageants have sparked outrage across the nation, and even psychologists are chiming in. According to Psychology Today, these events can lead to a lot of damage within a child. From body dysmorphia, eating disorders and late on-set depression, beauty pageants are more of a threat than anything else.
4 Contestant Drink Loads of Caffeine
If sugar weren't enough to keep these kids going for hours and hours on end, let's add in some caffeine too! If you aren't aware of what "go go juice" is, then let us enlighten you. The notorious Honey Boo Boo brought fame to this "drink", which is half mountain dew and half Red Bull. Delicious, right?
3 Not Everyone Can Participate
To make matters worse, not everyone can sign up and participate in a show. TLC producers are very adamant about who can appear in their shows and compete in the contests featured on the series. There is not only a certain "look" needed but a necessary level of energy, drama and entertainment that is required too.
2 Families Live Normal Lives Outside Of The Show
Perhaps not all of the families that appear on the show do, but many actually go home and live normal lives. Some contestants do come from more tame families, those who participate simply for the fun and not the incessant competitive factor. Many parents featured on the show are teachers, entrepreneurs or simply stay at home moms who just want a little something extra for the time being.
1 Titles Are Meaningless
As gorgeous as the tiaras, crowns and sashes may be, they are essentially meaningless. Unless you are competing in Miss Universe, there is not much that comes with winning a local or community held pageant, which is what the TLC features mostly on their show. Just don't tell the kids that!