Shut Up, I Love 'Toddlers & Tiaras'
Shut Up, I Love 'Toddlers & Tiaras'
TLC is totally nailing it on Wednesday nights. Yes, we all know that My Strange Addiction is awesome (who knew so many people were eating cleanser?), but I'd like to stand up for Toddlers & Tiaras, which airs after My Strange Addiction. It's a bizarre pairing, these two shows; you start out watching people with obsessions or different manifestations of OCD, and then you watch little girls in pageants. For the second time within months I feel like TV is catering to my tastes specifically. The other time I felt that way was when the Real Housewives of Atlanta were on Ghost Hunters.

So after I watched Rebeca talk to her shoes and Tempestt eat, like, 50 bars of Irish Spring, I stayed tuned for some pageant parents. Something TLC does very successfully is expose us to people, occurrences and cultures we know little about, and the world of child pageants is just such an example.

I had no idea about any of this stuff, but now I know all about "cupcake" dresses, "full glitz" pageants, and the difference between Grand Supreme and Mini-Grand Supreme. And I love it! It's crazy to see how invested the parents are, with their time, money and enthusiasm. I would also like to learn why nodding with your hands touching your face in different ways is a pageant thing. I just ... I don't think that's something kids do naturally.

But yes, there are some major crazies out there. Here are 10 things that made this week's episode particularly enjoyable:

1. 15-month-old Sami Jo's mother admits that the reason she wanted to have a daughter was so she could put her in pageants. It's a little obsessive. Too be fair, this lady is just obsessed with pageants and is probably living through her daughter a little bit. Or she's just crazy. Whatever, I don't care as long as I get to watch!

2.  Sami Jo's mom gets all the money for pageants from TURTLE FARMING. That's a thing!

3. And THEN Sami Jo's mom spray-tanned the baby and put fake nails on her ... and used duct tape to keep the dress on the baby.

4. Oh, and she uses a loud dolphin noise to get the baby's attention, and then she got upset when the baby fell down. And I'm pretty sure she gave the baby some energy drink. AHHHH!

5. 4-year-old Jaclyn's mom was a little too sugar-eyed. Why was she opening her eyes so wide and blinking so scarily? WHY? Does she know she looks crazy? Can a star shine TOO brightly?

6. It's never fully explained, but Jaclynn takes her "puppet baby" (who is as big as she is and in a puppet wheelchair) to pageants with her. The puppet baby's name is Arnold, and he is a collector's item. I don't have to understand what's going on to appreciate it.

7. The names of the pageants are awesome. This week's pageant was Fancy Faces. Fancy faces! The girls had to show their fanciest face! Full glitz! A "Fancy Wear" category!

8. For her "talent," one toddler rode a miniature horse up on stage. Where else can you see that!?

9. Alexis, age 5, decided to improvise her talent by wandering around the stage and spinning and singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb," then doing a couple cartwheels. Her mom was pissed off, but Alexis had this to say: "Talent was really good. I was doing a cartwheel cartwheel. Some pretty hard stuff."

10. None of the featured contestants won big. The real winner of the Fancy Faces pageant was Arnold the puppet baby.

So the moms are weird and the girls can be a little spoiled/bratty, but it's incredibly entertaining and, come on, they are not the worst people in the world. Not even close! I probably am, because at the end of each episode, I secretly console myself, "at least I'm not like that," and that is probably worse. Keep 'em coming, TLC!

(image courtesy of TLC)