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January 12, 2012

Recently I learned that there is such a thing as a child beauty pageant. Two things came of this realization: this article, and a severe and potentially medically treatable anger disorder.

Knowledge is one of the most valuable and beautiful gifts that we can give ourselves in this world.
Ghandi once said "Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever."  And while these words are so profound I put them on a sticky note next to my alarm clock in college in hopes it would make me get my ass out of bed on time, there is something that peaceful little son of a bitch forgot to mention about knowledge.
Some things, no matter how hard you try, you just can't unlearn.
Sure, there are some things, such as the Snuggie, that make me a bit cranky.  But if I was in a freezing car, broken down on the side of the road in the middle of a blizzard and needed to stay warm to stave off possible hypothermia, would I wrap myself in a Snuggie to keep warm?  Of course not.  But I wouldn't blame someone else if they did.  Do what you need to do to to stay alive.  But maybe just plan ahead next time and have a bathrobe handy instead.  Or, you know....real clothes.
There are a few things, however, that when I research them send me into a fit of pale Irish fury so severe that I have difficulty forming complete sentences out loud.  Luckily, this blog is all about the written word, so I will do my best to articulate in writing the heaping pile of bullshit I have just experienced courtesy of the interwebs.

Toddlers and Tiaras
I don't know if the rest of you are aware of this, but there is such a thing as a child beauty pageant.  In these pageants, girls, and sometimes boys, as young a 8 months old (according to my cursory research) compete to see who will be named the child most likely to grow up to have severe psychological problems.  It's like high school yearbook superlatives, except all of the contestants are still knee high to a duck and haven't yet begun trying to dry hump anything with a pulse.
What's that?  The psychological problems aren't the prize?  They're just potentially irreparable side effects?  Good to know.  Then they probably compete for money or a shitty trophy or something.  I really couldn't care less.
I also think this is an important time to reiterate that children as young as 8 months old compete in these pageants.  To put that in perspective, the average child is taught to stop routinely shitting his or her pants between the ages of 22 and 30 months.
The world of child beauty pageants has been made famous in recent years by a television program called Toddlers & Tiaras.  In this program, mentally disturbed parents try to live vicariously through the meaningless success of their children by entering them into such competitions as the "Darling Diva Pageant" and "Little Miss Glitz."  To my knowledge, there are no pageants named "Irrevocable Psychological Damage Pageant" or "Little Miss Beauty is on the Inside."
From what I hear, the show focuses predominantly on female participants, which I will have to accept as fact because I just plain refuse to watch it.  These young girls are taught poise, self-confidence, and what it's like to have parents who see them less as a human being, and more as a living, breathing science project they can slap makeup on and show off to the judges.
At first glance, what concerns me most about these pageants is how the girls, who often times still don't know how to write their names by the time they are competing, look like creepy miniature versions of 25-year-old beauty pageant contestants.  They have meticulously styled hair, layers of makeup, and fake eyelashes, just like their adult counterparts.
These girls are, quite honestly, the bonsai trees of the human world.
And did I mention some of them are so young they still shit their pants on purpose?
In the fifteen minutes I scoured YouTube for clips from Toddlers & Tiaras, I'm fairly sure I developed a medically treatable anger disorder.  I saw mothers waxing their daughters' eyebrows, young children throwing tantrums because they didn't want to compete, and pixie sticks--the main ingredients of which I'm fairly sure is sugar, heroine, bad parenting, and bribery--being consumed by the handful.  I came as close as I'll ever come to knowing how Wayne Brady felt when he inquired if there was a necessity for him to forcefully asphyxiate a woman.
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