It seems Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler, isn't a big fan of Toddlers & Tiaras (T&T). However, that has some people wondering why. After all, don't those youth-oriented pageants eventually feed into larger pageants like Miss America?
Not according to Kaeppeler. She says the pageants in T&T focus primarily on a single aspect -- beauty -- while pageants like that of Miss America also focus on talent and community service. There is some truth to that. Those early pageants don't focus on community service at all, primarily because of the age groups involved. Many of them do, however, focus on talent.
Still, something else that Kaeppeler said does ring true. Pageants like Miss America are "more about being a well-rounded young woman and an empowered female." Women who compete often do so in hopes of winning a scholarship to continue their education. Child pageants are mostly just about winning a crown and a title.
Miss America worries that sometimes little girls get forced into pageants because of a parent's "want" and not the child's. "I think it may come from an outside source," she says. "I think if you're going to do something like [competing in pageants], you should do it because you want to."
She has a point. Anyone watching Toddlers & Tiaras has no doubt noticed a child or two who is none too keen on the competition. They often get forced into it by an over zealous parent, usually a mother or mother figure. A few even get reduced to tears and screams of unhappiness. Still, they get pushed on stage "for their own good".
While T&T has always been controversial, never so much so as now because of the Honey Boo Boo era. Many Americans loathe the show, but for varying reasons. Some don't like the way it portrays an American family. Others don't like the way the children, especially Honey Boo Boo herself, act out. Others are just ashamed to admit that kind of ignorance still exists in today's modern world.
What's your opinion? Is Miss America right or wrong? Sound off below.