Entries in Toddlers & Tiaras (2)


Miss America Slams TLC’s "Toddlers & Tiaras"

Maddy Jackson dresses up like country star Dolly Parton in the "Toddlers and Tiaras". (TLC)(NEW YORK) -- Don’t expect Miss America to “redneck-ognize” episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras or be rubbing elbows with Honey Boo Boo.

Laura Kaeppeler, who was crowned Miss America in January, is not one of the three million fans hooked on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras and its  spin-off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Laura Kaeppeler says it takes a lot more to be crowned Miss America than it does to dress up and parade around a stage like the young girls on the TLC hit.

“There’s a misconception that pageants are beauty pageants. … Miss America is a scholarship provider,” she told E! News Wednesday. “We compete in talent and community service, so there’s a lot more to it.”

Miss America is “more about being a well-rounded, young woman” than the kiddie pageants are, Kaeppeler said.

The 24-year-old from Wisconsin hinted that the parents on the TLC shows may be the real problem.

“I don’t agree with those sort of programs,” she said. “I don’t think it’s the child who wants to do that necessarily. … I think it may come from an outside source. I think if you’re going to do something like [competing in pageants], you should do it because you want to.”

Kaeppeler is the most recent Miss America to speak out against Toddlers & Tiaras and its spin-off. Vanessa Williams, who won the Miss America title in 1983, spoke out  n May, saying she would never let her children compete in such pageants.

“I think they don’t know what they are doing,” she said on an episode of Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, Anderson.  "But when the child is screaming and saying, ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t feel like doing it,’ when they are using special juice to get them hyped …”

Cooper interjected and explained that “special juice,” also known as “go-go juice,” is a mix of Mountain Dew and 7-Up.

“Yeah, that’s not my world,” Williams said, “and I would never have my kids do that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Custody at Risk After "Toddlers & Tiaras" Star Wears Controversial Outfit

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The woman who dressed her young daughter as Dolly Parton -- complete with a padded bra and sculpting underwear -- for a child beauty pageant that aired on TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras could lose custody of the girl after her estranged husband claimed she sexually exploited their daughter by allowing her to dress so provocatively.

Little Maddy Verst's appearance in the costume on an episode of the controversial TLC program sparked a firestorm of criticism against her mother, Lindsay. Her father, Bill Verst, has asked a Kentucky court to grant him sole custody of his daughter, who is now 6.

During a court proceeding Saturday, a judge threw reporters out of the courtroom, closed the hearing and placed a gag order on mother Lindsay Jackson. The judge also imposed a ban on any pageant activity for Maddy or her mother for the duration of the trial.

A court-appointed psychologist has sided with Maddy's father, condemning the Parton costume and recommending that a judge make Verst the girl's sole custodial parent.

Jackson said the costume was never meant to be sexual and that she shouldn't be at risk of losing her daughter.

Jackson dressed her daughter herself in the Dolly Parton costume, telling the TLC show's cameras, "When she wears the fake boobs and the fake butt, it's just like an added extra bonus and it's really funny when she comes out on stage and everybody thinks it's hysterical."

Not everybody thought it was hysterical, however. Some online commenters were quick to express their disgust for the costume and for the perceived sexualization of little girls on the show.

It's not the first time a pageant mother has come under fire on the show.

Wendy Dickey was condemned for dressing her 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, in a racy costume that mimicked the outfit worn by Julia Roberts' prostitute character from the movie Pretty Woman.

The costume consisted of a fitted, skin-baring white blouse, tight blue mini-skirt and thigh-high, shiny black boots. Paisley wore it all -- complete with a blond wig, which Roberts' prostitute character also wore -- and critics and children's advocates erupted in outrage.

The court proceedings in Maddy's custody case resume Aug. 31.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio