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Entries in Child Models (1)

Monday
Sep052011

'Toddlers and Tiaras' Star, 4, Dons Fake Boobs, Butt

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Clad in a hot pink catsuit, complete with fake C-cup breasts and padded buttocks, 4-year-old Maddy Jackson channeled her best Dolly Parton in the most recent episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras."

"I want to show the judges how beautiful I am," Maddy said on the show.

"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," her mother Lindsay said.

But not everyone is laughing. The online community has been buzzing with criticisms and expressions of disgust for Maddy's outfit and the sexualization of girls on the show.

"Is this child abuse?" asked one Twitter user in response to the episode.

"Hope for the future... fading...," another wrote as a retort to the show.

"OH MY GOD!!!! THEY ARE MONTSERS!!!! THOSE PARENTS ARE MONSTERS!!!!" a Facebook user wrote.

Maddy and her mother shrugged off the naysayers, acknowledging that the fake lady parts give her a leg up on the competition.

"We tend to score really well with it all the way around from most everybody," said Jackson.

But the ramifications for such behavior goes far beyond a single beauty pageant competition, experts say. Such sexualization at such a young age has the potential to affect a girl throughout her life.

"This behavior has an effect on what it means for the child herself, and what it means for other people, including other children who see it," said Diane Levin, author of the book, So Sexy So Soon: The Next Sexualized Childhood and How Parents Can Protect Their Kids. "The girl clearly sees being pretty as pretty in a sexy way, like a grown up woman."

The show has also been criticized as potential fodder for pedophiles.

Levin noted girls' dolled-up looks could push some adults who have trouble keeping boundaries with underage girls even further.

"This could blur the boundaries for people who are having trouble controlling their pedophilia predisposition," said Levin.

While a 4-year-old wearing fake breasts is an extreme version of this type of objectification, this sexiness begins to normalize the expectation of little girls' appearances, Levin said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio