With 64 Comments, Posted under Pondering Life
TLC (The Learning Channel) Kicks Off Another Season of Their Disturbing Series.
TLC has had stellar programming over the years; however, I have no idea what anyone can learn from “Toddlers & Tiaras.” Perhaps, that stage mothers are alive and well or that some forms of child abuse are legal.
Little girls are subjected to wearing spray on tans, false eyelashes, fake teeth, fake nails, and fake hair; one mother had her seven-year-old daughter shaving her legs to take the fake tan better. These babies are coached on how to “Shake that bootie,” and “Work it,” while prancing on stage. They are made up to look like sexy adult women in little tiny bodies. They are often scantily clad – yet, sadly, their exploits don’t meet the requirements to be considered Child Pornography. (Their conduct does not meet the definition of “Sexually Explicit Conduct.”)
Under federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256), child pornography1 is defined as any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where
_. the production of the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or_
_. the visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or_
_. the visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
During many of the clips the children are screeching and crying, mothers are prodding and scolding, and I shudder to think about what child molesters are getting up to in the dark at home.
Pedophiles see children as sexual objects. They act under the cognitive distortions that children want to engage in sexual acts with adults. Pedophiles rarely take responsibility for their actions. They either grab hold of the idea that they are “not in control of their illness” or they go to common justifications for their actions. They claim they are helping the children by teaching them, that they love the children and the children enjoy the attention. One of the more popular justifications is that the child was sexually provocative and seduced them. Given this fact, it is reprehensible that parents dress their children provocatively and parade them on stage, instructing them to smile (with their fake grown-up teeth) and act like they are having the time of their lives.
“Child pornography typically depicts children smiling or with neutral expressions. Rarely, are any signs of discomfort illustrated. As such, these images serve to reinforce pro-offending, thinking, and justify adult’s sexual interest in children. Therefore, the more individuals engage in fantasy, the more motivating and more detailed the rehearsal may become, and the more able the individuals are to convince themselves to act out the behavior in real life.” ~ D.R. Laws, Remaking Relapse Prevention with Sex Offenders: A Sourcebook
It is my opinion that “Toddlers & Tiaras” encourages pedophiles to further view young children as equals and sexually desirable. Whether intended or not, teaching a child to bump and grind, on stage, while dressed provocatively, is putting children everywhere at risk. I believe this program qualifies as the sexual exploitation of children.