TLC beauty pageant series Toddlers and Tiaras will feature its first pageant prince tonight, when Brock Ritter, a 7-year old boy who hopes to perform on Broadway when he grows up, joins the show.
While it’s fantastic Brock’s parents are so supportive of their tap-dancing son, and his presence on the show will help open people’s eyes to bullying based on perceived sexuality — Brock’s mom says he’s been picked on since he was in kindergarten — I find the entire concept of this show — grooming children to be beauty stars — to be completely problematic and more than a little exploitative.
But, then again, it was Brock’s decision to get into the business, and if it makes him happy, that’s wonderful! I am, in a word, conflicted.
What’s your opinion on this, reader: is Brock’s rise to fame a blessing, or a curse? Should children, male or female, be enrolled in beauty contests?