Mother Might Lose Custody Of Daughter Over ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ Pageants
Ever since “Toddlers & Tiaras” first aired, I’ve joked that I’m going to call Child Protective Services on these parents. I would never do such a thing but I was trying to make a point that such pageants — and particularly the way some parents go overboard with them — are actually quite dangerous to a child’s psychological health.
Turns out my joke had some truth to it. Madisyn Verst was one of the stars of TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” last year. She was known for her Dolly Parton outfit — featuring fake ta-tas and padded bum. Her mother’s costuming was so over-the-top that it inspired People magazine cover featured here (“Gone Too Far?”).
It turns out mother Lindsay Jackson may have gone too far — at least in the eyes of government officials. At a court hearing in Campbell County today, she could lose custody of Maddy to to father Bill Verst, who is requesting full custody.
â€œIâ€™ve done nothing wrong, by way of being a mother, Iâ€™m a great mother,â€ Jackson toldÂ FOXNews.comÂ exclusively. â€œBecause I participate in pageants with my daughter is not a reason to take my child from me.â€
Jackson claims that her ex-husband is using Maddyâ€™s participation in child beauty pageants as a reason for the court to award him full custody.
But she may lose custody. A court-appointed psychologist recommends that the father be made primary custodian.
In coming to the recommendation, the psychologist writes over 3,000 words condemning Maddyâ€™s participation in child beauty pageants, specifically citing her Dolly Parton number on â€œToddlers & Tiarasâ€ and photographs of Maddy dressed as â€œsexy police officer.â€
â€œObviously, if I had know that this Dolly thing was going to be an issue, I wouldnâ€™t have done it, especially on national TV,â€ said Jackson. â€œI never intended for it to be a negative costume â€“ it was costume designed to represent our state. Dollyâ€™s from Tennessee, so thatâ€™s what I did. As far as the police outfit goes, itâ€™s nothing more than a pair of shorts and a shirt that says, â€˜Bad cop, no donutâ€™ on the back. You can buy it for retail as a Halloween costume â€“ and itâ€™s more revealing than what Madisyn was wearing. That outfit was never intended on being sexualized. (The court-appointed psychologist) thinks it is, but thatâ€™s a matter of opinion.â€
I don’t think any of us know the particulars of this family situation sufficient to weigh in on who should have custody, but I wouldn’t mind this serving as a cautionary tale against putting your kids in these pageants.