Pageant ‘Prince’ Lands On Toddlers & Tiaras

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The latest contestant on last night’s episode of Toddlers & Tiaras? A boy. Seven-year-old Brock Ritter is competing alongside the girls on this popular TLC series that follows the controversial world of child beauty pageants. According to his mom, Tori Ritter, little Brock – a self-described “diva” – first became interested in pageants at age 2 and has already nabbed a half-dozen first-place trophies, she told E! Online.

Not surprisingly, people are aghast that an actual boy – or “pageant prince,” as he’s called – is involved in the competition. They say it’s no place for a boy and that his mom is setting him up for ridicule. Others are all for it, giving major props to the kid for following his dreams, for knowing who he is at such a young age.

The fact there’s a boy in the pageant is about as exciting as J. Crew executive creative director Jenna Lyons painting her son’s toenails hot pink. Which is to say, big whoop. The creep factor does not stem from there being a boy on this show (who cares?!), but rather that the show itself exists in the first place. It focuses on whack-job, er, stage moms who parade their toddlers around in make-up. They tease their hair, give them spray tans and, in some cases, bleach their teeth. I personally cannot get through an entire episode without cringing and wanting to report  these moms to the authorities (or at least dive into the TV and rescue these children).

Kudos to Brock for being so brave. But Tsk tsk to stage moms – and show producers – everywhere for parading these innocent toddlers on stage and having them judged for their looks (by mostly middle-aged men, no less). Gross.