The Parents Television Council has spoken out against Toddlers and Tiaras for featuring a little girl dressed up like Julia Roberts lovable prostitute in Pretty Woman. But the mother of that child says the TLC show left out footage of her little girl in much tamer costumes.
In response to the PTC’s outrage (the organization says that shows like Toddlers and Tiaras are just another way in which “TV executives are complicit in robbing these small kids of their childhood”), the mother of the little girl in question says she didn’t do anything all that bad. Wendy Dickey told Entertainment Weekly that the hooker costume we got so riled up about on Monday was just a part of her daughter’s tribute to Pretty Woman. Paisley later changed into the more conservative brown and white polka dot dress Roberts wears during the horse race scene. Not that that makes the hooker thing OK, but hey — we wouldn’t have minded a little context. And as far as Dickey is concerned, if people had seen that costume, there wouldn’t have been a problem.
“I’m amazed it’s caused this much of a frenzy,” Dickey says. “The judges loved it. Everybody except one particular mom went nuts over it. It was the cutest thing ever. It was very innocent. A lot probably would have been different if they aired the whole entire routine instead of just the hooker part.”
Dickey said in an interview with TMZ that she doesn’t “know why people are focusing so much on pageant moms when there’s much more harmful things people are letting their children do!” We’d wager it’s because letting your daughter dress up like a hooker is legitimately offensive, and dressing a little girl up in enough boob- and butt-padding to make her look like Dolly Parton, which happened on last week’s episode, doesn’t fall far behind. (Same goes for unwanted teeth bleaching and painful eyebrow waxing and wearing a small replica of Madonna’s Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra in public.)
Pageants by their nature force kids to do stuff kids shouldn’t do. But when that stuff involves making a crowd hoot and holler for a little girl dressed up like a street walker, could you really be that surprised when people have a negative reaction?