For a while, Noah, our 14 year old, seemed to be guzzling way too many soft drinks. I’m not a huge fan of kids drinking a lot of pop so I decided to start buying more juice for him. Then, doing what teenagers do best, he started guzzling a carton a day of orange juice so I had to limit him with that, too. Thank goodness, much of the time he now opts for water. It’s hard to drink too much of it, it’s calorie-free, it doesn’t cause cavities (unless he decides to pair it with a Snickers bar or gummy worms), and it’s cheap.
Occasionally, we’ll let him get an energy drink and when we do that, Monster is his beverage of choice. Every once in a while he’ll find a new flavor on the grocery shelf and say, “Mom, you have got to try this. You’ll like this one. I promise.” After the can is forced at me and I’ve taken an infant-sized sip, I usually scrunch my face up and dramatically pound my chest with my fist. “Ugh…it’s awful. I could clean windows with this! It tastes like Windex!” (And by the way…yes I do know what Windex tastes like. I’m not a window cleaning solution connoisseur anything but I did discover what it tastes like quite by accident during a careless glass-cleaning incident a few years ago).
So, why any parent would encourage their kid to drink this stuff full of covert ingredients and chemicals is beyond me (sorry energy drink companies but I give the taste of your products a foam finger-sized thumbs down). And that, my friends, is my segue to the meat and potatoes of this post.
If you’re like me, you may have seen a few TV realty shows. Older shows like “Fear Factor” and “The Apprentice” have given way to a new breed of reality television with “Storage Wars,” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and my personal favorite, “Dance Moms” (mostly because, unfortunately, I can relate to that situation a way too much). I don’t usually watch a lot of these programs but when Stella comes home from college for the weekend, we grab our snacks and our fuzziest blankets and let the TiVo mayhem roll. However, there is one show she always records that I can barely stomach, even with a giant bowl of potato chips and a bucket of dip in my lap: “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
If you’ve ever watched the show, it basically highlights 3 or so girls per episode who are kicking and screaming their way through beauty pageant preparations with the hope (or more like, their mother’s hope) of becoming crowned “Grand Supreme” or “Royal Treat” (or something like that). If they win, they usually receive a cash prize and behemoth crown that looks like it is more appropriately scaled to fit a kid with a head the size of a hot air balloon than a toddler.
Anyway, the kids and parents on this show are always a little bit…well… “off.” And not in a good way. It’s pretty clear that the producers just find the quirkiest bunch of parents and kids that they can for the sake of show ratings. Each episode consists of a whole lot of blood curdling toddler screams, pancake makeup, spray tans, fake teeth, Dolly Parton-esque wigs and mothers living vicariously through their children. In other words, if you dare to watch it, you’ll be ready to stab yourself in the eye before the first commercial break.
What blows me away is how a few of the kids that appear on this show always seem to end up on the morning news or with their stories splashed across the front of a national magazine. Most of the stories highlight the kids’ tantrums or how little pageant girls are being exploited. But the latest story whirling around the news circuit is one highlighting a 6-year old named Alana whose mom loads her up on competition day with a potion she concocts in her kitchen called “Go Go Juice” that combines Red Bull and Mountain Dew.
See Video of Honey Boo Boo Child here
WARNING: Viewing parts of this video may make you want to punch a wall.
If/when you watch a clip of this kid (who calls herself Honey Boo Boo Child) you’ll see her mommy commanding her to drink the Go Go Juice between frenzied, obnoxious outbursts on competition day. After viewing this, I found myself ducking behind the sofa as I awaited the inevitable fallout. And yup…and to my dread it eventually happened. Everything you don’t want your kid to do or say while in a crowd of people (much less on national television).
In an interview featured on Good Morning America Honey Boo Boo’s mom, Shannon explained, “When [the kids] do get onstage, they have to be alive, and your personality has to shine. You have to have something to energize their body.”
Hmmm…funny because for years we’ve been told that adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and exercise will help increase and maintain energy. And isn’t this particularly important for a kid? Heck, I was worried about mine drinking too much orange juice. At least with that there are no “mystery” ingredients involved.
I dunno. I just seems weird that in this day and age when people are striving to buy organic foods, eat more fruits and vegetables, and prepare healthy, low-fat meals that a parent would willingly hop their kid up on a Molotov cocktail that includes caffeine and a mystery ingredient-filled energy drink — then wait for them to blow up in front of their peers (and America). But then again, that whole weird pageant thing is something I don’t understand, anyway. At all.
Have you watched “Toddlers and Tiaras?” If so, do you want to leap off of a building afterward? What do you think of a parent who will go to unusual, sometimes drastic measures, with the ultimate goal of winning a competition?
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