A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The judges stress that the contest isn't based solely on looks, and the contestants demonstrate the importance of diversity. One is overweight; two are African-American; and most have "normal" teen bodies that don't reinforce impossibly skinny stereotypes. Still, the show promotes the idea that being crowned prom queen is a glamorous honor that all girls should aspire to. Some reality show back-biting/plotting as well.
Products & Purchases
Neutrogena and CosmoGIRL! magazine are prominent sponsors. The host and various contestants "act" in staged segments that are essentially commercials for Neutrogena products, and one of the judges is the CosmoGIRL! editor in chief.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show's content is tame enough to make it age-appropriate for older tweens and up. But the premise -- that becoming "America's Prom Queen" is the most amazing thing a girl could ever want -- doesn't give young female viewers a whole lot to reach for. In terms of role modeling, not every girl exhibits behavior that's worthy of a glittery crown (one openly admits that she's gaining other girls' confidences so she can eventually use their weaknesses against them), but the judges eventually weed out the contestants with iffy agendas.
Is It Any Good?
The show is clearly targeting tween and teen girls and may, in fact, reel them in with its sparkly tiaras and pretty dresses. But parents might want to tune in to make sure their kids aren't absorbing any negative messages when it comes to girl power. More often than not, the challenges require superficial skills instead of actual smarts. And because this is a reality show, the contestants are crammed into a fully furnished mansion, where closeness sometimes leads to cattiness.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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