A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series is an unvarnished look at what goes on behind the scenes at teen beauty pageants. The participants are under harsh scrutiny from their coaches, their parents, and themselves. The contestants size one another up mercilessly to determine who they have to worry about. Parents do the same thing and don't hesitate to criticize their daughters' own attributes when they're found lacking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MTV's TIARA GIRLS follows teenagers on their quest to add a statewide \"Miss Teen\" title to their name. Viewers watch their progress over the six weeks leading up to the competition; from a month's worth of preparation (hair, makeup, exercise, gown selection, practicing for the interview) to the event itself (interview, bathing suit competition, evening gown competition, selection of the top 10, selection of three finalists, choosing a winner).
Is it any good?
Since each episode is only 30 minutes long, the show ends up being a very condensed version of the trip to the pageant stage. Episodes are pared down to a collection of bleeped swears, pressure cooker scenes with overbearing parents, and, of course, lots of shopping for the perfect gown. It's the parents' role in Tiara Girls that truly takes the crown. Moms and dads demand that their daughters look physically perfect and are quick to question their teen's commitment ("Do you really want this?," "Is that the dress that's going to win you the crown?," "I don't see the hunger in your eyes to win."). Parents often pay extremely high prices for their daughter to get the right gown, coach, or stylist -- and they clearly want to see a return on their investment.
Meanwhile, teens struggle with various degrees of pressure from themselves, their parents, and their coaches -- plus the stress of simply being a teenager. The girls are given curfews and are often not allowed to hang out with their friends during pageant season. Being typical teens, they often rebel in small ways (refusing to practice their interview skills), or buckle under the stress (one girl smuggled some sweet treats -- gasp!). As with anything "teen," Tiara Girls isn't short on tears and drama. But even without a crown, the girls shine over their parents' behavior.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the thrill of competition -- and when it goes too far. Are beauty pageants healthy for girls? Do parents get too involved? What are the benefits of being in a beauty pageant, and what are the drawbacks? Should parents "put" their daughters into these roles, or should this be something teens want to do for themselves? What elements of the beauty pageant world do you see reflected in your own life? Do you ever find yourself sizing up your friends and classmates? Do you consider them "competition"?