Friday, October 31, 2008

Truly Horrifying

In honor of this, the spookiest of holidays, I decided to post a series of YouTube clips that are both dear to my heart and incredibly disturbing. Those who have known me for more than a couple of years can probably remember a time in my life when I harbored what some might term an unhealthy obsession with little girl beauty pageants. There was no sense of pedophilia involved; more like a feminist-driven anger. My obsession was born one late summer evening in the late nineties, when browsing the satellite TV channels at my parents' house, I happened upon this little gem:

Painted Babies. This documentary was made by the BBC, and featured two little girls, white trash Asia and spoiled rich girl Brooke Breedwell (I am totally not kidding). I instantly realized the rewatch value of this doc, and taped it onto a VHS that became worn in the next few years, as myself and my sick friends viewed it time and time again, memorizing key lines and critiquing it in ways it was never meant to be critiqued (we had a habit of doing this, most memorably with the classic Lifetime film For My Daughter's Honor; that's a story for another day, however). The most exciting part about PB is that they just made a sequel, and my mother has promised to tape it for me. Painted Babies at 17!

Anyway, some years passed, I taped some more specials, slowly building a master VHS that had Baby Beauty Queens from A&E, and also an episode of American Justice about the Jon Benet murder. Then, in 2001, HBO did me the great favor of getting into the game with my next featured selection:

Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen (dammit, embedding is disabled)

This lovely focuses mainly on a little girl named Swan, and her trashy (and now, unfortunately, dead) mother's quest to win them money and fame on the beauty queen circuit. However, it is worth mentioning that there is an INCREDIBLE subplot regarding Shane & Michael, a gay couple living in Alabama, who for a few thousand dollars can turn even the homeliest little girl into a champion. I can't tell you how it makes me feel inside when I see Shane do a complicated choreographed routine, swirling a blazer and strutting so enthusiastically for an audience of one 4-year-old girl who is expected to mimic him, but I can tell you that your life will change for the better if you see this too. I've learned through scouring the internet that Shane and Michael have since seperated, and it really bums me out. Bums me out that Swan's mom is dead too, but... you know...

All right, the final selection for any BBQ (that is Baby Beauty Queen, not bar-be-que) virgins out there is a totally new doc I discovered when rewatching these a few weeks ago, and that is

Toddlers & Tiaras (once again, embedding disabled)

I have only watched this one once, so I don't have much to say other than you will get to see a toddler spray tanned until she cries, and there's a pair of African-American lesbian moms who, for some Godawful reason both a) live in Jackson, MS [I just don't imagine Jackson is too gay-friendly. If I was gay, I'd save my money until I could move to a major city. I'm just saying, is all] and b) have decided to put their adorable, sassy little girls in this terrible pageant. Regardless, it's really interesting, not to mention the fact that their friend handmade their dresses from material they bought at like Hobby Lobby, which would normally be disastrous, but since he's so fierce, they turned out amazing.

All right, those are your spooky Halloween goodies. I'm going to "work" for another hour, go home, strap on my moustache and tie and go to Bette's H'ween party. Hope everyone has a safe weekend.


Kerry said...

Oooh, I had never seen Toddlers in Tiaras! Thanks!


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