Is Latest Reality TV 'Little Miss Perfect' Right Or Wrong?
January 27th, 2010 10:22am EST | By: MatthewJ Swanson
Each week, Little Miss Perfect follows two 5 or 6-year-old-ish little girls as they compete in a beauty pageant for kids called, oddly enough, Little Miss Perfect. Do these shows make little girls look like 17-year-old hookers at times? Perhaps. Do these moms and sometimes dads seem to care way more about this stuff than the kids do? Often times, yes. Is there any hope that these little girls could live a normal childhood? There is a good chance that they will live a life thinking they are, or what's worse, have to be, perfect. Yes it's weird, creepy, and wrong, but like every good reality show, even if you think it's the dumbest thing on earth, which it could very well be, if you watch one or two, you can get hooked. Here is what a typical episode is all about, documented minute-by-minute by our own, Matthew J. Swanson:
This particular episode follows the lives of two Florida potential Little Miss Perfects. Katelyn, who is coached intensely by her divorced parents who have put their differences aside to "join forces" on her behalf VS Jayne, who is coached significantly less intensely by her Polish immigrant lawyer mother who is new to the child pageant scene.
We first see Katelyn's mother and father lifting up her lips to get a look at her perfect front row of baby teeth, a couple of which are loose, and they're saying that she can't lose her teeth with the pageant coming up. That's a lot of pressure on a kid! Isn't it supposed to be fun to lose your teeth, especially since it looks like the Tooth Fairy likely brings a Prada hand bag? She then models a number of swim suits that dad thinks might be a little too skimpy, and they were. It's surprising that dad is the voice of reason, considering he is a father wearing a faux hawk, oversized sunglasses, and one of those hipster scarves, but thanks, dad, for covering her up. Later in the show, we would learn that there isn't even a swimsuit competition, thank God, but if that's the case, why was she modeling them? . . .
Next, we meet Jayne and her mother when the flamboyant host and Pageant Director, Michael Galanes (you just have to see this guy to believe it) pays a personal visit to help Jayne with her all-important Wow Wear routine, which is when the contestant can wear an extravagant costume and "wow" the judges with a dance routine of her choice. Michael asks mom if she's purchased the costume yet. Mom informs him that she has already bought a patriotic outfit which she will wear to sing Yankee Doodle Dandy, to which Michael says, essentially, that it's a "boring" idea, and he wished she had consulted with him first. But . . . What if she were to come out wearing "chimney sweep" garbs, cleaning the street for a moment, goes back stage, and comes back wearing the fancy outfit, and now she's the star of the very street she was cleaning, pulling out a bowl of macaroni right in time with the line of the song?! Now we're talking some wow! How in the hell does he think of these things on the spot? Guess that's what makes him the Pageant Director and the hap-happy face of Little Miss Perfect . . .
Katelyn is working on a Wow Wear routine of her own, hers being a rock star persona with her brothers and sisters playing the part of her star-struck fans, and she has to kiss her big brother on the cheek, which she refuses to do and becomes downright bratty about it. Will she be able to put the fact that she hates her brother aside to win the competition? . . .
Jayne's mom then shows the camera the past few dresses she has purchased for pageants, the first being a dress about right for a 5-year-old, but "experts" advised her it needed to be flashier, and then we see the series of dresses each which were deemed not tacky enough, leading up to the current one which just might be gaudy enough to work . . .
Katelyn is out shopping for new clothes, each time coming out of the dressing room parading around a little too confidently and adult-like for a kindergartner, and one time saying, "I look good in this. I look good in everything . . ."
Jayne's mom is then seen calling up Michael to break the news to him that she doesn't like the chimney sweep idea because her daughter wants to wear the fancy outfit for the whole round. Michael says that he's not in the business in negotiating with a 5-year-old, but ultimately, it's her choice. When he hangs up, Michael tells the camera that he thinks the mom "lacks vision and doesn't push it . . ."
The first part of the competition is the Question/Answer. Katelyn is asked what she will be when she grows up, and she states that she will be a fashion designer. Michael asks what kind of clothes, because he's into that, and she says probably "plaid clothes." That was the right answer because they cut to the judges, and one says "That's so in right now! That's a smart answer." Good job, Katelyn. You've impressed the judge holding her little dog . . .
Katelyn's mother is then seen back at the hotel preparing a sign that her sons will hold up in the next competition. Katelyn tries to help with the coloring, goes outside the lines, and mom says "What is this Katelyn? Go over there and do your hair before you mess up the sign!" Katelyn cries, but mom is there to console her by saying, "Katelyn, you're going to ruin your makeup if you cry, and then we'll have to do it all over again . . ."
During the Evening Wear Competition . . .Wait? Evening wear? Aren't these kids in bed by 9PM? They even play Cinemax soft-core porno saxophone music for some of the girls, which is a little unnerving.
After the judges hand in their scores, we are privy to a backstage conversation about the contestants between Michael and the judges, one of which said that the Yankee Doodle Dandy costume was "dated." Jayne's mom should have listened to Michael. He always knows the way . . .
Our two girls are both in the top 5, and Michael is now singing the Little Miss Perfect theme song, bending down to sing it directly to all five girls like he is in the weirdest, creepiest Broadway show of all time.
Have you met Michael Galanes yet?
Jayne took fourth (would have done better had she listened to the all-knowing Michael), Katelyn won, the first-runner-up cried, and that girl's mom probably cried harder, but the camera man was not fortuitous enough to have gotten that shot.
Overall, this is episode had a bitchy moms and lots of good Michael moments, but be sure to tune into a few to get a better idea of the lengths these parents go to make their little daughters prettier, such as spray tanning, teeth polishing, and flippers, which are mouth guards full of fake teeth, which sometimes looks okay, and other times looks like, as one judge said, "Mr. Ed."
Spray tan: Warning, high "creepy" factor lies ahead.
So, if this show sounds like it's for you, put on your Wow Wear, your evening gown, and your flipper, and settle in for some Little Miss Perfect!
Check out 'Little Miss Perfect' Tuesdays at 10pm|9c on WeTV.
Matthew J. Swanson is a playwright, columnist, and a self-proclaimed expert on "lots of useless crappola," currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his (almost) daily posts at www.thegancer.blogspot.com.