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Toddlers and Tiaras Shows You a World of Little-Girl Beauty Pageantry

There was a good amount of discussion when I asked for your thoughts on beauty pageants. Most of you find them outdated, dippy, or sexist, but a few readers piped up to show support for them. No matter what you think about pageantry, you'll probably be fascinated by Toddlers and Tiaras, a documentary series debuting tonight on TLC.

The show follows a handful of young girls as they prepare for and compete in beauty pageants, and it is in-sane. Dads seem out of the picture, and the moms are pushy — no surprise there, but there's plenty to surprise. It's bizarre to see a 7-year-old be fitted for fake teeth, for instance, or to watch a terrified, spindly-legged girl sob as she gets her first spray tan. There's more random goodness, too: A lesbian couple turns pageant stereotypes on their heads (Heather has two stage moms!) and one girl confesses that her love of farm animals drives her to compete. For a preview of the show, check out these clips from the first episode — and let me know if you're as gripped by it as I am.

Photo courtesy of TLC

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