Reading Round-Up on Kids and Competitive Activities (mix of YA and MG fiction books)

Because of my research on kids and competition (especially beauty pageants and dance, which often bleeds into cheer, and athletics) and my own love of reading, I often read youth literature on these topics– which I’ve written about before.  Most of the time this has meant Young Adult (YA) books, but more recently I’ve noticed […]

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The Similarities Between Honey Boo Boo and Malala Yousafzai (originally posted on The Huffington Post World)

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY THOUGHTS ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF PLACING CHILDREN IN THE PUBLIC EYE, AS THEY ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE HUFFINGTON POST! Alana Thompson and Malala Yousafzai are two seemingly vastly different young women who made headlines this past week. Yousafzai is a 15-year-old Pakistani activist who is recovering from an assassination attempt. […]

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The “Cool” Power of Pageantry

This morning I was on NECN’s Morning Show talking about the controversy surrounding the Indian Land Elementary Warrior School Pageant— a child beauty pageant meant to be a fundraiser in South Carolina that was ultimately canceled after parent protests. You can read more of my thoughts on “Parents against pageants” by clicking here.  In a […]

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Custody Cases, Child Beauty Pageants, and Reality TV: New Slate Double X piece on Toddlers & Tiaras Justice with update from 11-12

Last Friday a feature story I wrote about the Maddy Verst custody trial appeared on Slate’s Double X. You may recall that I also wrote about the now six-year-old Maddy last fall after she appeared on the cover ofPeople.   Like many others, including hundreds of pageant moms, I think the TLC series Toddlers & […]

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Call the Pageant Muskers

I learn a lot of random things thanks to The Learning Channel. Recently TLC taught me that muskers is the “gypsy” word for the police.  After watching Season 2 of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and Season 1 of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, I think some of these people need the fashion police […]

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Tiger Teachers: The New Stage Moms Aren’t the Moms (from Huffington Post Culture)

This originally appeared in The Huffington Post’s Culture Section. Write a bad mommy confessional and be rewarded with multiple weeks on bestseller lists, riches, and fame/infamy. (See: Chua, Amy [Tiger Mom]; Druckerman, Pamela [American mom, French parenting]; Weiss, Dara-Lynn [Diet Devil in Vogue]). And then there are the television shows. In the grand tradition of […]

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Toddlers & Testing (and some Tiaras, too)

Testing and Tiaras are back. Earlier this month TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras returned with new episodes in Season 5. And last week Toddlers & Tiaras “superstar” Eden Wood premiered her own show on Logo; Eden’s World follows Eden into her post-pageant retirement life (which still involves pageants– as she and her mom serve as child […]

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French Femininity: A double standard when it comes to child beauty pageants and modelling?

Being French is very au courant these days. Thus far Bringing Up Bebe is the parenting book of the year.  Paris Fashion Week just ended. And, now, a French report offers several suggestions on how to fight against the hyper-sexualization of young girls.  While those last two sentences may seem contradictory, given that France is […]

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Pretty Parenting in the Press: Last week’s media appearances

Last week, in between two month vaccines (I may have cried more than he did!) and StrollFit classes to try to lose that baby weight, I was busy talking about a few different strands of my research. 1) I appeared on NECN’s The Morning Show to talk about a new, disturbing trend: T(w)een girls posting […]

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The Age of the Diva: Fallbacks in Dance and Pageants

Watching Dance Moms and Toddlers & Tiaras is always interesting for me– both because the shows are often entertaining (if only in a horrifying way, like the recent T&T episode that featured Heaven, a modern day Violet Beauregarde with her incessant gum chewing, and Honey Boo Boo child and her TLC crossover extreme couponing momma […]

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