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Thursday 28 November 2013

Bianca Alsop and The Fact That UK Toddler Pageants Are A Thing

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA. I lived in America for a while, and was there to partake of this event last year. The food was nice, but faced with the lure of an amazing discount on a really big TV I decided I wanted, I naively decided to go out and queue outside Best Buy from about 6pm to when it opened at midnight. I should explain that the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas shopping season in the US, and is known as 'Black Friday'. If you are wondering why it is called that, so was I, so I asked a guy who was in the queue with me (well, we had a long wait, it made sense to chat). This guy, who happened to be black, put forward the idea that it was because with the heavy discounts (which are limited to a set number of products and only on that day), it was the only time the black people could afford the stuff they wanted. This says quite a lot about a lot of things in the US, but fortunately it isn't anything that stunningly racist. Actually, the real reason, I discovered later, is that this was traditionally when most stores would go from the red into the black, fiscally speaking, for that quarter.

In any case, it did not go well for me, queuing there in the cold. Just when the store was about to open, with me and my new friend in a pretty good position to get the bargains we were after, some random lady told a passing cop that we had jumped the queue. We hadn't, but the cop decided to believe her because, I suppose, it gave him something to do, and told us if we didn't leave the car park of Best Buy we would have to go to jail. Yep, a cop with a gun threatened me with the cells for trying to buy a television.. The Boxing Day sales on Oxford Street look as simple and unthreatening as the inside of Justin Bieber's head compared with this annual bloodbath. Obviously I never got inside the store, but I imagine it was the nearest thing someone in 21st century Seattle could experience to being at the Somme.

What does this have to do with the crux of this article? Well, the US has offered us many great things, but there are some things they do there that other countries should be saying 'awwww, hell no' to. Black Friday is one of them. Fox News is another. And a third is the toddler pageant.

Sadly though, there are some people in the UK who have looked at this, at best, vulgar, and at worst, soul clutchingly frightening US phenomenon, and thought 'that is fucking awesome, I totally want to dress my kid up like a drag queen and put them in one of these'. This is why there is such a thing as the 'Miss Glitz Sparkle' pageant. This pageant for male and female children takes place in that well known home of glamour, Lincoln. And fuck me is it weird.

With toddlers in ballgowns and sparkly bikinis, it is a pretty odd spectacle to begin with. I don't want to get all Daily Mail about it and start on about paedos and the sexualisation of children, but it is pretty hard to imagine who else would be entertained by that. I wouldn't. I mean when I was a kid it was a job to get even your parents to come to your dance recitals and whatnot, on account of how boring it is watching some kids ponce about, and they didn't even have the creepy undertones of us all being slathered in fake tan, body glitter and swimwear. To any normal person, this, as an evening's entertainment, sounds about as much fun as going water skiing in shark infested waters with bloody lamb shops for skis, so these things must exist solely for the benefit of the molesty types, and Britain's twattiest mothers.

The mother who has gained the most press coverage over entering her kids in this and other pageants, is one Bianca Alsop. Her four year old daughter Ocean won 'Most Beautiful' at the Glitz Sparkle pageant, in which she also entered her twin baby sons. You'll never guess what she called these poor bastards. Milan and Madrid. Whether she was going for the Brooklyn Beckham angle and was just too thick to realise that nobody would think twins could possibly have been conceived in two different cities in two different countries, or whether she is just really fucking sad, we'll never know for sure (unless she lets me interview her), but there is a lot of evidence to support both the stupidity and the sadness as motivating factors.

You may think I am being harsh here, and I'm sorry, but it's going to get harsher. You see, this is someone who likes to put her kids, the boys almost certainly too young to know what the hell is even going on, into competitions where other people judge them on their hair, their smiles (Madrid won 'Best Smile', which is pretty fucked up when you'd think his identical twin Milan would have the same smile) and their ability to do a little turn on the catwalk, in the hopes that her offspring will be pronounced cuter than some other twatty woman's offspring and she can feel good about that. And that to me makes her a fucking jerk. So let's turn the tables and judge her instead. You may feel better about all of this unpleasantness if I tell you that I have a source who was bullied horribly by her at school, so this isn't conjecture, I have it on very good authority that she is a complete fuckwit.

Now, a lot of the stuff I am basing all this on is from an interview she did with the good old Daily Mail, which you can read here (it also has pictures of her which may help you appreciate this article. I don't put pictures up on here because copyright law baffles me and also, as a words person, I am to photography what Mother Theresa was to shoe design). I know that means looking at the Daily Mail, however, and since I appreciate you may not want to do that, there is another story here on some parenting site or other. In the latter she says:
"We've got dull, old-fashioned, apron-wearing mothers making their comments, but no one criticises them because their children are boring."
Yep. She honestly thinks the only people who would criticise her are some dowdy housewives who as far as I can tell exist only in her imagination and 1950's TV shows. Well, I'm not a mother at all, and I certainly can't be old fashioned because I've got an iPad and I know who Miley Cyrus is. And yet, mysteriously, I still think she's a cunt. Weird, huh? And besides, exactly how does putting make up on a kid make it less boring? I suppose it does make it more hilarious to look at, but it doesn't actually morph it from being a normal kid into a latter day Oscar fucking Wilde, does it?

Now, it may seem like really, this is all harmless fun and actually no different from normal stuff little girls do where they get to wear pretty outfits like dance or gymnastics or princess parties or whatever the hell the kids these days are into, and I can sort of see that argument - to be honest, when I was a little girl if my mother had said 'hey, do you want to prance around in a ballgown and full make up?' I would have pretty much been thrilled about it (yeah, it might weird you out if you know me but 'soccer girl' over here was really into Barbie). But it's the lengths Bianca and the other mothers go to to prepare their kids that makes this way more eepy-cray than your average kids' dance show:

"I like Ocean to be tanned so I don't put high factor sun cream on her. Instead, she sunbathes with me and I let her wear the tan-enhancing factor 15 that I use.

"Our family don't like fake tan but will use it on her if she hasn't been on holiday."
I bet that somewhere in her house she has her family crest with the Alsop motto beneath it: 'We Don't Like Fake Tan!'. Seriously though, I'm not the most responsible person in the world and even I think using weak sun protection on a little blonde kid is questionable as fuck. It gets sadder still though:

"Ocean has a sticky-out ear which she has inherited from her dad - we call it the family 'ear'-loom. As soon as she is old enough to have her ear pinned back, I will be taking her to have it done. That's no big deal. In fact, I would consider that a minor imperfection that just needs tweaking."
Now, aside from that unforgivable 'ear-loom' pun, have you seen the kid? Sure, if she was walking around looking like the bloody FA Cup and had a complex about it, the surgery to pin back an ear is relatively simple, but she looks fucking fine. Just keep her hair down until she's old enough to decide for herself. If you are telling a kid at that age that they have this fault that is going to hold them back in the world of pageanting, and that that simply won't do because pageanting is a thing people honestly give a fuck about your achievements in, then what the hell is that doing to their psyche? They're going to end up as one of those twatty girls who wants a boob job for Christmas when they are 13 or... Oh, wait...

"I put a boob job on my Christmas list from the age of 13. Dad finally gave in and paid for them on my 20th birthday.
"I get birthday Botox each year - I've been doing that since I was 23. "
Personally, when I was 13 I got an electric guitar for Christmas. I had asked for a Brazilian Butt Lift, but my dad didn't want to get me that.

Jesus fucking wept, woman. How would that conversation even go? 'Dad, my tits aren't big enough - sort it out, will you?'. Also, and this is a bit of a personal dig but if you have seen the picture of her in the Daily Mail piece, errrrr, you're 26 and you have been having Botox since you were 23? Why do you have all those crows' feet then? Seriously, it struck me as off that a 23 year old would bother to have Botox, I know some people who have it but they are all in their late thirties or early forties, but Christ, what would she look like without it, The Emperor from Star Wars? It might, possibly, have something to do with all that tanning...

You hear this kind of bollocks all the time from trashy celebrities with kids, like Katie Price or Kerry Katona or that one who's married to Steven Gerrard, but this is just some random Northern bird who used to work behind the counter in HSBC. It's fucked up. I'm trying to stay away from criticising her parenting too much because that really lacks any credibility coming from someone who doesn't have kids themselves, but I reckon there are probably crack whores out there who would nod sagely and say that this vain assed weirdo shouldn't be left in charge of raising anything more sentient than a Furby.

So, well, fuck you, pageant mums. You suck. Thank you and goodnight. Oh, and stay away from Best Buy tonight if you're in America.

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