The practice of “juicing” up kiddie pageant contestants with sugary candy and caffeinated drinks on “Toddlers & Tiaras” is drawing a new round of negative attention to the controversial TLC series.
The latest tempest threatening to engulf this often far-out series about kiddie beauty pageants gained momentum following a segment seen on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Wednesday about one “T&T” pageant mom who defended plying her 6 year-old daughter with a caffeinated concoction created to give the tyke more “energy” to perform.
The drink, nicknamed “Go-Go Juice” by Georgia mom June Shannon, contains a combination of Mountain Dew, the famously sugared-up soft drink, and heavily caffeinated Red Bull. The mom’s defense of her “juicing” practice: “There are far worse things . . . I could be giving her alcohol.”
Details of what else the mom said about her self-styled Go-Go Juice can be found here, in this New York Daily News story which also has the “GMA” video.
And, as our clip above demonstrates, “juicing” up the kid contestants with “energy”-inducing beverages and snacks has long been practiced on the TLC show. We even found another clip, from an earlier season, of a young contestant ingesting up to 14 Pixie Stix — which she calls her “Energy Sticks” — before a pageant.
Of course, “T&T” is no stranger to controversy — in fact, each new uproar has only added to the show’s notoriety and probably its viewership. Past controversies have concerned some of the measures the pageant moms undertake to dress their pre-school daughters in costumes that critics say are inappropriately sexy for girls so young.
New episodes of “Toddlers & Tiaras” air Tuesday nights at 9/8c on TLC.