Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Rich Texas: Weigh in on Episode Two

Last night's episode of Big Rich Texas was all about the beauty pageant circuit: Leslie is a pageant coach and one of her star pupils is her god-daughter, Kalyn.   Maddie and Grace decided they wanted a shot at a crown and decided to let Leslie teach them how to sparkle and shine on the pageant stage.

One of the first things Leslie instructed the girls to do was to lose 5 pounds.  Grace's Mom, Connie, mouthed to Melissa, "She can do it." Melissa, on the other hand, visibly recoiled at the idea.  The rest of the episode revolved around the three girls preparation of the event and their diet.

I knew this theme would strike a chord with female viewers, so I asked Melissa this morning how she felt about the episode.

Melissa and Maddie Poe

Q: I knew the topic of weight would be a hot topic among female viewers of this show. You were clearly uncomfortable with Leslie's suggestion that Maddie "lose 5 pounds" so that she would "look her best" for the pageant. How do you feel about the episode?

A:  "Overall, I'm very happy with Episode 2. As a society there's constant pressure our entire adult lives to look good, lose weight, etc, and then to have Leslie suggest to Maddie and the other girls to lost 5 lbs for a pageant was ridiculous.

Our teenagers shouldn't have to start at an early age being body-conscious...they'll learn those pressures soon enough in college. I never wanted Maddie to enter the pageant because that's not her, but she seemed excited to do it with Grace and Kalyn. So I gave in and let Maddie have that experience exactly the way she was without losing any weight. A few days before the pageant I could tell Maddie was having 2nd thoughts about it and I told her she didn't have to do the pageant but she seemed resigned to it. Once we arrived to the hotel on the day of the pageant, I was horrified at the ridiculousness of was a joke of a pageant.   It felt like I was in a scene of another reality show called Toddlers & Tiaras which is a vulgar display of moms living vicariously through their little girls. (I'm with ya there, Melissa. I had the same thought!)

As the pageant day unfolded Maddie was even more set on leaving the pageant...she just didn't want to hurt Leslie's feelings. Once Maddie said the words 'I don't want to do this' I jumped on that opportunity to tell Leslie we would not be competing."

Q: Leslie gave you a lot of flak for not finishing to something you had committed to.  How do you respond to being called a quitter?

A: "I think, and would hope that any mom would support their child's feelings/decisions and have their back no matter what. Two lessons were learned in this episode: a)  For me, I learned that I know my daughter best and should never allowed her do the pageant because she is not a "pageant" girl and never will be. b) Maddie learned that she has the right to say no/change her mind even at the expense of disappointing an adult. Maddie felt good walking away from this episode because she remained true to herself.

What are your thoughts on this week's episode? Was it okay for Leslie to tell the girls that they could all stand to lose 5 pounds? Was it okay for Melissa to let Maddie bail on the competition after she had committed to it? Chime in!