Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM ET
Thank you, Fine Brothers, for giving us hope for the future. Some of the children they've documented in the "Kids React" YouTube series have graduated into "Teens React" and shown us through how respond to the TLC show "Toddlers & Tiaras" that at least this sample of the next generation is thoughtful, compassionate and looking out for little kids!
Not only are they worried about the eating disorders the girls may develop later, and vehement that 4-year-olds are not supposed to look like 40-year-olds, but they're also idealistic: "At the end of the day, you're not going to get a job because you're beautiful, you're gonna get it because you have skills." (Hold on to that, hold on!)
They have this additional insight: that perhaps some of the parents are living vicariously through their dolled up daughters. Calling their clothes "inappropriate" (you think?), the teens lambast pageant culture, telling us, "It shows parents how not to act." (Especially those who give their kids "GoGo juice" — a concoction of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, which sounds more like something for college all-nighters than for wee ones who should still have nap times.)
Teens on the show must be at least 14 and in high school, and if any of them look familiar from the "Kids React" series, it's because they "graduate" to the teen show when they enter high school.
If there's one good thing about the show, they said, it could be a cautionary tale that would "hopefully stop them from putting their kids in pageants." Erin, 17, wished her parents had seen something like this before subjecting her to a life in which she was aware of "boobs" by the time she was six. (SIX!) In fact, it scarred her so badly, she said she did not even want to have kids.
When asked if child beauty pageants were wrong, nearly all the teens on the video answered that it was — if the parents were forcing them to do it. The lone holdouts said that if it was the child's choice, then it wasn't soooo bad. (Seventeen-year-old Jourdan, though, said that even if his kid wanted to, he'd "smack them upside the head." In a good way of course! We don't think he condones corporal punishment, per se.)
Overall, this video made us breathe a sigh — of relief. There really are some great kids out there, who are turning into young adults we'd like to see running the world.