TLC , Getty Images
TLC , Getty Images
Maybe now would be a good time for the folks behind Toddlers & Tiaras to wish for world peace.
The controversial show is no stranger to coming under fire for its provocative exploitation presentation of young girls, having been slammed by everyone from JonBenét Ramsey's father to media outlets who've labeled its contestants as "prosti-tots."
But now, no less than former Miss America Vanessa Williams has come forward to criticize the show, and she's got some ugly things to say about T&T's treatment of its pretty little ladies…
In an upcoming episode of Anderson Cooper's Anderson, the host asks the erstwhile Desperate Housewives star whether she thinks the kids are being pushed into appearing on the show, where they're often decked out in racy getups and made to perform suggestive numbers.
"I think they don't know what they are doing," Williams says. "But when the child is screaming and saying, 'I don't want to do this, I don't feel like doing it'—when they are using special juice to get them hyped…"
"Go-go juice," Cooper chimes in, referring to a supposed mix of Mountain Dew and 7UP that parents serve the girls to get them all hyped up.
"Yeah, that's not my world," Williams continues, "and I would never have my kids do that."
In 1983, Williams, who now has four children, made history by becoming the first black woman to be crowned Miss America but was dethroned after salacious nude photos of her surfaced. She recently published a memoir, You Have No Idea, in which she revealed that she had been molested when she was 10 years old and underwent an abortion in high school.
Williams joins the growing chorus of Toddlers & Tiaras detractors. In March, JonBenét's Ramsey's father, John Ramsey, called the show "very bizarre" and said he regretted letting his late daughter compete in child beauty pageants.