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Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen (2001)

Documentary about the subculture of child beauty pageants (usually restricted to girls no older than 5), showing the lengths to which some parents will go to ensure that their children win these pageants...

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Swan Brooner ...
Herself
Robin Browne ...
Herself (swan's mother)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leslie Butler ...
Herself
Michael Butler ...
Himself
Shane King ...
Himself
Craig Scime ...
Himself - Host
Tim Whitmer ...
Himself
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Storyline

Documentary about the subculture of child beauty pageants (usually restricted to girls no older than 5), showing the lengths to which some parents will go to ensure that their children win these pageants...

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Documentary

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Release Date:

13 May 2001 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Swan Brooner: I don't want to do the next shot. I'm tired.
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Connections

References Unsolved Mysteries (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Where is Love?
By Lionel Bart
Sung by Swan Brooner
[Swan sings for talent competition]
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User Reviews

 
A Realistic and Sad Story
17 January 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Living Dolls is about Swam Brooner, a five-year-old little girl who competes in child beauty pageants. Sometimes I wonder whether she wants to do this because she often seems sad. Her smiles on-stage seem fake. Her mother is extremely pushy and critical, telling her daughter to look up, not sing too low, etc. At the end, Swan wins prize money but the family has spent much more than the prize money on clothes, transport, makeup, accommodation, etc, so really the whole exercise was not profitable. If the same effort were put into trying to get her into college I think that might have been more profitable. Whether the child will be happier in college or in beauty pageants is something I don't know but I would bet on the former.

I have recently heard that Swan's mother died and she is living in Alaska now. She is 13 and no longer doing beauty pageants. Even though she won some beauty pageants, she lost as well, and it was really sad to see her face in this documentary when she lost.

Some comments were made about the observation that although many of the children in these child beauty pageants were very pretty, many of the mothers of these children were obese and homely. This suggests the possibility that these mothers are trying to compensate for their failures by succeeding through their children. That is, the parents are using their children to live their own lives.


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