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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:
...
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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13 May 2001 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Leslie Butler: I told you I could win something.
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Connections

Referenced in Little Miss Sunshine (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Natural? Beauty
10 May 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

In this film, there is documentary style depictions of people involved in beauty pageants. It presents views of the beauty pageant world as generally conforming to a stereotypical pattern of beauty. In many ways, the girls are shown as beautiful only by their conformance to social norms rather than based on character. There are quite a few examples in this film that portray the necessity to achieve to sexual norms in order to be successful in beauty pageants. Also, the film depicts many girls' ways as needing to show off their femininity, as though the central element of female desire for beauty is to show off their beauty and to be recognized as beautiful. Keep in mind that the nature of beauty is being shown here as a creation and a presentation rather than an inherent aspect of the girls in the pageant. The femininity of the girls is being presented for the viewing of society rather than a natural product. The coaches and/or parents are seemingly encouraging the viewers under the guise of success in the beauty pageant world. In general, the primary element that the documentary portrays is that society is dictating norms of behavior and appearance, not the individuals. These `norms' are suggested to be essential to being beautiful leading the girls to believe that if they do not fit the stereotype then they are somehow inferior, hurting their self-esteem as well. The beauty pageant just reinforces female subservience to men, since the girls are presenting their beauty for a generally male oriented viewer, this creates the suggestion that women are meant to display themselves. Overall, this documentary shows the harsh reality that society places enormous pressure on exterior beauty rather than interior.


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