It’s all in the name of acting. Chekhov would surely be impressed with little Destiny and her mother’s commitment to her character. Destiny was, of course, competing at the epitome of responsible parenting, Toddlers & Tiaras. She was portraying everyone’s favorite “Good Girl Gone Bad,” Sandy from Grease. But to complete the character, she just had to have a fake cigarette. Her mother could not compromise the performance just because her daughter is four years old and doesn’t need to be huffing on anything.
To the credit of those pageant moms, people looked pretty shocked when little Destiny walked out puffing her fake cig. I like to think that most of them realized that this little bit of “acting” was over the line. One of the judges even commented, “What was she thinking?”
Destiny’s mom seems completely clueless and ready to exploit her daughter at every turn. She’s already talking about her acting out mature parts and that being necessary for the job. We’re talking about a four-year-old here, remember? Who apparently needs to be preparing for her future acting career.
The most obnoxious part is that the stupid cigarette is in no way necessary for the role of Sandy. How many high school musical productions have you seen that leave the smoking bit out and have no problem giving authentic portrayals of the characters. Well, as authentic as you get in high school musicals, but we’re talking about a pageant contestant, so let’s not get snooty.
The mind-boggling part is that we’re still shocked and talking about something the women of Tiaras dreams up. I now have this vision of fame-hungry mothers searching through old seasons of the show, trying to find ways that they can one-up the past incidents that inspired controversy. Because controversy equals publicity. I can just see Destiny’s mother going, “No one has made their kids smoke yet right? That’ll get a buzz going. Destiny could be the next Boo Boo!”
4-year-olds do not need to be smoking, no matter what the reason, even for pretend. Even for the sake of acting. We all know that, and I think this mother knows that too. I don’t think she actually believes that it’s no big deal to hear her pre-schooler ask for a real cigarette. She knows what the example is she’s setting. The scariest part is that Destiny’s mother doesn’t seem to care how much she’s damaging her child, as long as it gets them a little attention.