'Toddlers and Tiaras' Mom Aggressively Whitens Kids' Teeth
Mothers who enter their preschool tots in beauty pageants are usually gentle, laid-back souls who just want their little ones to meet other kids and have some fun.
Meanwhile, back in this universe, TV viewers are supposedly horrified by a pageant mom shown bleaching her daughter's teeth.
The London Daily Mail reports that viewers of "Toddlers and Tiaras" were taken aback by June 29's episode and the ferocity with which Lori, a mother of two from Chillicothe, Ohio, bleached her kids' teeth.
Lori's 8-year-old daughter Alaska protests while wearing an expression straight out of a cell block at Guantanamo Bay -- yet Lori is relentless.
"I bleach my children's teeth at least once a week, whether we have a pageant coming up or not," she explains on the show. "There's no harm in bleaching their teeth, as long as you use something that the children can stand the taste of, you're all right."
She might ask her 5-year-old Brandon for a second opinion. Given his whimpering, bleach buries the needle on Yuck-O-Meter.
The Daily Mail reports reaction to the bleaching scenes has been swift and indignant.
"This show just makes me so sad, and now we have another torture method to add to the heap these sorry moms make their children undergo like fake tans and body waxing," Jule Ryan Evans writes on CafeMom.
"I just can't imagine how parents think these things are OK to do to children," she adds. "Besides the physical pain and potential harm, the message they're sending their children -- that this is what's important -- is heartbreaking."
Others shocked by the bleaching include Lori's husband, Jay. On the show, he appeared surprised when he realized what she was doing. "I didn't know Lori bleached the kids' teeth," he said on the show. "I had no idea."
Lori tells the show she would rather bleach the kids' teeth than use "flippers" -- false teeth many child pageant contestants wear. "Flippers I think are kind of silly, because you're literally altering what God gave them," she says.
On the show, she keeps the bleach right next to the book, "The 7 Worst Things Parents Can Do." Any votes for No. 8?
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.