The mother of a Toddlers & Tiaras star is defending her decision to dress her three-year-old daughter in a prostitute costume for a pageant.
"I'm amazed it's caused this much of a frenzy," Wendy Dickey toldEntertainment Weekly about TLC's promos for Wednesday night's episode of Toddlers & Tiaras, which features Dickey's daughter Paisley.
"The judges loved it. Everybody except one particular mom went nuts over it. It was the cutest thing ever. It was very innocent. A lot probably would have been different if they aired the whole entire routine instead of just the hooker part."
Dickey's daughter walked across the stage in a white and blue dress and thigh-high black patent-leather boots, a recreation of an ensemble worn by Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman.
"Well, at this pageant there was an option to do celebrity-wear, and we thought about what we could wear with her being a brunette and Julia Roberts is my favorite actress of all time. I thought it was real cute to do Julia. She's three. If she was 10, I never would have considered this. But as young as she is, I thought it was very comical," Dickey added.
While Paisley's mother said she lengthened the dress in comparison to the original and and the child also wore a more conservative white and brown polka-dotted dress inspired by Roberts' character later in the pageant, the Parents Television Council has condemned the prostitute outfit and cited it as example of increasing sexualized children.
"We have a serious problem when The Learning Channel features a toddler, who probably hasn't even learned to read, dressed as a prostitute showing off her sexy strut," PTC communications director Melissa Henson told Entertainment Weekly.
"There's no question, TV executives are complicit in robbing these small kids of their childhood. For years we've seen adult sexuality being inappropriately and aggressively foisted on innocent young children, but children today are being sexualized at younger and younger ages."