Few TV shows have been as controversial as TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. Indeed, the reality series has previously come under fire for, among other things, showing images of children dressed up like adults and being made to pose provocatively. Some of the parents who put their children on the show even ended up being investigated for child abuse. And yet audiences seemed to eat it all up. What the poor young contestants will make of it all when they’re fully grown adults remains to be seen. For the meantime, though, let’s see how some of them have fared since their pageant days.
20. Taralyn Eschberger
Red-haired Taralyn Eschberger did well on Toddlers & Tiaras – but, as with most of the children on the show, her mother seemed more into it than she was. She’s finished sixth grade now, enjoys swimming and soccer, according to her Instagram page, and looks like a regular, pretty kid again.
19. Eden Wood
Toddlers & Tiaras made little Eden Wood a child star when she was just six. She even briefly got her own spin-off show, Eden’s World, in 2012. Unfortunately, though, the following year saw – frantically denied – rumors that her mother had abused her. TLC didn’t appear to pay too much mind, though; after all, by 2016, when Wood was still just 11 years old, she was back on Toddlers & Tiaras as a judge.
18. Paisley Dickey
In 2011 three-year-old Paisley Dickey’s mother put her in a Pretty Woman “hooker” costume for the series. Yes, that really happened – and she actually won, too. Of course, this classless display caused no end of well-deserved condemnation. Now Paisley is in third grade, and hopefully she has no memory of that horrific incident.
17. Lacey-Mae Mason
Eight-year-old Lacey-Mae Mason was the first ever Toddlers & Tiaras star with dwarfism. She was also one of the few to have non-pushy parents, with her mother saying, “I thought it would be great for her self-esteem to tell her one day that the trophy on her mantle was from a beauty pageant.” Now, meanwhile, she’s still looking great.
16. Madison “Tootie” Berg
Appearing on the show at the age of ten, Madison “Tootie” Berg was definitely not a toddler, although that didn’t stop her in the slightest. And hopefully Berg’s mother – who described herself as Tootie’s “slave” – doesn’t do absolutely everything for her any more. After all, she’s almost an adult now… Meanwhile, Berg is still entertaining audiences – but this time as a cheerleader at her high school.
15. Alycesaundra Lyerly
Alycesaundra Lyerly was one half of the “Tiara Twins,” a pair of four-year-olds from South Carolina whose mother spent over $500,000 on their dresses, bodyguards and tour bus. Over the top? Way over the top. At least these days Lyerly looks like a normal, gap-toothed child instead of Barbie.
14. Giavanna Lyerly
While the mom of the “Tiara Twins” sang the praises of daughter Alycesaundra, she was utterly disgusting towards her other daughter, Giavanna. Indeed, she once said, “I’ve got one kid that’s a brat, and one kid that’s great.” Thankfully, this Lyerly sister is now older and no longer having to wear spray tan.
13. Ava Bartello
Ava Bartello appeared in the sixth season of Toddlers & Tiaras when she was just five years old. And, in fact, she’s still taking part in pageants. But since she frequently pops up on Instagram not wearing any makeup, it’s clear that beauty isn’t everything to this young girl. Which, let’s face it, is just how it should be.
12. Kylie LaDuca
Having started out in pageants at the grand age of one, LaDuca is now setting her sights higher than Toddlers & Tiaras. In fact, the now ten-year-old is trying to make it as a child actress and has a few credits to her name on IMDB. Hopefully, then, she’ll do well in the future.
11. Isabella Barrett
Isabella Barrett did incredibly well from Toddlers & Tiaras: at just nine years old, she’s now a millionaire with her own fashion business. “My fans love me, they tell me I’m really cool and just really pretty – there’s nothing not to like about being famous,” she has said. And fingers crossed that it stays that way.
10. SaLiz Anderson
SaLiz – short for Sarah-Elizabeth – was one of the lucky Toddlers & Tiaras stars who had a sensible parent. “I think it’s ridiculous for a child to need acrylic nails, flippers and fake tans to win a pageant,” her mother said back in 2012. Now, SaLiz is embarking on an “age-appropriate” music career.
9. Ever Rose Minor
Ever Rose Minor’s mother had a very controlling attitude over her daughter’s weight when they were on the show. She was restricted to 1,600 calories daily – and even when she lost weight, her mother complained and ended up sticking a too-big dress to her daughter with eyelash glue. Luckily, Ever at least seems healthy now.
8. Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey, then known as Kailia Deliz, appeared on Toddlers & Tiaras at the age of four and managed to take home some prize money. She also nastily taunted her main rival, Kayla, with the cash. But, fortunately, the now eight-year-old seems to be channeling her competitive spirit into more constructive things like soccer and swimming.
7. Braxton Mathews
Little Braxton Mathews, one of the few boys to appear on the show, was clearly the apple of his mother’s eye. Indeed, she actually said that her son was beautiful… even if that didn’t stop her doing stuff like bleaching his teeth. But now Braxton seems like a down-to-earth kid – and one who even cuts his hair every year to gift to children with cancer.
6. Alaska Mathews
The other Mathews star, Alaska, played second fiddle to her brother Braxton throughout Toddlers & Tiaras. In fact, her family were horrible to her… right up until she started winning. After that, though, she faded quietly away. Alaska said on the show that she wanted to be a doctor; fingers crossed, then, that she’s working towards that.
5. Savannah Caldwell
Seven-year-old pageant veteran Caldwell arrived on the series with no front teeth, bright blonde hair and a pushy stage mother. Today, she has all her teeth, complete with what’s presumably her natural hair color. And she’s also being homeschooled by the aforementioned mother.
4. Kayla Hatton
Kayla Hutton is another kid who went on Toddlers & Tiaras and did something she couldn’t possibly have known the significance of: twerking. She’s still doing pageants, as well as cheerleading, although of course it remains to be seen whether she’ll keep it all up.
3. Brenna Gaskin
Brenna Gaskin was known for being one of the more badly behaved contestants on Toddlers &Tiaras. And let’s hope that, now she’s a little older, she doesn’t go looking for anything written about her online. Since her official Twitter only has two tweets, though, maybe she and her family have eschewed social media altogether.
2. Mia Spargo
Mia Spargo gained praise for how great she was at child beauty pageants. Sadly, though, life hasn’t always been kind to her; indeed, Mia was stricken with brain cancer in 2013 when she was aged just six. And while it naturally took a terrible toll on her, her story fortunately has a happy ending: in 2015, after undergoing lots of chemotherapy, Mia was finally declared cancer-free.
1. Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson
No one from Toddlers & Tiaras achieved greater success than Alana Thompson, if “success” is really the word. That’s because she got her own spin-off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which promptly also became a TV hit and talking point. The show was, however, abruptly canceled after it was revealed that her mother had become romantically involved with a sex offender. That’s no environment for a child, and we can only hope that her life gets better as she gets older.