Toddlers, Tiaras and Thigh-High Boots: 3-Year-Old’s Hooker Outfit

By ABC News

Sep 8, 2011 6:15pm

ABC News’ Mikaela Conley reports:

What can top a 4-year-old dancing around with fake breasts and padded butt? That would be a 3-year-old dressed up as a hooker. Paisley was featured on Wednesday’s episode of “Toddlers & Tiaras,” prancing around stage in  a mini prostitute outfit intended to channel Julia Roberts’ character in “Pretty Woman.” Paisley donned a version of the infamous ensemble, which consisted of thigh-high pleather boots and a blue miniskirt connected to a white belly shirt with a metal clasp.

The tot even showed off a blond  wig, similar to the one Roberts’ character wore while working the corner.

“I’m raising my child just as well as any mother does,” Paisley’s mother, Wendy Dickey, told TMZ. “I take my kid to church every week. … At least I’m not forcing them into sports and getting my child injured like some parents.”

Big Mistake. Big. Huge, some critics are saying.

The hooker outfit is only the latest controversy to come out of the show. Last week, 4-year-old Maddy Jackson wore fake breasts and buttocks while imitating Dolly Parton during her pageant shtick.  The spray tans, the heavy makeup, the sexy costumes and dance moves have all received criticism as TLC’s  “Toddlers & Tiaras” continues to push boundaries.

“It’s clear [TLC] feels they need to do something to up the ante,” said Diane Levin, author of  “So Sexy So Soon: The Next Sexualized Childhood and How Parents Can Protect Their Kids.”  “They must feel like they’re going to lose their edge. It’s clear that they know it’s bad publicity, but it gets the buzz going and they want the buzz.”

“Their goal is to get an audience rather than to serve the public good,” she said.

A TLC publicist did not return requests for comment.

When asked whether Levin believes TLC has taken the show to inappropriate, and potentially dangerous, levels, she said, “Well, obviously.”

“This little girl doesn’t totally understand what’s going on, but she’s being given ideas of how she’s supposed to act to be cool and successful,” continued Levin. “Not every little girl will want to dress like this, but they may want to get closer to it. It doesn’t seem as extreme, so little girls can move further along the sexualized continuum.”

For those who are outraged at seeing images of a toddler dancing around stage as a hooker, Levin encouraged viewers to send protest letters to the companies that advertise during  “Toddlers & Tiaras.”

“Advertisers do pay attention to that,” Levin said. “Also, talk to other parents to make sure you all agree to protect your kids from being exposed to such things.”

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