Toddlers & Tiaras: Child Exploitation at its Worst?

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Kids sure grow up fast these days.

For almost three years, TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras has proven this emerging trend - albeit in an extreme case - by depicting the world of child beauty pageants.

It was always borderline in terms of decency, but the controversy surrounding the show has ramped up in recent weeks after T&T hit a dubious new low.

As footage of 3- and 4-year-olds dressed in overly adult costumes hit the airwaves, critics have been mortified at the show - and the industry it documents.

Toddlers & Tiaras Pic

"Little girls are supposed to play with dolls, not be dolls," New York-based clinical social worker Mark Sichel tells People in its new cover story this week.

Padding, fake hair, flippers (faux teeth) and spray tans "cause the children tremendous confusion, wondering why they are not okay without those things."

Wendy Dickey, the woman responsible for a three-year-old's child hooker outfit, defended it as "tasteful and funny" and implied sporting outfits are worse.

Juana Myers, whose daughter MaKenzie has been featured on Toddlers & Tiaras, says unfair scrutiny has been placed on the show and pageant industry.

Has it, though? Or are people just now opening their eyes to this awfulness? What do you think? Should TLC yank Toddlers & Tiaras? Vote below:

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