There's trouble brewing in the lipsticked and hairsprayed world of toddler pageants.
Little Madisyn "Maddy" Verst is a now-6-year-old little girl who has appeared on the popular TLC (un)reality show 'Toddlers & Tiaras'. You may remember her even if you don't watch the show because she appeared on the cover of People magazine a while back with the headline "Gone Too Far?"
Well Maddy's mom and dad are currently locked in a custody battle and one of the dad's fuels for his fire is a Dolly Parton costume the little girl wore on the show that featured a padded bra and butt.
A Kentucky court-appointed psychologist is siding with the father, Bill Verst, saying that the child’s participation in beauty pageants, and in particular the Dolly Parton and a "sexy" cop outfit, are damaging to the girl and is recommending that the parents share temporary custody with the father getting primary residential custody.
Lindsay Jackson, the girl's mother, told the media on Saturday, “If [the judge decides] that Maddy needs to live with her dad because she does pageants with me, then that opens the door for any parent to challenge anybody on activity that a kid does, period,” Jackson said. “We could really open up Pandora’s Box to set a precedent all over the world. What if years ago Gabby Douglas’ father said, ‘She’s not going to be a gymnast. She’s not going to move away from home and practice gymnastics because I won’t allow it,’ and he and Gabby’s mother got into a fight? We wouldn’t have gold medal winners, we wouldn’t have Miss America, we wouldn’t have Miss USA.”
The next hearing is scheduled for August 31.