Hating on pageant moms is as classic an American past-time as cookouts and baseball games, but what about pageant fathers? Sure, the pageant dad is a more elusive beast — maybe because male involvement in a child beauty contest only serves to amplify the pageant world's already too-sexualized nature — but that doesn't mean he's any less vicious.
Tonight, Our America with Lisa Ling, a documentary series on OWN, will explore the pageant world and, in a short segment, Leo and Steve, two straight Arkansas fathers who have bonded as dads in the pageant world. Our America appears to celebrate Leo and Steve's involvement in choreographing their daughters' routines, helping with hair and makeup and even EVEN steaming gowns, saying that this is a way for the fathers to bond with their children and show support for what they love. It's a very different take on the pageant parent than what we've seen on Toddlers & Tiaras or other pageant shows in the past, which begs the question as to whether Our America will be as kind to its featured pageant mothers as they are to Leo and Steve. Is this simply a gentler take of the oft-demonized pageant world, or are we just celebrating Leo and Steve because they are present in a world where fathers, generally, are not?