Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Real Little Miss Sunshine

Truth, as the saying goes, is stranger than fiction. But when it comes to child beauty pageants, the truth is also creepier, sadder, and way, way funnier. Case in point: The mythical HBO documentary Living Dolls: The Making Of A Child Beauty Queen. I say "mythical" because for everyone who has seen it, the movie occupies a sort of legendary position. It is truly unbelievable. From the gay couple who coach their 7-year-old daughter to flirt with the host, to the herky-jerky modeling style called "Pro-Am," to the ridiculous pageants themselves, it all seems too over-the-top, too perfectly absurd to be real. But it is. And, really, it's amazing. But Living Dolls is also currently unavailable on DVD or VHS, so anyone who has ever seen it has sort of accidentally come upon it, and then forever been unable to share the object of their amazement with anyone else.

Until now, that is, because FourFour has generously uploaded the entire 80 minute documentary on YouTube for all the world to see. YouTube is great for making fun of P.Diddy and Rachael Ray, and analyzing what Fergie's "London Bridge" is, but, really, this is what YouTube was invented for: sharing semi-obscure weird/funny documentaries about child beauty pageants. Here's the first clip: [youtube:4dJ-PvHv1HQ] The rest can be found here. T

here are nine parts all together, but you have an entire long weekend to watch them all. Highlights from future clips include:

—A mother weighing the pros and cons of paying for her son to do pageants, or paying for her son to take the Human Growth Hormone he'll need for normal development.

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—An 18-month-old baby with hair extensions.

—Swan's many, many grimaces.

—"Where's your cup at?"

—A stirring rendition of "I'm Proud To Be An American."

—"His hobbies include playing in the dirt, and watching Unsolved Mysteries."

—Shane demonstrating to a four-year-old how to "Pro-Am"

—And the creepiest man alive singing in right into the faces of a line of seven-year-old girls.

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