Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Toddlers and tiaras". Where has the ceteris paribus gone?

Good morning economists and have a nice week. Last week in a post, we discussed the idea of fairness and we concluded that people have an inherent sense of what they consider to be fair or unfair. Sociologically speaking, we expect people to act within the parameters of the norm. When we see a family of seven for example, we assume with no extra information that the parents like children and that they are, for the most part, a happy family. This is what we consider the norm to be.

Yesterday I was watching an episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras" a show on TLC where families enter their children in beauty pageants and compete in various age groups. I, have to admit that I am not a fun of the show because I cannot accept the idea of putting make up on little children nor "selling" their image for the sake of ensuring large numbers of viewership. The episode that I watched showed how the mother, Jamie Sterling, was preparing her twin daughters aged 6 for the competition. Now, what is wrong with this picture you may ask. Watch and see:


Jamie seems to favor one daughter over the other to an extend that she ordered a brand new dress for her favorite while letting AshLynn to compete in a torn dress. I was so upset when I watched this, that I searched online about the particular episode.

It turns out that there was an outcry against this type of shows and the mother was quickly labeled as a b@#$&. In the end, viewers were outraged because the show shot down their ceteris paribus assumption, that families with twins treat both their kids in the same way. A ceteris paribus assumption is one that we usually make based on the norm when there is no more information about the subject of discussion.

What do you think of the show? Have a nice day!

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