Cautionary show about child stars and their ‘momagers’By Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Aside from the young hopefuls, the new series also focuses on their “stage mothers,” ambitious and fiercely driven “mom managers,” or “momagers” who push and sometimes even force their kids to do whatever it takes to attain precocious stardom, so they can support their needy loved ones.
In some cases, the moms yearned to become stars themselves when they were much younger, and are now using their children to achieve their unfulfilled ambitions.
As the unique reality challenge unreels from week to week, the competing kids are made to undergo all sorts of tests, with the weakest competitors being serially dropped from the contest.
This must be a terribly traumatic experience for some of them, so we hope that the production has hired psychologists to help the children deal with the low blow after they’re dismissed, so early in their emotionally vulnerable lives.
It turns out, however, that it’s the “momagers” who have a harder time accepting their children’s sad fate. They have their own “non-title” competition going on, and it’s often yukkily loud and messy to behold.
We sense that the combative and hyper-competitive moms may actually be encouraged to be so emotionally involved in their kids’ stellar ambitions—and to express their dislike for one another in no uncertain terms!
Worst of all are the moms who push their children so hard that the stress and tension get to them.
No child should be exposed to such harsh conflicts, because they’re definitely too young and vulnerable to process and deal with them.
Above all, they need their mothers’ support, not their scathing put-downs, just because they are unable to fulfill their parents’ dreams of stellar fame and fortune.
The new series is particularly relevant to local viewers, because “momagers” abound here—impoverished or lazy adults who put their kids to work as their entire families’ breadwinners!
Local show biz is rife with horror stories of “stage parents” who live off their gifted kids’ talents and hard work. Thus, the US show has a cautionary element to it that should make their local counterparts think 10 times before they subject their own children to such harsh and even cruel treatment!
Kids are supposed to enjoy their childhood, because it’s the time for them to play, have fun and develop their personalities and all-important sense of wonder.
If children are turned into pint-sized workers while their families indolently live off their sweat and tears, they could and do end up as conflicted and poorly developed adults who have a hard time dealing with the detritus of their lost celebrity.
For every child star who has turned out well, like Vilma Santos, there are five who are weighed down by resentment and even anger at their “stage parents” and the entire entertainment industry that has robbed them of their childhood!
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