If ever you were in the market for a new reality television show to watch, it’s Project Runway: Junior. I know, I know; kids on television reality shows is creepy and somehow wrong in a way that some of us have a difficult time with. I’m not a fan of watching little girls who are still at an age in which they should be wearing pull-ups at night and still sipping their water and milk from a sippy cup parade around in more makeup and hair than RuPaul in the middle of a pageant, but that’s just me (and so many other people, too).
Not all children’s reality television is creepy and disgusting, weird or even something that makes parents look really bad. This show, for instance, actually celebrates kids and their actual talent – and that is something I think we can all appreciate. If you’re not watching Project Runway: Junior, yet, here are five reasons to go find this season on whatever streaming service you use and binge.
To Celebrate Kids
Let’s be serious; we love the idea of celebrating kids who deserve to be celebrated. The kids chosen to be on this reality show are kids who have a dream. They love fashion and design, and they are kids who are unabashedly unashamed of who they are. We love that. In a world when so many kids are mean to anyone they perceive as different, this is a show where you will see boys forgetting football and embracing tulle and girls who don’t fit the stereotypical prom queen mold. These kids are awesome; and they seem to know that they are awesome. We love it simply because we love to see kids who embrace who they are and celebrate that on a regular basis. What’s not to love?
To Celebrate Actual Talent
Listen, some of the clothes that these kids come up with are questionable in a way that makes us raise both eyebrows and vow never to shop any line that kid has. But what’s your 13-year-old doing? Seriously, these kids are talented. They have vision; they have an eye and they have some mad skill. They sew, they see and they can envision things that most of us cannot. They are really talented, and I think that it’s worth watching these kids because some of them will really go on to become quite famous someday. We might giggle now, but one day you might be wearing the next big thing’s line and loving every second of it.
To Celebrate Optimism
If we are being candid – and we are – we can all agree that watching adults on a show like this is sometimes difficult. They have to make it. This is it for them. This is their dream. They are adults, and they need to get their names out there, become recognized and make a name for themselves. If they don’t, they might not get another chance. On the flip side, these kids are ages 13-17 and they have a long time ahead of them to make themselves talented and famous. They still have to graduate and attend school and live their lives. They know that they have time.
They are optimistic about things. To them, winning isn’t the point. To them, being able to experience something like this is the point. They’re not crying and down and upset and unhappy and miserable all the time. They are optimistic and happy and they are appreciative, and that might just be one of the most amazing things about this show.
To Celebrate Your Own Lack of Talent
When I watch a show like this, it’s my own general knowledge that I haven’t nearly as much talent as these kids. I just found a small hole in the seam of a sweater I’ve worn only one time and I had to take it to a seamstress to have it repaired because I can’t even sew a small thing like that even though it should probably be some sort of motherhood requirement. I could never design clothes, I could never create them; I can buy them and wear them and rock them, but I am not someone with any talent like these kids and that makes me feel almost as if I am not quite there yet.
But it’s nice to watch this show and celebrate the fact that while I might not have the kind of talent these kids have, they actually have some. They are not out doing things they shouldn’t be doing and focusing on the wrong things in life. They are out and they are making a mark and doing what they love and developing something that could provide them with a real future. It’s good stuff.
To Celebrate Honesty and Lessons Learned
Kids today are coddled; I’m not sorry to say that. No, I am sorry to say that. I don’t care much for the fact that I have to say that. Kids are coddled. When I was growing up and a child was in trouble in school and the parents were called, the parents came in and they apologized to the teacher and made their kids apologize and then their kids were in trouble at school and at home.
Today, I see parents all the time through the eyes of my teacher mother, aunt and best friend who come in and blame the teacher for all that their kids did wrong in class and then take them out for ice cream to make them feel better because the mean old teacher sent them to the office for punching another child in the face even though that child totally provoked their own little angel by breathing.
This show is honest. These judges are not hateful and mean to kids, but they are not sugarcoating or mincing their words, either. They’re honest. They are not coddled and told they are amazing when they are not. They’re told to do better, try again and learn from their mistakes. That’s the kind of stuff I like to see.
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