It's been a good couple of days for people who like seeing little girls dressed up like terrifying showgirl-clown babies. Yesterday, it was announced that breakout star of Toddlers & Tiaras Alana "Honey Boo Boo Child" Thompson was getting her own spin-off show on TLC and now the Shift has published an interesting profile on Eden Wood, the 7-year-old girl who is arguably the most famous pageant kid in the nation (she was sparkling before Honey Boo Boo Child even knew what spray-tanning was).
Eden Wood retired from the pageant circuit at the ripe old age of 6, but remains in the spotlight through her Logo reality show Eden's World, which focuses on Eden, her mother Mickie, her publicist and her manager all scrambling for the quickest way to get Eden off of reality TV (well, they'll stay if it's the only option) and into the pictures — though they will settle for Broadway.
Despite the Wood family's obvious hunger for fame, Mickie claims that all she wants is a normal, happy
"She's such a normal kid, and I don't want her to lose that. And if we can't have this dual existence I wouldn't be doing this. I don't want a tragedy. I don't want a child star."
Of course Mickie doesn't want a tragedy, but it's hard to believe — especially when she's shuffling her child to so many auditions that she can no longer attend school (the Woods' publicist Andrew Sullivan charmingly notes that Eden "can't quite read yet") — that she doesn't want a child star.
Mickie also claims that both Toddlers & Tiaras and Go Go Lucky (the production company behind Eden's World) initially approached her with interest in Eden and not the other way around:
"I did not seek out Toddlers [&] Tiaras. Somebody in New York had seen Eden's involvement in pageants and contacted us."
So someone sought Eden out, but Eden's mother and father (yes, he's to blame, too) have continually said yes to all of the offers and endorsement deals thrown her way and, as her parents, they are ultimately responsible for her outcome. Even if Eden is begging for fame and glitz (honestly, how many 7-year-olds wouldn't say yes to quitting school and playing dress-up all the time?), it's up to them to recognize that what she wants is not necessarily good for her. But why would they when they have this tiny dolled-up cash cow (who, for the record, I have no doubt that they legitimately love) at their immediate disposal?
Not all commentary towards Eden Wood has been negative. The Shift quotes Barney's Creative Ambassador-at-Large and author Simon Doonan as saying, "The gays can all relate to the manic theatricality of child pageants. Eden is an icon in her world. She is the Shirley Temple-ish of the 21st Century. Go Eden!" (Note: Eden's World is on the Logo network.)
Perhaps things will turn out alright for Eden — she'll find stardom in the movies, she'll learn to read and will become a high-functioning adult someday. That's what happened with Shirley Temple, O.G., who had an active political career following her time as a child actress. But then again, Eden is only "Shirley Temple-ish."
Oh, Mickie also had this to say:
"I got pregnant with Eden on a cruise when I was 40."
It happens, Mickie! You are beautiful.
Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty.
The Curious Fame Of 7-Year-Old Reality Star Eden Wood [Shift]