Eden Wood, a 6-year-old who has won 300 pageants, has decided to call it quits.
Wood is featured on the TLC reality show, Toddlers and Tiaras, which follows her on the toddler/preschool beauty pageant circuit. The pageants have raised controversy over the years, as critics question the appropriateness of stressing physical beauty at such young ages, and subjecting the young girls to tons of makeup, spray tans, fake nails, wigs, contact lenses and even botox.
Now little Eden is ready to move on, according to her mother Micki Wood, and will no longer participate in pageants or appear on Toddlers and Tiaras. But don’t think that Eden will be wasting her days riding bikes and playing with Barbies like a normal kindergartener. Instead, Micki thinks the pageants are just the first step to a long and prosperous show business career for Eden, telling ABC News, “I think she’s following in the footsteps of some pretty big people who have done pageants, like Oprah Winfrey.” (Winfrey, however, was 18 years old when she became “Miss Black Tennessee”.)
Micki’s big plans include an Eden showgirl action figure, a “Eden Wood Princess Canopy Bed Collection” and even her own memoir, tentatively titled From Cradle to Crown.
But Micki claims to have her priorities in order, saying that if Eden’s happiness comes first, adding, “As long as she enjoys what we’re doing, Mama’s going to keep doing it. If it leads to the Miley Cyrus status or Selena Gomez, so be it. If it doesn’t, that’s fine, too.”
Although Micki does feel pushing her daughter too hard will “destroy [her] child,” she seems comfortable to straddle that fine line to get what she, er, Eden wants, saying, “Why not see if we can’t have a Hollywood contract, a reality show, a spot on a Disney program. It’s the American dream. It’s her destiny.”
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