You might know six-year-old Eden Wood from her from her stint on TLC’s creepy-but-genius show “Toddlers and Tiaras,” or perhaps you recall the time that she hosted a fashion show with “Real Housewives of New York” star Kelly Bensimon.
Either way, turns out that Wood, who’s also the spokesgirl for Cicciabella’s new line of western-style boots for kids, is something that the world of clothing design is going to try to make us take seriously: today, she’s profiled in Footwear News, a sister publication of respected fashion trade Women’s Wear Daily.
The site’s treatment of Wood is no less serious than if she were a budding designer (over the age of, say, 21) or a serious contender in the world of runway modeling (over the age of…well shit, maybe she’s the right age for that). They write, for instance, that she “attended New York Fashion Week for the first time last month, where she mingled with designers including Marc Jacobs,” as if “mingle” is or has ever been an appropriate verb to describe the behavior of a six-year-old.
The site also describes Wood’s experience in the beauty pageant world as follows:
In the pageant world, known for its cutthroat competition, achieving that perfect, show-stopping look is the difference between clinching the title and going home empty-handed. So Eden and mom Mickie Wood, her manager and fashion guru, spend hours strategizing and shopping for her flashy ensembles, dropping thousands of dollars along the way. And when they can’t find what they are looking for in the stores, they get creative, sometimes giving a pair of shoes the do-it-yourself treatment. “My mama will paint and bling out a [plain shoe],” Eden said.
This might not be so odd — after all, it’s just a description of what goes into children’s beauty pageants, right? — if it didn’t precede a Q and A with Wood about what the magazine describes as “a glimpse into her glamorous shoe wardrobe.” Here’s an excerpt:
Pairs owned: “More than I can even count.”
Personal style: “Very girly and frou-frou.”
Favorite brands: Cicciabella, Skechers
Shoe-shopping spots: “Anywhere there is a shoe rack.”
Favorite shoe style: “Fun sneakers so I can be a tomboy when I’m not glammed up and on stage.”
Least favorite style: “I’m not crazy about the shoes I wear for my pageant beauty routines. They’re just plain-old white [dress shoes] — a little boring for me.”
Favorite city for shopping: “Hollywood because it just fits my style well.”
Dream shoe: “A Selena Gomez-designed sneaker.”
How will your look change as you transition from pageants to music? “You know my mama will have me dressed fashionista-fabulous. She will probably have feathers on my shoes. She sure has them on everything else [I wear].”
It’s not that Wood isn’t adorable, and it’s not that this interview isn’t interesting in sort of a voyeuristic way. But the tone of the piece leaves out a few key points, like the fact that Wood’s sole fashion influence so far appears to be her mother (as is to be expected with a child her age), or that she’s honed her love of pink and glitter at pageant circuits that very questionably judge the physical beauty of children. It doesn’t even go so far as to suggest that age six, maybe she has a few years before she develops a serious opinion about fashion.
Perhaps an interview in Highlights would be a better fit for next time?