July 21, 2009

On TLC's 'Toddlers & Tiaras,' Little Divas Make Their Entrance

Wednesday's Season Premiere Reveals the Ins and Outs of Pint-Size Beauty Pageants

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and for the state's pint-size beauty pageant queens, that includes the hair, the crowns and the attitudes.

Are contestants in "Toddlers and Tiaras" too young for a healthy competition?

The little girls are show stoppers on "Toddlers & Tiaras," which has its second-season premiere Wednesday on TLC. This time the show follows the Universal Royalty pageant, a Texas competition in which nearly 100 young participants compete for the title of "Ultimate Grand Supreme" and $1,000 cash.

One of the contenders is 4-year-old Eden Wood, who's wearing a Las Vegas showgirl outfit in the first episode. Eden's been sashaying across the stage since she was 1, winning hundreds of trophies and crowns.

Click here to see more of Eden Wood's pageant photos.

She especially likes getting all dolled up, she said. "My mamma puts my makeup on, and I really wanna get good with my makeup, and I like to do my makeup."

Her biggest fan is her mother, Mickie Wood, a former beauty queen who hopes that Eden will go from tiny Taylor, Ark., all the way to Miss America some day.

"It's sort of like small town, big dreams. Any time you come from a town with 556 population, you know it's big time for us," said Wood.

Her daughter is a natural talent, according to Wood. "She just shines when she comes on stage, it's the entertainer in her."

But Wood admits that behind that little entertainer is a big diva. "She's very independent and very opinionated and, you know, within a few moments of going to a photo shoot or meeting someone I can tell you if she's gonna, she doesn't like a photographer, she will tell you. Does she rule the house? Pretty much," Wood said.

Wood has turned Eden's pageants into a second career, and fame doesn't come cheap. A dress can cost up to $3,000. The Wood family said it has spent $70,000 on beauty essentials, such as spray tans, fake hair and photos.

Families like hers have made the pageant circuit a booming business. It's estimated that 250,000 children compete in more than 5,000 pageants in the United States each year. Even a 2-week-old baby boy is competing in this season's "Toddlers & Tiaras."

But family therapist Terry Real warns pageants can cost families a lot more than money.

"Performance based esteem -- I have worth because of what I can do or I have worth because of my beauty -- and what you want to teach your kid is you have worth because of who you are, period," Real said. "I think these kinds of contests are very confusing."

Read more at ABCNews Good Morning America

Click here to try this cute Pageant Quiz from TLC!

Link to TLC Network for more details on Toddlers and Tiaras!

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  1. I loved eden! You do have to admit she did have alot of "diva moments". She is so cute and adorable! I have a 2 year old daughter(adorable little madidon "madi" paisley)and she has been in pageants she was 8 months. And we love high glitz. We use spray tans, fake eyelashes, hair pieces, very expensive dresses, coaches, and a flipper (fake teeth)because she does have a couple of teeth that haven't grown in yet. She loves pageants.I see nothing wrong with them. Everyones judged in their life. She's so happy when she wins. So my advice is get your daughter, get a pageant coach , and get your daughter in pageants!

  2. I agree with you Gabby. By the way is your real name Gabrielle? I love your daughters middle name Gabby! Paisley is such a cute name! Anyway...Diva moments seem more like tantrums. But who hasn't has a few tantrums? My daughter is also 2 and she is already more confident and is way more comfortable around new people.Iloved eden!

  3. Hey Rebecca ! Yes my real name is Gabrielle. I really love toddlers and tiaras ! I can wait for the new one with tootie tomorrow! She is such a diva! I love it! I can watch the show and get ideas that I can tell my daughters coach about and we can use similiar to them in our routines. My daughter is awesome in pageants and when she wins the judges always joke because her last name is tallent.She has won around 160 crowns at the age of 2 and a halfand has won 43 grand supremes. We have 2 new twin girls coming in September(jackie elizabeth tallent and dalley layn tallent) and we know that the tallent girls are going to rock the pageant world! 

  4. Congrats on twins Gabby! What adorable names!Your'e daughter seems very experienced! I think we competed with you at california jewels pageant in San Diego! Comment back!

  5. Oh I remember you! I think I got your number at the pageant didn't I? What's your daughters name again? Comment me!

  6. Yeah I got your number to! My daughters name is Alexis(lexi)and here i'll text you.

  7. I just got your txt.

  8. My daughter (17 yo) and I just started watching the show. I did enter her in a pageant when she was less than a year old. local... nothing fancy. she did well... Ms Photogenic and some other trophies (been too long ago). i know they offer lots of scholarship money and gives the children confidence that will help with live in general. we just had one really big issue.. the Sterling twins mom. you could clearly see she has a favorite. we hope she will see herself and realize it. i cant imagine the children when they are older hearing the comments she makes about them.. poor Ashlynn. we were cheering for her to win and she won the Judges pick.. which was great. ok i have finally vented.

  9. You should be ashamed of yourselves watching this show... your children will be psychologically damaged for life... imagine these children as adults - egocentric, materialistic, selfish, and brats! Good luck with having a normal relationship outside of family who has to put up with you!

  10. And yes, I have a PhD in Family Psychology.

  11. oh yes.. I also have a PhD in Family Psychology as well as own a multimillion dollar business, won the lottery and a couple of oscars...lol. anyone can make those kinds of claims on here to better justify their opinions.

  12. i am beyond disgusted.. i have yet to see a mother who is actually doing this because her child wants it. I see overweight, unhealthy, insecure women living through their poor daughters. As if our youth doesnt have enough insecurities to work through.. we now are going to teach them to be "pretty" is everything, and to achieve that, they are not good enough as they are, they need different hair, a tan, fake teeth, make up, and dresses that are sometimes inapropiate for teenagers! I hope the mothers are horribly embarassed by watching themselves on the show. I hope any other mothers who are doing this also see what they must look like and what long term damage this is doing to their child!! if you want to teach your child confidence, encourage them in sports, or art, music.. something where they are not purely judged on looks! Give them a real talent to work on and be good at! Can you imagine what these young divas that are being created are going to be like as adults?? I think this is a form a true child abuse.

  13. I like pageants. My daughter (Logan) actually asked me enter her in a pageant when we watched a pageant documentary when she was 3. My other daughter (Teeghan) doesn't do pageants but dies competitve cheer. They both love what they do and will help them when thet are older.

  14. Fat moms who are trying to live vicariously through their daughters... THIS is what makes people in other countries hate Americans. Loud, obnoxious without regard for their children's well being.