Children in Fashion?

This is ‘Super-model’ Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, she has just been featured in this shoot for Paris Vogue, oh and did I mention she is ten years old.

When I was ten I had probably clomped up and down the garden in my mums high heels. I had most likely painted my face up like a clown with her make-up. But I pretty much spent most of my time playing with Sylvanian Families and dreaming I was in Narnia. I can image Thylane finding it fun dressing up like the ladies in her mums magazines but these images are a far cry from how I dressed up as a child. You can’t deny these are styled up in a sexy manner, somewhat provocative. I know French Vogue likes to be risque, that they are art perhaps. But I don’t like it, not one bit. I don’t like seeing little girls in adult situations, I don’t like seeing them wearing make-up, I cringe when I see tiny feet in heeled shoes clicking around the super market. Childhoods are short enough, we should do whatever we can to let kids be kids.

Then I also came across this:

A phrase taken out of context from a Kate Moss interview a couple of years ago and touted as a pro-anorexia slogan. But my god why is it on a child’s t-shirt?

Excuse me whilst I go and vomit,



23 thoughts on “Children in Fashion?

  1. Those pictures are utterly inappropriate!! I do wonder, though, about the idea of inappropriate clothes/behaviour being a new thing: in the 80s, I remember being taught dance moves which when we showed our teacher for a school talent show, got looks of horror and a NO. We were wearing little versions of clubby clothes, too. Evidently even back then the dance teacher had different ideas of 'too sexy' to most people. :/ It poses a problem when someone with those odd ideas get published in Vogue though!!!?! What were they thinking?

  2. I think everyone is united in finding these photos deplorable. Her parents are totally irresponsible and Vogue showed complete misjudgement. There is risque and there is feeding the twisted the fantasies of sick people out there. It does not take much at all. I can't even let myself go there with a daughter practically the same age.

    Incomprehensible considering the daily news of abuse and murders. Yes, these happen regardless but I'm convinced images like these must play a role. And I do not accept 'Art' as anything to do with it. It's child porno.

  3. I thought I'd seen it all when Noah Cyrus (aged at least 10 at the time) brought out a fashion line of what appeared to be baby hooker wear. I think that pasting irresponsible pro-ana slogans on children's t-shirts is just disgusting.

    The question of using children as models is tricky. I personally do not like these Vogue images at all. There is something very wrong with sexualising an underage child in this way. The reason that we have an age of consent in the first place is to protect children from exactly this kind of sexualisation. However, Miu Miu have created a far less sexy AW11 campaign with 14-year-old actress Hailee Steinfeld. They create a much more innocent, child playing dress up type series of images that I think are actually rather good. The debate should be less about whether younger children should be in front of the camera – that is probably inevitable – and more about how they are being portrayed.

  4. Yes this is really wrong. I loved playing with Sylvanian families too when I was ten and funnily enough my 9 year old daughter loves playing with them now. There is no way I would let her do anything like this, what are her parents thinking of.

  5. These images are so disturbing, I wouldn't like to see my 13 year old niece dressed like this. Its just not right.xx

  6. This has got to stop, utterly irresponsible of Vogue in so many ways. I had just recently thought why don't they use older models? We all want to look/feel good whatever our age, but none of us want to see children looking like this, it is truly astonishing.

  7. @Lizzy – I had no idea the girl in the Miu Miu ads was just 14! I agree the ads are much more tasteful but I am still not liking the use of such young models, they should all be over 18 in my opinion anyway.

  8. Oh dear. The world has OFFICIALLY gone mad. This is horrible – she looks like one of those little girls that are dressed up to be in American beauty pageants and are squeezed into tiny ruffled dresses and made up to within an inch of their lives. I completely agree with Lizzy saying "The debate should be less about whether younger children should be in front of the camera – that is probably inevitable – and more about how they are being portrayed". That is exactly it.

  9. Such a sad state. Kids really need to be kids. & to think we are suppose to be as skinny as a 10 year old..don't think so.

  10. Oh dear, I think that 'supermodel' is so inappropriate, the brands using her should be ashamed of themselves. And as for that t-shirt…it makes me cringe so much. I hate inappropriate 'slogan' t-shirts for kids. I saw a boy of about 5 wearing a t-shirt the other day saying 'Sorry girls, I only date models'. A 5 year old should not be thinking about dates! I really hope that my niece's childhood is protected from these horrors.

  11. I think it's absolutely repellent. Even though I was never one of those 10 year olds who liked to dress up and try makeup (was far more likely to be covered in hay and horse slobber), I don't have a problem with it as a phase – it's just something little girls like to do. But when it comes to clothing with branding like that, or kids in the public eye like that, it's the parents who have consciously chosen to sexualise their children and it's abhorrent. It's bad enough that the fashion industry as a whole likes to glamorise extreme youth, thinness and childishness but this is just deeply disturbing.

  12. Couldn't agree more, this is disgraceful. This girl will grow up placing a great deal of importance on looking sexy and attractive – which obviously young girls already get from the media but not at 10 years old! Being 10 is about wearing trainers and getting scabby knees x

  13. It's certainly not a new thing, just look at Biba. Their pre-teen and teen clothes were called 'Lolita' and I have seen some promo photos for the clothing range with a young girl (12, 13 maybe) wearing leopard print, skin tight clothes.

    Also, Irina Ionescu and her controversial pictures of her daughter Eva. It's a fine line to tread and judge.

    All I know is that I wanted to wear make-up and skin-tight clothes when I was 11, but I wasn't allowed. I both still resent this (because it stifled my freedom of expression) and thank it for making me the person I am today.

  14. Could't have put it better myself! Let the poor girl have a childhood. I love Vogue, I really do, but I find it disgusting that such a massive company can get away with dressing a child like an up-market hooker and posing her on fur sofa's.

    There's a difference between being risky and promoting the sexualisation of children. As for the pro-ana t-shirt, this sort of thing should be made illegal and the manufacturers locked up.

  15. Don't like it at all. It's very wrong and all childhood innocence has been removed. Wrong, wrong wrong.

  16. I loved 'dress up' as a girl, but that is exactly what it was, it was innocent, make-believe.
    These images make me cringe, it's too much. Children need to be children.

  17. Ugh, I agree – and with all the comments. You probably don't know the Jo Benet (sp?) story in the States, but this whole mentality is pretty scary.

    Speaking of scary.. just been reading your tweets. I didn't think to check in with you – I'm such an idiot. I kept thinking it was only in London, kept picturing you living in the English COUNTRYSIDE, not Manchester. Your advice is so sage, so sane. Your in my thoughts now at least.. better late than never! xox

  18. No thank you, creepy child pictures, please go away. Child models obviously exist, but surely they should belong in the pages of the Next catalogue kids section or in the windows of Baby Gap. You know, wearing children's clothes. Not gussied up like miniature adults in Vogue.
    Kids do like dressing up, and I'm sure most little girls like playing in mum's wardrobe. I remember the younger kids next door being delighed by having their toe-nails painted, and my young cousin has always been fascinated with the contents of my make-up bag. But for her, make-up is limited to some spangle, and maybe some pinky lip-gloss for dress-up, and then only in the house. She also had play heels, like little plasticky dressing up shoes with a heel of a couple of centimetres. They belonged strictly in the dressing up box though, for wearing with princess costumes. She enjoyed clacking about the house in them but they were perfectly kiddy and she never had 'real' heels.

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