Ten-Year-Old Model Rips Waves Through Fashion Industry

Real Style on 08.08.11
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Image Credit: Screenshot of Vogue Paris Editorial

Thylane Loubry Blondeau has been modeling since the age of four, lighting up the cover of Vogue Enfants and walking the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier. But many think her latest editorial spread in Vogue Paris has crossed the line from child modeling to child pornography.

Blondeau, along with several other very young girls, is portrayed in clothes and makeup reminiscent of young girls playing dress up with their mother's things. Some of the girls have on almost-clownish makeup, while others are seemingly fresh-faced and natural. But most of the concern comes from the poses the young girls are using, not necessarily the hair, clothes, and makeup.

The series of pictures, which you can see here, didn't necessarily get me all riled up. There was only one photo that had me raising my eyebrows, but for the most part, the girls were covered up and I got the make-believe vibe they were going for. I saw the art in it, and I did think they were beautiful photos.

I guess where I'm confused, though, is why they need such young models in the first place. If this editorial story was strictly for the sake of art, then OK. But it seems the magazine is actually hocking the clothes, shoes, jewelry, perfume, and makeup the girls are advertising. I don't know; seeing a 10-year-old in a gold dress doesn't want to make me run out and buy it. The same can be said for the jewels and makeup. These girls are beautiful, but they should be used to sell clothes and shoes to other children, not to grown women. Are we supposed to feel like we're reliving our youth or something? I just don't get it.

It reminds me of the scandal that broke out when Brooke Shields famously showed off her Calvin Klein jeans. She was only 14 at the time of that advertising campaign, but she modeled tight jeans and a skimpy top (or no top at all) to sell the jeans. And it worked. Maybe that's what Vogue Paris was going for with Blondeau. Makes you wonder how young the models will be in another 30 years, though.

What do you think? Are these photos totally inappropriate? Let me know your thoughts.

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