The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ten-year-old supermodel

Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau

Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau is just ten, but she's already being suggested as fashion's next major model. Posing for French Vogue magazine, Blondeau was heavily made-up, with her hair expertly teased and styled. She's also wearing clothes designed and presumably targeted for women twice her age or more.

Unsurprisingly, a controversy about Blondeau, her parents, and the fashion and modeling world in general has blown up. While I do support those with a talent (sailing, ice-skating, singing, acting, etc.) taking advantage of it at a young age–if they want to–I have a difficult time swallowing the notion of a 10-year-old girl wearing a dress that's open in the front to the waist as talent. There's playing dress-up, and then there's playing dress-up and having it photographed and put in an internationally famous fashion magazine.

There's no doubt that Blondeau shows talent as a model, and I support that. But I can't support a little girl wearing clothes designed for an adult and displaying them in such a provocative manner. Additionally, what does Blondeau's career say about the public and the fashion industry? Why would anyone want to see adult clothes modeled on a little girl unless she's playing dress-up for fun? While I understand modeling isn't about realistic expectations or how clothes will look on "the average person," it's just strange to see slinky dresses and exceedingly heavy makeup on a little girl. Lastly, what kind of message does this send to other girls Blondeau's age? It's generally considered that kids are growing up or being forced to grow up too quickly, and images like Blondeau's represent a flat-out unrealistic ideal for most girls or women of any age, but that's a hard lesson to teach anyone, let alone a ten-year-old.

For more on Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, including some additional images of her Vogue photo shoot, read Far too much, far too young: Outrage over shocking images of the 10-YEAR-OLD model who has graced the pages of Vogue.

-Katie Weidmann
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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