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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vogue's 10-Year-Old Model and the Pressure to Be Hot From Cradle to Grave!

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By SUSANNA SCHROBSDORFF, / Friday, August 5, 2011.

French Vogue

Just when we were getting used to seeing pubescent bodies of 13-year-old fashion models draped in $10,000 outfits, French Vogue has taken the creepy trend one step further with some controversial photos of a pre-pubescent 10-year-old model striking some very adult poses.

The image of young Thylane Loubry Blondeau, stretched out on a tiger skin with leopard-print high heels, red nail polish, big jewelry and upswept hair, has lit up the Web and reignited the long-running debate over whether we are sexualizing young girls.

Let's agree here with the many outraged bloggers who note that there is something deeply creepy about the images. The girl has a preternaturally mature stare and a Brigitte Bardot pout that is both stunning and unsettling. And of course there's something disturbing about the whole concept of using a fourth-grader to hawk couture for adult women.

But in truth, I'm a little surprised that the Vogue pictures caused such a stir given that there's no comparable outrage over the fact that Target sells pink silk padded bras for tweens or that, come this Halloween, we'll once again be faced with fetish wear for 6-year-olds including some truly icky French maid costumes.

And yet we're shocked each time there's a new sexy kid incident. Inevitably, in response, the TV networks drag out the clips of the heavily made-up kiddie pageant contestants on TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras, along with that viral video of a dance competition featuring young girls wearing garters and gyrating to a Beyoncé song.

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