One word: NO! Let a child be a child.
Having worked around and observed the fashion industry, I can safely say that designers and editors tend to think anything goes. But what about when the rest of the world thinks their creativity has gone too far?
The web is ablaze over a French Vogue shoot that made 10-year-old model Thylane Blondeau look like an adult—face painted in thick make-up and feet clad in high heels as she sprawls out on a leopard-spotted couch. Should a child really be donning this sexy look? I mean, come on.
As The Daily Beast points out, child models are not a new thing. (Think of Brooke Shields in her Calvins.) But the kids seem to be getting younger and younger. Dakota's sister, Elle Fanning, is just 12 years old, and designers are flocking to dress her because of her tall and slender frame.
Interview magazine's entertainment editor Lauren Tabach-Bank said, "It sounds crazy to say someone has a good figure at 12—but she captures a youthful spirit …She's not oversexed, but she can wear clothing well." ...Not oversexed? Is that why she's wearing high heels? Would you let your 10-year-old daughter out of the house like that?
The Daily Beast thinks it's the industry's fault, because they have prompted us to view these images in a sexualized way. And while I agree, I also think designers, photographers and editors need to take a step back when they're talking about the creative elements of a shoot and ask themselves: "If we take away the 'fashion' element for a moment, would this be creepy and wrong? Will this artistic move affect people's lives outside the fashion world bubble?"
Maybe then they'll realize that it's unacceptable to make a 10-year-old child look like she's 25.
Read and view photos: Too Young To Model: Thylane Blondeau And Other Young Models' Controversies
Read Thylane's mother's response: Veronika Loubry, Thylane Blondeau's Mother, Responds To Critics