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The Jours Après Lunes, a French lingerie brand launched a new line for girls aged 4 to 12 year-old a few weeks ago, which was met with many negative opinions. The collection includes a range of panties, bras and t-shirts with ribbon and lace details. The girls modeling for the line in heavy make-up play with strings of pearls wrapped around their necklines and their hairstyles suggest images of rock stars.
The atmosphere of photos, which feature bare legs and stomachs, are reminiscent of Thylane Blondeau’s shoot who posed with two other girls for Tom Ford in the January 2011 edition of French Vogue.
Thylene Lena-Rose Blondeau is ten years old model from France. She has modeled for Vogue, Lacoste, Dani Brubaker & many moreShe has modeled for Vogue, Lacoste, Dani Brubaker & many moreShe has modeled for Lacoste, Dani Brubakeris and many other brands however her name started to be recognizable after photo shoot for French Vogue were she poses lying on tiger leather, wearing gold dress and high heel shoes.
Thylene is not the only one popular kid model. She entered into the fashion world follows a trend for younger models. Elle Fanning (13 years old) or Haille Steinfeld (14 years old) has both recently signed contracts with Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu. These kinds of actions provoke viewers to ask the question: “Where are the boundaries and where does unhealthy provocation start?”
So far various commentators from fashion world and psychologists have expressed their concern over the obvious sexualization of the young girls and the dangers that can be connected with these kinds of “fashion development.”
“It’s cute when a little girl dresses up in her mom’s clothing and jewelry and high heels,” said Marilisa Racco, author of Le Snob Lingeries to the New York Daily News after she saw photo session released by The Jours Après Lunes. “These pictures are not cute. It’s entirely inappropriate to put a 4-year-old in a bouffant like she’s Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman.
It’s inappropriate to sexualize children. A pearl-encrusted triangle bra on a little girl does not sit well with me.” Penny Nance CEO of Concerned Women for America organization criticized Jours Après Lunes, adding that designer Sophie Morin should be ashamed of herself.
“This is a pedophile’s dream,” Nance told The Daily Caller. “Sophie Morin, the lingerie designer, at Jours Après Lunes should be ashamed and French mothers should be outraged and demand a response.” Sophie Morin fends off these attacks on fashionista.com web-blog and expresses her surprise at the publicity over her clothing line.
She says that “The trans-generational mother/daughter aspect of my brand doesn’t offer anything new and is identical to what lots of ready to wear brands offer.” She also explains that “All the photos show children playing children’s games, as we’ve all done. If you look at the details, you’ll often find elements of children’s games: dolls accessories, wooden animals etc.”
The similar negatives comments appeared after Thylene’s Blondeau shoots for Vogue. UK Mothers’ Union organization commented these images in newspaper the Daily Mail, “We have grave concerns about the modelling agency who represents Blondeau, which clearly does not know if it represents a child or an adult.
Photo shoots requiring her, a 10-year-old girl, to dress in full makeup, teetering heels and a dress with a cleavage cut to the waist across her prepubescent body deny Blondeau the right to be the child she is.” Additionally Mothers’ Union chief executive Reg Bailey has been commissioned to arrange an independent review about the pressures faced by children.
He has invited the fashion and advertising industries for discussion in October. Psychologists also comment this social problem. Clinical psychologist of the British CBT & Counselling Service Dr. Emma Gray told the Daily Mail that Thylene’s images published in Vogue present “a child being exposed to a world she is not yet equipped to deal with, solely to serve the needs of the adults around her.
If children are to develop into happy, grounded and psychologically balanced people, their childhood needs to be spent appropriately preparing for the demands of the adult world… Prematurely exposing a child to the adult world is dangerously preventing the completion of their development into a person who can survive it.”
Bloggers also show their disagreement about these images. As a comment for Thylene’s photos one blogger said on Tumblr: ‘This is disgusting. I wonder where the parents of these kids are.’