Pretty Baby

A recent “Jezebel” article tried to stir the exploitation pot by highlighting photos of a young french model, Thylane Loubry Blondeau, who happens to be 10 years old. I am less disturbed by the premise of the article than by the possibility that they may have completely ripped off this one, which posed the exact same question and even some of the same photographs. At least “Jezebel” cited this other article as a “source.” What the hell happened to “Jezebel,” anyway? It used to be a fun site geared towards women, but now just seems to publish recycled material from other entertainment sites with the purpose of creating flame discussions. Phooey.

The fashion industry has used very young girls in grown-up looking photoshoots before, like Brooke Shields and Milla Jovovich. “Jezebel’s” pointing out that some of the photographs of Thylane Loubry Blondeau verge on the inappropriate by highlighting the most “controversial” – primarily those where Thylane is wearing make-up and heels, or posing without a shirt, may or may not be valid, but it is most definitely an attempt to piss people off and be deliberately inflammatory. If “Jezebel” was truly outraged at the young girl appearing in inappropriate photos, why are they republising them on their site?

Most of the photos have been borrowed from a tumblr dedicated to the young model. When one scrolls through the many photos the majority are pretty typical of children’s fashion spreads and catalogs, and not risque at all. There are a few exceptions, where I agree that Thylane looks not inappropriately sexy, but absurd – dressed up in dark lipstick and heels. One photo that is trying to be provocative has Thylane posed topless on a rumpled bed, but it could also just be a picture of a kid that is ticked off after a pillowfight.

Instead of trying to focus on one very pretty little girl and how she may or may not be too young for some photographs her parents have clearly consented to having her pose for (her mother, Veronika Loubry, has a children’s and maternity clothing line, Double V), why not write and think about how fashion is a reflection of what society desires – that women remain girls and girls be women. Our society is youth-obsessed, and fashion just illustrates the fact. There are so many contrary influences both trying to keep kids young and trying to make them grow up too fast. This is a topic worth considering and one I will certainly be thinking and writing about in future, especially as the mother of a little girl. In the meantime, I may be reading Jezebel less, but I can thank them for steering me towards some pretty photos of a pretty baby.

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