Supermodel Cindy Crawford put her daughter’s modeling career on hold regardless of her sudden latest success in the fashion industry. So, what made her change her mind? Maybe it was the sexually over-exposing of child models in magazine spreads? Crawford claimed she was concerned about being a crazy, controlling stage mom saying, “She’s too young to pursue a career.” Cindy Crawford’s change of mind is a surprise towards the media after describing ten year old Kaia’s Versace ad campaign to be a “fantastic experience”. Several famous parents have grown to be familiar with over-exposing their child models after what actually transpired to actress Brooke Shields in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Provocative and disturbing images of ten year old Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau surfaced the internet in 2011 and created a buzz all over the world. Tons of bloggers argued stating that she was too young for the sexually charged photographs published in French Vogue. Wearing heavy makeup, red nails, high heels, and laying across a leopard print couch. The controversial photo made Blondeau an internet sensation and critics were saying that this was what’s next in fashion. They’ve even gone as far as saying she is the next Brigitte Bardot, a sex symbol from the 1960’s. Bardot, herself, started modeling at fifteen and her first job was an editorial spread for Elle magazine.

The Youthful Spirit of Child Models

Young actress/model Elle Fanning, 12, is considered the “It” girl to dress in Hollywood. Walking the red carpet from Rodarte to Marc Jacobs, Fanning is now admired for her figure. Interview magazine’s editor Lauren Tabak said “It sounds crazy to say someone has a good figure at twelve, but she captures youthful sprit, she’s not oversexed, but she can wear clothing well”, describing her 2010 editorial spread for the magazine. The rule for runway models is a minimum age of sixteen but there’s no age restriction on editorial ads and spreads. Does it make it okay to sexualize child models in magazine ads because it’s “high fashion”? Many adults are calling it creepy instead of fashionable.

Sexualization of Child Models

The fashion industry’s obsession with child models has many believing that grown up beauty photos, like Blondeau’s, are giving unhealthy ideas to young girls about how precisely they should look. Exactly what is the message they’re sending? That sexualization of children is suitable because of the names that appear on the labels the girls are wearing? In accordance with the American Psychological Association (APA), sexualization in the media directly effects how girls look at femininity and sexuality, and displaying these creepy images are connected to low self esteem, eating, disorders, and depression.

Do you think that ten year old girls like Blondeau should model? Or do you consider promoting child models is unacceptable and creepy?

Finally, if you would like to learn more about child models you should visit Fashion Parkway.