Drawing the Line: How Young is too Young?
Such seduction; appealing allure; enticingly enigmatic. What’s wrong with this picture? Oh yeah…she’s 10-YEARS-OLD! The recent pictorial spread of Thylane Lena-Rose in French Vogue has ignited the latest hell-fire in the fashion industry. Thylane, decked in stilettos and sultry pose, has caused outrage in all media outlets and spawned accusations of exploitation and “child sexualization (opposingviews.com).”
In order to consider this from all points of view, I must play the devil’s advocate: Possibly, with the industry’s unwavering standards getting slimmer and slimmer (literally), resulting in new weight regulations, it seems only natural for the industry to turn to the next best alternative: children. Most runway models weigh almost as much as a child anyway, so why not?
On the other hand, Europe has always been the leading forefront on the fashion horizon. Without France, we never would have been gifted the genius of Coco Chanel. She revolutionized the way women everywhere wore clothing and changed the core of fashion forever. Paris is the beating heart of this industry, and every year, people from all over the world flock to see what they will be wearing next season; however, is there a boundary, and if so, where do spectators draw the line? With some of the faces gracing designer labels as young as 13-years-old (dailymail.co.uk), could this be the start of a new era? Will 10 be the new 20 and 20 be the new 40? Could the saying “gone with the old and in with the new” be replaced by “gone with the young and in with the younger?”
NBC’s headlines were splashed with Thylane’s pictures, with some American’s refering to them as child pornography. Is this any worse than an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras with children around Thylane’s age and younger, parading around with fake tans, an entire M.A.C. cosmetic line on their faces, and costumes reminiscent of a Burlesque show?
Despite the controversy, there are a lot of people in support or indifferent to the pictures depicted in French Vogue, and she has the Facebook following to prove it. Age aside, beauty is beauty, and requires no specific age.
In spite of negative regard or the different view points I have written, the most important thing remains uncertain: What kind of psychological effect will this have on her as she blossoms into adulthood? Many models before her have told their stories of psychological ramification the industry impacted on them. Can she handle it at such an impressionable age? After all, these are the most critical years that will mold her into the woman she will become. In a superficial society such as ours,where looks are so scrutinized, the never-ending strive for beauty can be a lot for any adult to handle. Even more so if your job depends on it. Our lifestyles and ideas have completely evolved into a way of life that was completely different from my childhood/adolescence. I think it is safe to say that children and adolescents have evolved with the times. Maybe our society has bred her to be unscathed? Only time will tell. So tell me, my fierce fashion followers: What do you have to say about our 10-year-old pictorial debutante? Until next time….
Stay Fashionably Fabulous!
**Images from dailymail.co.uk**