French Vogue fashion spread features sexy sexy children

young girl with big hair posed on a leopard print couch wearing high heels and jewelryThey’ve been selling us women’s clothing using adolescent models for years, so it was only a matter of time before a magazine put couture on kids. An editorial spread in the December-January issue of Vogue Paris features more than a dozen pages of girls – not teenagers, girls – wearing couture, heavily made up and with their hair in up-dos.

The copy asks, in part, “What makeup at what age? How does one wear makeup at 13? What about at 70? Obviously not like one does at 20.” Styling a spread about choosing the right makeup when you’re 13 or 20 or 70? It makes complete sense to choose models who look like they’re about 9.

Predictably, the girls are posed in come-hither positions or with things in or around their mouths. One girl is sprawled out under a Christmas tree and another is lying on her stomach on a tiger skin rug. Fashion bloggers Tom and Lorenzo, who responded to disgust similar to my own, observed that the magazine “once again struggles mightily to produce something edgy and controversial to get tongues wagging on several continents.” Well, sure, except that there’s nothing edgy about sexualizing girls. It happens all the time, and there’s nothing edgy about doing something that everyone else is doing.

This isn’t edgy. It’s inappropriate, and creepy, and I never want to see a nine-year-old girl in high-heeled leopard print bedroom slippers ever again.

You can see the rest of the spread here.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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