In recent years we have often cited outrage over the use of young, teen models in fashion. We complain that the working conditions are too unsafe for the girls. We also complain that it sets unrealistic body images for females, and often causes depression in young teens trying to live up to the expectations.
But there’s another question that we aren’t asking: What is the use of young models doing to man’s idea of a sexy female?
Young Models Used for Adult Advertisements
As reported here by U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail, The Tom Ford-edited, January 2012 issue of French Vogue featured a photo spread of 10-year old Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau in highly provocative poses. The young model toted more makeup than I’ve ever worn on a night out and was pictured in a sexy dress and tall stilettos or topless. The erotic undertones of these photos would undoubtedly force any man to reassess the correctness of his moral compass.
Prominent fashion labels like Marc Jacobs and Miu Mui are also advertising with young models; making 13-year-old Elle Fanning and True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld, respectively, the faces of their 2011 campaigns.
These young girls are dressed and made up in such a way that causes the average viewer to forget their youth and see them as desirable adults.
Public Love Affair between 24-Year-Old Pop Star and 12-Year-Old Model
On September 28, 2012, U.K. newspaper, The Daily Mail, published a story about Chinese pop star, Zhang Muyi’s controversial, public love declaration. The 24-year-old, professed his love for Canadian model Akama Miki on Chinese social site Wiebo. Miki is only 12.
Muyi is quoted as having said, “I simply can’t wait for those next four birthdays of yours to pass.” Miki is quoted as responding with, “Wait until I’m old enough to marry you, and then I’m going to say ‘I do.'”
This story has outraged many, and rightfully so, but I can’t stop pondering why this pop star would dare make such a love affair public. Does he even realize that it is wrong? Or does he think that because she is dressing and working as an adult, that he can also love her as one?
And is this just the problem of one sick individual, or is there a bigger issue in society as a whole?
A New Definition for Sexy?
The fashion industry has undoubtedly changed the female’s definition of a perfect to that of a pre-pubescent girl. Maybe we also need to ask ourselves if it’s changed that definition in the minds of our teenage boys and men, too.