While some ten-year-old girls play dress up and dream of becoming an actress or model, Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau is really acting the part. Dolled up in full makeup, missing clothing, and rocking stilettos five sizes too big, this baby face is an image of sexuality in recent pages of French Vogue. Observers of the fashion industry, with the new trend of models getting younger and younger, have noticed the effects it has on children. This model lifestyle and mindset has proven dangerous to life for grown women.1Model Health Inquiry estimates as many as forty percent, and rising, of models are suffering from eating disorders. This number can also be added to the rise in child celebrities that fall into the trap of depression and drugs. Citizens of the2United Arab Emirates are outraged and have called for society to stop forcing these images and expectations on young models and those who observe them. Now, society has taken a ten year old girl and put her in those same shoes, literally. Is a full-fledged modeling career fit for such a young girl?
In a society of children on a fast track to growing up, this ten year old has people around the world questioning whether there are boundaries in this lifestyle. With many pictures of Thylane all dolled up, looking as though she is in her twenties, it seems the fashion industry is rocking the cradle with a camera. With a baby face plastered with make-up and a little girl wearing outfits that a father would normally “never let his child walk out of the house in”, the surfacing question is: where is our society headed when they take a child and turn her into a sexual object at such a young age?
The world of adults and grown-up life comes soon enough. There is no need to prematurely expose a little girl to the cut throat, materialistic world of the modeling industry. The pictures of Thylane are upsetting; it shows a mere baby dressed up far beyond her age. Ten-years-old is a crucial time to be instilling a balanced lifestyle, not one of teaching a girl how to act and look a decade beyond her age. With stilettos and seductive looks, Thylane also poses shirtless while depicting an Indian. What type of culture teaches, let alone allows, a child to pose with a sexualizing agenda? The people consenting to these actions are instilling a demeanor that calls adult men to look at young girls like Thylane with a sexual intent.
How is it acceptable, that a child, who is not fully developed, is able to be depicted as these young models are? This thinking opens up a world of gray. A world that will judge some for taking part in “child pornography” while allowing others to categorize a “professional model”, posing and dressing with a sexual intent, a different way. At what point will society decide to stop exploiting children? As adults, it is our responsibility to nurture and teach these kids how to live a respectable, moral life. These young models that are being preyed upon are only ten to six-teen years old. A lifestyle of learning sexual promiscuity at such a young age is no different from the child sold into sex slavery.
In today’s society, children have a hard enough time growing up, without being stripped of their innocence as well. For adults to not only consent, but encourage children to lose more of their child-hood during this time is unacceptable. It is contradictory for society to try and teach children that it is wrong to idolize these images and bad habits, but encourage it in another form. These girls are too young to be exploring sexual innuendoes and losing their precious years of child-hood, and we are too old to not do something about it.