parents

Anything wrong with this picture?

Kaia Gerber

Update: It seems not even Cindy Crawford, whose daughter is featured here, agrees 10 is the right age to start modelling. The supermodel herself was discovered at the age 16 but has come out saying she wants her daughter Kaia to wait until she is 17 before she gets into the industry.

Ms Crawford said: “At this point, she’s too young to pursue a career. There aren’t even a handful of jobs for a 10-year-old girl. But if she’s 17 and wants to try it, of course, what can I say?”

Here’s how we originally wrote about Kaia’s modelling shots for the Young Versace line:

Are you OK with this image as a piece of designer fashion advertising?

How about when I tell you it’s of Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia who has just been announced as ‘the face’ of Young Versace?

She’s 10 years old.

10. Years. Old.

I imagine some people will be OK with it (Cindy obviously is – she was there for the shoot and released a statement saying how delighted she was) but I’m not one of them.

Not by a long shot.

I don’t care that the clothes she’s wearing are technically for ‘kids’ – Young Versace is not an adult line. It’s designer fashion for kids aged 0-12 (which is a whole other world of ugh).

The drawcard for Versace in hiring 10 year old Kaia is clearly that she looks like a baby version of her mother, Cindy Crawford. And this will attract much more media attention than a nameless 10 year old, obviously. And she’s been styled to maximise that opportunity – the pose, the hair, I’m surprised they didn’t draw on Cindy’s signature mole.

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I also don’t care that Kaia’s not wearing high heels – something that some people have waved as a flag of age-appropriateness. It’s not just about the clothes (although they do make me uncomfortable – a leather bomber jacket and a micro mini?). It’s the way the image is shot – the moody lighting and the angle of the camera so it looks like it’s shooting up her skirt.

Yuck. YUCK.

You can see Kaia’s age in her eyes. They still look 10. So does her facial expression. But cover her face with your thumb and everything else about this picture screams sexy adult. THAT is how you can tell it’s crossed a line.

Are children as young as 10 and 11 years old the new fresh meat of the modelling world? According to these images, yes they are:

As I wrote in a previous post, it has always baffled me how ANYONE could want their daughter – or son – to become a model:

Chloe Glassi, 13yo winner of the 2011 Girlfriend model search


If you want your daughter to be judged on how she looks and what she weighs, let her become a model.
Same with your son.
If you want your daughter to be photographed looking sexy and made to look much much older than she is? Let her become a model.
If you want your daughter’s self-esteem to be DIRECTLY and inextricably linked to her weight and appearance? Let her become a model.
If you want your daughter to believe her value as a person is determined solely by how she looks and what she weighs? Let her become a model.
If you want your daughter’s self confidence to be smashed to smithereens by an industry that rejects her 99% of the time based on how she looks or what she weighs? Let her become a model.

In stark contrast to the Young Versace images, here is an example of age-appropriate fashion advertising for kids – Paul Smith’s new campaign:

Happy, healthy, unmade-up looking kids having fun. It’s possible.

Children don’t have to be pouting and posing and looking sexily at the camera. Like this fashion image of Anais Gallagher, the 11-year old daughter of Oasis’ Noel Gallagher, who has also snagged a modelling contract with Kate Moss’s agency Storm in the UK:

Anais Gallagher

I’m so not OK with this idea of kids as young as 10 being portrayed like this – I don’t care WHO their parents are. Are you?

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