If the picture at left looks like kiddie porn to you, then you are missing the point. What is the point? It is supposed to be a commentary from French Vogue on our culture's obsession with youth.
If not, then you are a lot like me. I also look at these photos and see JonBenet Ramsey and little girls looking disturbingly like adult women, but I also recognize that it is meant to disturb us. It has. But not in the way they intended. Coming from a fashion magazine that is only too happy normally to show us 13 and 14-year-old models dressed up as adult women and call it the beauty ideal, it feels a little false and heavy handed.
Yes, our culture is obsessed with the beauty of youth, but it is a bit like those fashion magazines that tell you to be "happy with the skin you're in" and then set that article next to a photo of a model half your size in the look "you should want."
And I still can't stop being disturbed by these photos just on principle.
Little girls love to play dress-up, but at a certain point, dress-up can give way into "you are way too young to look like that" and this spread crosses that line.
Are these girls even older than 8?
They are beautiful, no doubt and what is disturbing is that they do like high fashion models. They look exactly like slightly smaller versions of the beauty ideal. OK, we get it. But the very fashion magazine that perpetuates such ideas is not the place to showcase this. Maybe it would be better suited in a magazine like Bitch or Ms., two places better known for such social commentary. In Vogue it almost feels like they are serious.
Is this what we are supposed to look like now?
It rubs me the wrong way. It feels cheap and yes, also kind of icky. Like they are half making a point and half trying to titillate people with underage girls. If that's the idea, I am not buying. These little girls are better suited for Hanna Andersson and Gymboree than Versace.
Do you think this spread is getting it's point across?
Image via Vogue