Jaden Smith Posing in a Louis Vuitton Skirt Is Advertisement -- Not Activism (PHOTOS)

Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith, son of power celeb couple Will and Jada, is the new face of an upcoming Louis Vuitton ad campaign featuring the high-profile 17-year-old wearing a skirt. And while it's always nice to see brands promoting diversity, this seems more like an attempt to go viral than spark social change.


And that's fine. That's what brands do: take beautiful, provocative pictures of beautiful, provocative people to entice you into their world hoping that, ultimately, as in the case of Louis Vuitton, you'll fork over the few thousand dollars it takes to own a slice of cool. And Jaden certainly looks very, very cool. No doubt about that. 

But let's not confuse that with some sort of activism or social statement. Louis Vuitton had Jaden put on a skirt to grab attention to sell clothes and purses. That's all, folks.

Jaden reacted to the new ad campaign pictures shared on Instagram by the label's artistic director Nicolas Ghesquiere with this quote: "Thank You So Much @louisvuitton And @nicolasghesquiere For The Opportunity To Impact This World," Smith wrote.

Happy to introduce Jaden Smith @christiaingrey in the new SS16 @louisvuitton ad Campaign photographed by Bruce Weber

A photo posted by � (@nicolasghesquiere) on

Hold on. I rolled my eyes so hard I lost focus there for a sec.

First of all, Jaden, you're not the first dude to rock a skirt. Marc Jacobs regularly wears dresses and skirts, and even Kanye West has been known to throw on a leather skirt for the occasional appearance. And kilts have been "on trend" for Scotsmen since the 1500s.

That's not to take anything away from Jaden's fashion street cred. He does push all sorts of boundaries, from wearing skirts to donning a full-on Batman costume that he rocked at Kim and Kanye's wedding. And since he's a high-profile dude by birth, when he wears something a bit cray, social media takes notice. That's the exposure Jaden brings to the Louis Vuitton brand -- not some gender-neutral fashion activism. So let's not get it twisted.

Second, there's just something really galling about the fashion industry using a teenage boy to sell womenswear. Like they just decided, "You know, rather than trying to force young women to starve down to look like teenage boys, let's just start using flat-chested, curveless teenage boys! Get a famous one and call it a social statement! Win-win!"

I hate to take all the jelly out of Jaden's doughnut. I'm sure he's a nice kid. But it takes a helluva lot more to make an impact on the world than standing for pictures so a French fashion house can hawk ridiculously expensive clothing to women. It takes a little more work than that.

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As for Louis Vuitton, this all just really smells like a cynical ploy to "go viral" under the guise of celebrating diversity. Honestly, do you really think the fashion house actually cares if you put one of those $3,000 skirts on a woman, man, or dog? Or does Vuitton just want to make the sale?

Maybe the fashion house even scored a deal to dress Jaden's famous parents in exchange for the modeling gig. The Smiths are sure to be making the red carpet rounds at all the awards shows this season, since Will Smith's Concussion is already a critical darling.

And so, before we all applaud Jaden or Louis Vuitton for this ad campaign, let's just remember that this is an advertisement.

There are plenty of inspirational people making an impact every day and pushing society's boundaries and limitations on gender -- from Laverne Cox to Chaz Bono and Janet Mock. These are people who have suffered and fought for the right to be who they are. That takes a bit more courage than putting on an overpriced skirt and taking pictures. Just sayin'.


Image Via Jackie Brown/Splash News/Corbis

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