9-Year-Old Supermodel Getting Creepy Attention From Adult 'Fans'

Every once in awhile we hear about an extraordinarily pretty little girl who is set to become the next Cindy Crawford. A magazine -- usually a European high-fashion publication -- features her in a 10-page spread, one or two of the photos show her posing in a too-sexy manner that drums up publicity because of its shock value, and then the photo's subject disappears into the ether and becomes another beauty among beautiful young models. The latest professional Pretty Baby is Kristina Pimenova, a 9-year-old Russian child model whose face has already been splashed across Vogue magazine and who has been strutting down catwalks since she was 3. Nothing new, right? Except for this part: she is the star of her own Instagram page and receives hundreds of thousands of likes from her many followers -- adult followers. Her story is a warning to all moms who want to get their kids into modeling.

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Kristina's mom used to be a model and set up Instagram and Facebook accounts for her daughter in order to -- I'm guessing -- help advance her modeling career. While she certainly has the physical attributes to make it without this additional publicity, Kate Upton is living proof that having a media presence can only help.

Now, here's the thing. Most of the photos on this child's page are age-appropriate, and a handful might make you question what her mom was thinking at the time. None of this is really relevant. When you start to read some of the comments posted by ADULTS next to Kristina's photos and how their photos can be used -- well, that's what might make some of us who have considered getting our children into modeling stop and reconsider whether it's worth it.

Back when a very young Brooke Shields was getting into the modeling business, her photos appeared in editorials and on billboards. If some sicko wanted to salivate over them, his only option would have been to rip a page out of a magazine and tape it to his wall. Sure, there were always truly crazed fans who could take things one scary step further and locate Brooke's home address, but this is nothing compared to what goes on today.

Anyone can set up a Tumblr account or fake Instagram page for a child model and fill it with images of that little girl or boy. There's no stopping slews of strange men and women from then commenting about how "sexy" and 'pure" she is (yuck) or how she's so much more beautiful than most adult women they've seen (double yuck, and yes, this is an actual comment).

It's also becoming disturbingly common to see these super-young models dressed in mini skirts, thigh-high boots, and other articles of clothing that should only be accessible to women who can handle the attention they will surely get. There is NO justification for a designer and his/her team to choose a 9, 10, or 13-year-old girl to serve as a model for fashion that is marketed to adult women. It sends a twisted message -- to both young girls who feel they have to look 20 when they're 12 and the older women who are made to feel like they are now competing with a tween.

I'm not saying parents should flat-out refuse to get their children into modeling if their kids have expressed an interest in it. There are good people out there who wouldn't dream of sexualizing young kids -- plus, I can't think of a quicker way for anyone to bank a nice sum of money for their future college tuition.

But parents these days have to work even harder to protect their child's privacy and ensure they aren't manipulated into posing as sex objects who can then easily be exploited by anyone on the Internet.

Would you get your children into modeling? Would you have concerns about your child's privacy and how their images can be used online?

 

Image via kristinapimenova2005/Instagram

 

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