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Parent’s fury at 10-year-old ‘supermodel’

Yahoo Lifestyle
5 August 2011

Supermodel Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau’s appearance in an edition of Vogue Paris has prompted fury from parents... because she’s only 10-years-old.

The mini-model was featured in the January 2011 issue – as part of a 15-page picture spread called ‘Cadeaux’ (gifts). It included shots of a heavily made-up Thylane posing seductively in a chair, bed and on an animal skin rug, with her legs and neckline bared.

[ See also: Fury over beauty salon offering grown-up treatments]

The controversial pics were shown on US TV this month and reignited concern over the sexualisation of children in the media.

The debate comes as the Government announced a crackdown on inappropriate clothing and raunchy ads aimed at young kids earlier this year.

The images that have upset parents and Mother's Union organisation. Photo: Sharif Hamza for French Vogue.
The images that have upset parents and Mother's Union organisation. Photo: Sharif Hamza for French Vogue.

They commissioned the Bailey Review to investigate enforcing restrictions on the sexualisation of children in the media and sexual content in advertising.

Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mother’s Union is in charge of the independent review.

Fleur Dorrell, Head of Safe Policy at the Mother’s Union, told Yahoo! UK that these images were “blurring all thoughts of beauty” and were “physically disturbing” for adults.

She added: “Modelling agencies think that it is ok to use pre-pubescent girls as models but this is completely selling us a different idea of beauty. They are making this girl look and feel as though she has to dress this way in order to be perfect.”

“If you think about it in reverse they wouldn’t ask me, a 43-year-old woman to dress like a girl, so why would they want to dress her up like that?”

Thylane wearing heavy make-up, is this too grown up? Photo: Sharif Hamza for French Vogue.
Thylane wearing heavy make-up, is this too grown up? Photo: Sharif Hamza for French Vogue.

Despite concern over the images of Thylane, there is huge fan support for model, with a blog and several Facebook fan pages dedicated to her work.

On one fan page a woman wrote: “I don't find this unusual, she is super talented...plus it’s French Vogue!!! FRENCH. VOGUE. Totally ok.”

Another fan added: “I am frustrated with all the people who deem this as sensual... Art is totally subjective and depends on the individual viewing it.”

The Mother’s Union and David Cameron have invited the fashion and advertising industries to reassess the representation of young people under the age of 16 at a summit in October.

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