A top fashion magazine has sparked outrage by publishing images of a ten-year old girl wearing heavy make-up and posing like an adult model.
Paris Vogue’s disturbing images of child model Thylane Blondeau have brought strong criticism from parents’ groups and politicians.
In a 15-page spread in Paris Vogue’s December/January issue, she is wearing heavy make-up and gold stilettos.
Last week the Mothers’ Union issued strong criticism of Miss Blondeau’s Vogue pictures.
“We have grave concerns about the modelling agency who represent Miss Blondeau, which clearly does not know if it represents a child or an adult,” it said.
“Photo shoots requiring her, a ten-year-old-girl, to dress in full make-up, teetering heels and a dress with a cleavage cut to the waist across her prepubescent body deny Miss Blondeau the right to be the child she is.”
A summit called by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mothers’ Union to address the sexualisation of children in advertising and the media will be held in October.
Fleur Dorrell of the Mothers’ Union last week described the images as “physically disturbing” and said they were “blurring all thoughts of beauty”.
And Labour MP Helen Goodman accused Vogue of being “disgraceful and totally irresponsible” by publishing the pictures, saying they should have known better.
“They have descended into the gutter by doing this,” she said. “The sexualisation of children is one of the most pernicious ills of our era”.
Thylane Blondeau is the daughter of former French international footballer Patrick Blondeau and actress and TV presenter Véronika Loubry.
The little girl started her modelling career aged just four, when she was recruited by Jean Paul Gaultier, and her image is now widely accessible on the internet.
Dr Soumitra Datta, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, of London Medical, explained the dangers of children being targeted by the fashion industry.
“Increased focus on not having the ideal ‘air brushed’ body may give rise to increased anxiety and worries related to body image, eating disorders in young people as young as 14 years, clinical depression and adjustment difficulties with usual life stresses”, he said.