Meet Thylane Blondeau. The Ivory Coast born model is the daughter of former soccer player Patrick Blondeau and TV presenter Véronika Loubry. With big blue eyes and long blonde hair, Thylane has been modelling since 2005 when she walked in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s spring show. She’s has been featured in French Vogue, has worked with top fashion photographers like Dani Brubaker… oh, and she’s just 10 years old.
Thylane’s foray into modeling for French Vogue has ignited controversial debate. Does photographing a ten year old for a magazine primarily targeted at adults create an unattainable standard of beauty? Issues have also been raised about the overt sexualization of young children in the modelling industry – in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mother’s Union have called a summit, with the intention of taking a stand against such portrayals of children in advertising and the media. Adding to the controversy, several child-psychologists have commented on the damaging effects the modeling industry could have on a child as young as Thylane.
What do you think? Is using young models inappropriate? Or is it okay in the name of fashion?