I have never had much respect for the modelling industry. First of all, the term 'industry' denotes a cash cow made off of the back, butts, thighs, faces, legs and pouty lips of men women and… children. It's insistence that it defines beauty in our culture has shown its hubris, arrogance, and deception. It's unwillingness to take responsibility for the damage it causes in the lives and ideals of 'the little people' is appalling. As long as people buy into the fantasy and generates cash, it's fine. Silent masses are satisfied masses.
Just ask any magazine model if that's really her on the cover… after the air-brushing and CGI effects done on her poses. It's not her at all. It's what people want to see. It has nothing to do with personhood.
Now France is appealing to a more precise demographic: little 10 year old Thylane is being trussed up like an adult porn star and her image sold to the masses.
1. This is NOT her fault. A 10 year old is a child with the need for parenting, mentorship, guidance and love. The people responsible for this horror are her parents, her manager, her photographer, and all the people demanding more of her. The adults are at fault here. Not the child. I don't care if she stomps her feet, demanding in a tantrum that she wants to do this, Mom and Dad must say: "No! You are too precious and too important to be dehumanized like this! God has created you to be more than someone else's eye candy!" And if this child is confused, scared, and unsure about what's being done to her (for remember, she's too young to have a true say in the matter), all the more reason for her parents to step up and be parents. Your child is not anyone's sex icon.
2. Yes, we are sexualizing our children at younger and younger ages. We are showing that 'beauty'=sex, and sex=fantasy poses. One of the single dumbest, yet most disturbing comments in favour of sexualizing children that I heard spoken to me was: "Pedophiles like little children and people who make themselves to look like children. We should applaud parents for making their girls look all grown up because then the predators won't want them."
Yes, dumb. And ignorant.
To protect our children and raise them well, we need to sexualize them? The logic is not only flawed, it is repulsive.
3. We are stripping away (pun intended) our children's childhoods. Beauty is what's coming down the catwalk. Beauty isn't posing for a camera. Beauty isn't what men and women slaver over. Yet even small children have the capacity to use a point-and-shoot camera and/or cell phone and self-pose, post their sexy moves all over FB or Twitter, and… feel good about themselves. They look like Katie Perry or Lady Gaga (or they think they do), get attention, and think the positive attention=good actions. The cycle repeats. Even older teenagers and adults are snapping thousands self-pics in ridiculous poses all trying to achieve "the look"… that definition of beauty our pop culture has so graciously served to us in mouthfuls.
Thylane needs to be out playing tag, scraping knees, practicing her music, getting in trouble for refusing to clean her room, making friends, learning about how God sees her… learning His definition of beauty in the freedom and sovereignty of who He is. Pop culture has sold her as an icon.
Pop culture has created its newest slave.
That's NOT Thylane we're seeing. That's what the industry wants us to see… and "ooo" and "aaah" at.
Where did Thylane go?
4. Using children to make a point that the modelling industry has gone too far is unethical. Understandably there are those in the industry who know modelling and posing is now more pornagraphic than artistic, that it defines the model rather than the other way around, and pressures models to stay beautiful and thin at all costs. To use children to speak out against this is horrendous, however. Thylane is nothing more than a pawn in someone's sick sense of satire, commentary, and reverse psychology. We've just played with a child's life and childhood.