A 10-Year-Old is Too Young to Pose Topless, Right?

Is a girl this young mature enough to understand the implications of such a pose?Is a girl this young mature enough to understand the implications of such a pose?Tell me I'm not crazy - a 10-year-old should not be posing without her shirt on for a magazine, right?

I know, I know - French people are more sophisticated than Americans and can get away with things like making smoking cigarettes look like an art form instead of a suicidal act. But it's still not OK to have a girl so young pose as someone twice her age, right?

And yet. Meet Thylane Loubry Blondeau, a 10-year-old French model who has appeared on international Vogue covers and starred in countless ad campaigns for major brands. She started modeling at the age of 4 on the runway of a Jean-Paul Gaultier show. Earlier this year she also appeared as part of an editorial spread in Vogue about "fashion's "fetishistic, often exploitative relationship with extreme youth as its subject."

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Um, yuck. Am I right?

It's not like there's anything wrong (necessarily) with young models - after all, someone has to show parents what the fall line at Gymboree looks like.

But models so young made to appear as if they're twice as old? And not only is Blondeau made to look old, but she's made to appear sexual, which is the worst part about it. Jutting out her body in inappropriate ways. Giving bedroom eyes to the camera. Draping across furniture seductively. Talk about the oversexualization of little girls. Models like her have to be the stuff of pedophiles', um, dreams.

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Of course it's not like Blondeau could make the decision to model all on her own - even in France. No, she has parents who have signed off on this. They're just as bad, if not worse, I think, than the Toddlers and Tiaras-type parents who stick their little ones in beauty pageants and let them think that that sort of behavior and exploitation is not only OK, but desirable. I'm sure Blondeau trusts her parents. I'm sure the photographers are famous artists. Clearly publications like Vogue are respectable. But that still doesn't make any of this right.

Art, schmart. This is just gross. And wrong.

- By Meredith Carroll

For 20 totally inappropriate vintage ads involving kids, visit Babble!

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