Monday 8 August 2011

Model behaviour

Fashion isn’t merely about beauty and glamour. It's so much more than that. Fashion likes to be bold and make a statement – ensuring that its campaigns / editorials have a lasting impression in the minds of fashionistas.

One must remember that “fashion” cannot exist without the pre-fix “fash”. And by definition “fash” can mean “to vex”, “to bother” or “to trouble”. It comes from the 16th Century French, fascher and the Latin, fastidium which can be synonymous with disgust and aversion. This correlates with the controversy that the fashion industry has seen over the last few years.

Let us not forget the meat dress that Lady Gaga wore. This meat theme continued onto an episode of America’s Next Top Model for a photo shoot. Kate Moss lit up on the catwalk giving the finger to the smoking ban enforced in public places. The legend that is Alexander McQueen once had a collection entitled “Highland Rape”. And let’s not forget these shoes of his which still to this day, astound people.

The latest controversy was plastered all over the news this weekend:

Images from French Vpgue

At first glance, the face is flawless and the accessories are to-die-for. Another stunning Vogue shoot. So why the drama?

Well, answer me this: how old do you think the model is?

She is actually pre-pubescent. She is just 10 years old.

This opens up a whole new debate: how young is too young?

Are the stilettos, full face of make-up and body language / positioning all appropriate? Or too sexualised for a ten year old girl?

I have no problems with these images – on the condition that they aren’t sending out the wrong message to other young girls. I would hate for them to have a harmful effect on young girls who are highly impressionable. I would hate for them to start making comparisons and not think they’re skinny / beautiful enough. A lot of us already compare ourselves to the models in the glossy mags. But deep down, we know there is a great deal of air brushing involved to create that perfect image. This is something that younger girls are perhaps not even aware of.

Insecurities commonly establish themselves during puberty and it would be such a shame if it hit earlier with a younger age group. At age ten, children are still children and childhood should be enjoyed. Besides, their bodies have yet to go through changes. If in the future I have a daughter, I would hate for her to have a confidence crisis from as early an age as this.

What are your thoughts?