Thirteen-year-old Thylane Blondeau has recently been touted as “la nouvelle Kate Moss" on her recent cover of Jalouse Magazine, where she looks pretty well exactly like a 13-year-old girl should.
Blondeau is no fashion modeling newbie, though—at 10 (when I was playing Barbies and probably picking my nose with scabbed knees and heavily-tangled hair), she very controversially appeared in the Tom For edited issue of Vogue Paris wearing gold heels and posing on an animal rug on top of a bed.
The accusations of sexualizing children came fast and furious — not surprisingly — and sparked a debate about how young is too young to model. But, for the record, she had already posed "topless" for Enfants magazine. So, there's also that...
The “New Kate Moss” label might seem fitting, especially when considering that Blondeau has starred in campaigns for Lacoste and walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier, but hailing her as the “next” something implies that she’s a model we all need to watch.
And it’s a little bit creepy to all be “watching” a 13-year-old.
The fashion industry certainly makes no apologies for the use of youth and underage models. Rome Beckham modeled for Burberry at age 10, Mark Jacobs continues to cast teen models in his runways chows, and Chanel used 15-year-old Ondria Hardin as the face of their new brand last year.
There’s no doubt this little girl is beautiful, and while I suspect she has more than a little bit of coaching, she certainly seems to have a presence in front of the camera. We don't berate child athletes for devoting themselves to sport, but we're all a little bit touchy when it comes to seeing kids in fashion spreads and walking the runways. What do you think? Is 13 too young to model, or simply too young to be modeling as an adult?
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