French Vogue and Little Girls: Did They Go Too Far?

While I was doing my weekend blog surfing I came across this blog post on Yahoo! Shine about the fashion spread in French Vogue featuring little girl models.  As you’ll see in a minute, they aren’t in little girl clothes, but rather rocking fashion their mom’s would wear.  They are decked out in full makeup, big girl hair, and shot in very Vogue-esque poses.  It was something that I’ve never seen before and I’m aware that fashion mags will sometimes push the envelope by offering controversial photos.  I also understand that fashion is a form of artistic expression and being the creative person that I am I can’t be one to shut down artistic freedom, even if it makes me uncomfortable.  But, like all art, it’s open to interpretation – meaning I can feel however I want about it and it’s neither right or wrong.

So with all of that said, I have some issues with some of these photos. 

Little girls wearing really big girl clothes:

Forget the argument of a this being fodder for pedophiles aside, for I think they will be who they are regardless.  I take more of issue with young girls looking at these pictures and starting the cycle of trying to reach an untainable standard of beauty earlier than they should.  Can you imagine a young daughter of sister of yours asking to wear Louboutin’s at age 5 just because the girl in the picture is?  Heck, I couldn’t wear makeup until I was sixteen!  I understand that all little girls like to try on their mommy’s clothes, smear on her lipstick and walk around the house like a fool.  I get it.  But in a mainstream magazine, I have a slight issue with that (just like I do with little girl beauty pageants but that’s a topic for another day!)  Some of these clothes are just way too sexy for these girls and the makeup is just too grown up for my taste. 

Though the girls in the leopard print look young enough, the girl on with the toothbrush looks way older. Why can't she look her age?

Some of the Poses are too Racy for me:

If Vogue took these same girls and took the angle of them playing dress up in Mommy’s closet, then my first issue wouldn’t be null and void.  However, to have them strutting stuff that hasn’t even developed yet is just a little too much for me.  A five year old being sexy is not the message I want to send.  It’s bad enough you have thirteen year olds trying to be sexy.  Why start this trend off any younger?  Granted, some of these poses aren’t too bad, however, the one with little mama layed out on the couch?  I don’t think so.  If you want to show the clothes then have these girls pose doing little girl things, like playing with dolls or watching TV.  Don’t have her draped over animal skin showing her legs in stilletto heels.

Way too racy for me!

The girl in the car? Okay. The girl in the chair with those huge heels? Not so much.

The girls in the mirror are cool. However the one laid out in the heels looks too sexy for her age.

Like I said, I get the whole artistic freedom of expression but in this day in age where our young girls are facing things that even I didn’t have to deal when I was young, we have to be careful about what we put out there.  They are getting bombarded with crazy messages about fashion, sex, and beauty every day.  Why add to the madness?

To be fair, here are few that weren’t too bad in my opinion, though I wished they were a little less made up:


What do you ladies think? Too racy or not so much?


Photos courtesy of:

Leave a comment


  1. ana casper

     /  September 20, 2013

    i do not like it

  2. there is so much wrong with this, it’s kind of mind blowing. I don’t know where to begin. Frankly I have concern for the young girls and the long term effects shoots like this might have on them (asalready discussed here). But also, has anyone thought about what effect this might have on older girls? you know, the ones who are already starving themselves so that they too might look like the pre-pubescent models on the runway? What happens if those models become even younger and skinnier? no 18 year old girl should be wishing she had an 8 year olds legs. I hope this makes sense, honestly I hadn’t seen this before clicking the link to your blog, so I’m a little overwhelmed at how inappropriate these photos are, and that they’re readily available in a popular magazine. blech.

    • MJ

       /  January 25, 2011

      You make perfect sense! The ramifications of having photos such as these so readily available to girls period was the first thing I thought about when I saw these photos. The standards of beauty is really skewed.

  3. Young girls play dress up all the time, but they certainly do not look like that when they do. Vogue has done artistic editorials before making older girls look way younger and act all kiddie….I find that as sickening as this one as well. And if they did want to show kids…just show they in child clothes…..why like this. It’s like they are trying to be seductive…..a pedophiles wet dream. yuck.


    Tashrin – A Toronto based personal style blog

    • MJ

       /  January 24, 2011

      My point exactly! Show these children being children, not like sexy adults.

  4. I’m horrified, particularly by the one on the animal skin. Far too Lolita-esque for my liking. It’s sad, it’s nauseating, and it’s uncomfortable. Fashion magazines, especially ad campaigns seem to be coming under fire lately; there was Veshoevius’ post on Vogue, and I’ve just written one on Superette’s ‘Be caught dead in it’ adverts – maybe we as independent bloggers have a responsibility to push these issues a little more…

    • MJ

       /  January 13, 2011

      I just came back over from reading your write up on that! I just don’t understand how fashions mags are losing touch with reality at an alarming rate. I think they need to remember their customers are us, not them.

  5. I’m horrified, particularly by the one on the animal skin. Far too Lolita-esque for my liking. It’s sad, it’s nauseating, and it’s uncomfortable. Fashion magazines, especially ad campaigns seem to be coming under fire lately; there was Veshoevius’ post on Vogue, and I’ve just written <a href=""<one on Superette's 'Be caught dead in it' adverts – maybe we as independent bloggers have a responsibility to push these issues a little more…

  6. Those kids should be playing at the playground or something.
    Shame on their parents of brain washing their kids. Its theirs not mine!
    Lee x

    • MJ

       /  January 13, 2011

      Seriously! Even if they showed these girls in a playground, maybe it wouldn’t bother me as much

  7. I’m sorry, and pardon my French, but that is just fucked up. I am going to get all maternal for a second and say I would never allow my imaginary 5 year old to do a shoot like that. It’s like Toodlers & Tiaras: The Vogue Edition.

    • MJ

       /  January 10, 2011

      I don’t have kids either but I do have a little sister (who’s like my daughter) and I agree with you – I would never let her dress up like that either.

  8. I agree girl, they are pushing fashion too far and they don` t need to!
    The point where you mentioned that the message they send is not one kids should see, but if you judge this situation from any point of view, this still isn`t right.
    They are making them models from a too early age. What do they know about the pictures they take? Nothing. When they`ll be 18, they`re gonna wish they played with Barbies at the age of 5 when guess what, they didn`t have time because they were “booked” ?
    I, as a future mother, will not accept this. Children need sports when they`re young, they need family and basic social activities so they develop into growups that have an idea what life really is 🙂

    Eva Knox,

    • MJ

       /  January 13, 2011

      I definitely agree. I wouldn’t have my future child modeling so young in pictures like that. It kind of takes away the fun of growing up and looking forward to doing things you could only do when you get older!

  9. TOO RACY!!

  10. Plain daft! I agree – some of these shots are really oversexualised for the girls in question – it is bad enough they do that to fourteen year old models – now ten and twelve year olds? In any other industry this sort of thing would be taken down but fashion is somehow above the law in the way it treats women and now it seems children.

    • MJ

       /  January 10, 2011

      I think fashion likes to hide behind the concept of artistic freedom. However, we all have a moral ressponbility to each other and showing little girls like this is definitely irresponsible!


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