Friday, August 11, 2017

Calvin Klein, Lulu & Sexualized Children in Advertising and on Social Media

We recently received the new issue of Vanity Fair (September 2017), and the photo below got our attention due to the youthful look of the model. The caption reads: "Lulu, the new Calvin Klein jeans model." Besides the picture of Lulu, the article, "Capturing Calvin Klein", included a reference to the book The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes and related that nineteen-year-old Paris Jackson has been named the face of Calvin Klein.

A Google search revealed that Lulu's last name is Tenney, but it did not reveal her exact age. Model agencies do a great job of keeping that a secret; however, she is at least eighteen-years-old, because an underwear model has to be at least eighteen in Britain. 

However, that didn't prevent Rachel Ashby, a concerned parent of an eleven-year-old, from complaining about a Calvin Klein advertisement outside of the House of Fraser boutique. The advertisement pictured Lulu tugging on her black Calvin Klein bra. Ashby posted on her Facebook wall: "This huge billboard outside Cavendish House advertising women's lingerie...It's 2017 ffs and Calvin Klein are [sic] still using what look [sic] like 12 year old girls in their campaigns. It is just  me..??!!"

Ashby told the Daily Mail, “The fact that she looks underage in terms of body shape and somewhat vulnerable facial expression, combined with the fact that she is wearing very little and is adopting a strangely provocative pose means it could be deemed to sexualize children.”

We agree 100% with Ashby. There is absolutely no doubt that Lulu was chosen by Calvin Klein, because she looks like a nymphet.  However, orthodox Muslims and Jews would argue that no one, no matter the age, should be on a billboard modeling underwear. And Ashby missed another point. Her very own eleven-year-old daughter probably has more provocative pictures, videos and snaps on her social media than Lulu's underwear advertisement.

For example, here's the text to a link next to Ashby's article on the Daily Mail': "Cindy Crawford's model daughter Kaia Gerber shares candid [Instagram] images from the family's fun-filled vacation in Canada, as they play host to A-list guests like Harry Styles and singer Madison Beer"

But the above pictures of fifteen-year-old Kaia Gerber and eighteen-year-old fellow model Charlotte D'Alessio, which were posted on the Daily Mail, are tame compared to some of nymphet's other Instagram photos. For example:

Instagram / @Kaiagerber
Instagram / @Charlottedalessio

Ashby is correct to complain about what she refers to as "sexualize[d] children" in the advertising and modeling industries, but "children" "sexualize" themselves on social media far more often. 

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