A company called Jours Après Lunes decided to join what seems to be a relentless quest among fashion designers to sexualize girls at a younger and younger age. Their new line of “loungerie” is drawing fire because it’s basically lingerie, with perhaps a little more coverage, worn by girls aged 4-12. The advertisements show little girls reclining in bras and panties, some wearing sunglasses, others bedecked with pearls. They’re wearing mascara, their hair is carefully done and they’re all smiling at the camera in a way that is — well, troubling. And also sad.
The story broke on the blog Fashionista earlier this week. Dhani Mau wrote, “What’s disturbing about Jours Après Lunes is not just the fact that it’s lingerie for people who probably shouldn’t be old enough to even know what lingerie is, but the photographs on their website. The little ‘filles’ are styled like grown women with Amy Winehouse hair, sunglasses and pearls and there are a few instances of Thylane Blondeau-esque seductive gazing and reclining poses.”
Thylane Blondeau, as you may remember, is the 10-year-old girl who recently appeared in French Vogue, where she posed in an extremely suggestive way. Viewers were taken aback, and with good reason. Ximena Ramirez, commenting on the controversy for Care2, wrote, “Having a young girl model isn’t the problem here. It’s that Blondeau clearly isn’t being styled as a 10-year-old girl. She is really being made up to look like an adult – a sexy, pouty, sultry adult – whose purpose is to sell some sort of product to the real adults who are flipping through the magazine.”
The creator of Jours Après Lunes defended the line in an interview with The Lingerie Journal, where she rejected the idea that these were little Lolitas. Her materials, she said, were not transparent, and there was no lace. The issue for many, however, was less the amount of coverage than the sheer sexuality that the girl models exuded. Grown women struggle with the images of seductresses in every magazine and catalog; we can only imagine what ads like these will do to young girls’ self-esteem.
Photo from mikebaird via flickr.