Underage Models Fuel Teen Porn

Valerija Stestic | Image Thumbnails Sourced from Google

Valerija Stestic | Image Thumbnails Sourced from Google

At 15 I couldn’t care less what was happening on the catwalk, but it seems not so for the wannabe models of this world who have been introduced to this world in their childhood years. When they should be out playing in the streets, (or whatever it is kids do these days), it seems these aspiring models are career driven and focussed on the catwalk of their dreams.

“A few things first: as long as there has been a modeling industry, it has been the case that most models begin their careers in their early teens. Carmen Dell’Orefice was “discovered” at age 13; in 1947, at 15, she made the cover of Vogue. Brooke Shields was 14 in 1980 when she was the face of Calvin Klein denim. Kate Moss, Patti Hansen, Niki Taylor, Kimora Lee Simmons, Bridget Hall, Gisele Bündchen, Karolina Kurkova, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington: these are just a few of the well-known models who started working at age 13, 14, or 15. More recently, Tanya Dziahileva, Chanel Iman, Karlie Kloss, Lindsey Wixson, Monika Jagaciak, Daphne Groeneveld, and Hailey Clauson have all found fame within the industry after starting young. (Of course, there are many more models who begin working in their early teens who never become well-known.)”

So we know it happens.

Valerija made the news after it was discovered she was walking the catwalk aged 15 not the minimum 16 years of age. One image of her in particular is causing a lawsuit after she posed on a motorcycle a la the below…


So why is this unacceptable, after all her mother was a model and many others careers’ started younger than this?

Poses like this are age inappropriate. They fuel the notion which we have already stated is unacceptable of teenage pornography.

“Sestic walked for sixteen designers: BCBG, Rag & Bone, Doo.Ri, Prabal Gurung, DKNY, Y-3, Carolina Herrera, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Hervé Leger, Rodarte, Theyskens Theory, Oscar de la Renta, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ports 1961, and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. (Despite her age, Ports 1961 styled Sestic in a dress with a transparent top.) Sestic skipped London — where a firm ban on models under 16 is in effect — and went straight to Milan, where so far she’s walked for D&G, Anteprima, Blumarine, and Moschino.

And at least one of those clients is pissed. A spokesperson for Tory Burch said Sestic wouldn’t have been booked had the company known her true age. “We are conscious not to use models under 16.”

“It is true. She is 15,” says Dejan Markovic, the president of Women Management. “This is never going to happen again from our company. I take full responsibility.” Forgive me if I remain unconvinced of Dejan Markovic’s sincerity on this score; the new face he lied about to give a start just became a breakout star.

Clearly, the honor system isn’t keeping children off the runways, and even if it were effective to just ask agencies to pinkie-swear their girls are at least 16 — fashion week is just two weeks out of the year. There’s a whole lot of modeling that goes on the rest of the time. What’s needed is for the modeling industry to stop regarding 12-year-old girls as a natural resource. Ondria Hardin, who was 13 when she shot her Prada campaign with Steven Meisel, had already worked extensively in Asia, where clients and agencies are even more prepared to look the other way on age than they are in the West.

What would be so wrong with agencies taking a pledge not to sign any model for the adult market until she turns 16? And what if clients were to test that by ID’ing the models they hire — not just for runway jobs, but for all gigs? What if 16 were a firm starting age for all modeling work? What if the media started taking notice of, and reporting on, models’ ages? If instead of models starting at 13-14, and being allowed onto the runway at 16, models simply started their careers at 16? It sounds like a small change, but the longer these girls have to devote to their educations, to grow their support networks of family and friends, and to develop in maturity and life skills before embarking on a career that can pose distinct challenges to all of the above and more, the better.”

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903791504576585051865187440.html?utm_source=Jezebel+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e75fb311cb-UA-142218-20&utm_medium=email

www.jezebel.com

 

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Categories: Business, Entertainment, People

Author:Lou

Digital and Comms nerd working in an INGO. PhD researcher (technology / gender / International development / fragile and conflict affected states / South Sudan). Bibliophile. Writer. Musician. Views my own.

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10 Comments on “Underage Models Fuel Teen Porn”

  1. Hera
    September 26, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    For the title to make such a bold claim, I’m not seeing the article make a connection between underage fashion models and teen porn. Yes, we get that there is concern over the inappropriateness of this, but *how* is it fueling child/teen pornography?

  2. September 27, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    Hera, when the idealized beauty defined from the fashion world is a young teenager, then it is promoting pornography to use girls of this age as sexual objects.

    • September 27, 2011 at 10:26 am #

      I still think that’s a bit of a leap. Men don’t look at fashion magazines… well most men don’t. Besides, porn stars look nothing like fashion models.

      • September 29, 2011 at 9:42 am #

        Why use girls in sexual imagery at all, if the photos are intended for, I assume, straight women only?

        • October 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

          Because sexuality is a big part of being human. Girls love the image of the sexy woman. She’s got style, power, confidence and grace. What’s more, by pairing the image of the attractive woman with accessories the unassuming mind is liable to think that her clothes, make-up and accessories /made/ her stylish, powerful, confident and graceful and want to buy those products.

          The real mystery for me is why marketing doesn’t exploit the stylish, powerful, confident and authoritive man to sell more stuff. Sure, beer, watches and razorblades, but the market for exploiting men’s insecurities about their manhood is quite poorly developed.

  3. September 27, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    It would be nice to see fashion magazines use women in their 20s instead of girls who have just entered puberty. Instead, it’s frowned upon to have a figured woman as a sex symbol. Men, what is your opinion on this matter?

    • September 27, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      Women in fashion magazines are too thin. They’re often ickily thin. Most men I know prefer fully developed women, with a moderate level of pubic hair and at least enough fat to cover all the ribs to make them undetectable. Showing ribs or hip bones is not sexy. That said, at least one study found a correlation between strongly religious people and a preference for small breasted slim women. I don’t think latent homosexuality is to blame, rather fear of women’s sexuality. Which makes sense with American fashion models because they’re so thin they might as well be 12 year old boys.

    • September 29, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Laura how does “women in their 20s” equal “a figured woman”

      • September 30, 2011 at 3:16 am #

        Andrew,

        When I say “figured woman” it merely means a woman who has clearly been been well through puberty.

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