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French Vogue Dolls Up Little Girls, Turning "Ooh La La!" Into "Oh, No."

By carolyncastiglia |

Little girls in French Vogue

Thank Heaven for Little Girls.

The images are all over the feminist blogosphere: Jezebel has the full spread of little girls in grown-up poses modelling for French Vogue.  Feministing is disgusted, Feministe cried “yuck.”  What more is there to say really?  Well, this:

I’ve long mocked the fashion industrial complex in my stand-up, which is easy for me to do because I don’t fit into anything they produce.  As an outsider with no hopes of ever trying to look cute in gobs of green eyeshadow and a dress made out of newspaper clippings – or teddy bear eyeballs and credit cards – I’ve always felt that I can see fashion’s ridiculous exploitation of women for exactly what it is.  Why anyone would be interested in wearing shoes modeled on a woman meant to look like a dead body hanging out of the trunk of a car is beyond me.  I mean, people are up in arms about a Swiffer campaign that portrays women playing “dirt” and “mud” as desperate for love, but no one cares that Kanye West has women hanging from nooses in his recent Monster video?  (You see, the difference is, Kanye is a genius, and Swiffer – well, they suck.  But only if you buy the Swiffer SweeperVac!)

I just don’t understand how it is that well-educated women pick and choose what to be upset about.  If you don’t like the way women – and now children – are depicted in magazines like Vogue, don’t buy Vogue… or W… or Vanity Fair.  Or better yet, write to the editors of these lady rags and tell them – stop running ads where women look dead.  Stop posing your models in a way that glorifies the caviar-filled ennui only the wealthy can feel.  Stop photographing women who look bored, sad, sick, lonely, abused, dejected and distressed.  I mean, look at the way Glamour responded when their readers told them they wanted to see more fat chicks!  BOOM, they gave us fat chicks!  With no clothes on!

I love reading Jezebel and I love wearing makeup and looking cute as much as the next chick.  But I have never understood feminists who worship haute couture.  I’m not saying heels and pencil skirts are the enemy, but treating women like – well, dirt – is nothing new for the fashion industry.  It just seems more odious when you see magazine editors pimping out children.  If you don’t like looking at little girls lying around being sort of apathetically (gulp) sexy (?), then don’t accept that in photos of older models, either.  Because as everyone who has commented on this Vogue shoot has noted, the “older” girls are only teenagers themselves.

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About carolyncastiglia



Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “French Vogue Dolls Up Little Girls, Turning "Ooh La La!" Into "Oh, No."

  1. TC says:

    I get what you’re saying…

    I do believe that there’s a difference in selling sex in an adult photo shoot for an adult magazine and selling sex when it comes to young teens/tweens/and children. It’s sad that our culture throws the ideas that our young daughters have to be sexy, dress sexy, act sexy, etc. in order to have any worth or value. I hope to raise my daughter to be smarter than that (even if it makes her an outcast in her youth, hopefully it’ll make her a wiser adult).

    I do agree with you to vote with your dollars, and I certainly do.

  2. carolyncastiglia says:

    Hey TC – I totally agree that there’s a difference between selling sex in an adult photo shoot and selling sexy kids. My problem with the way (high-end) women’s magazines sell sex is that “sexy” women are always portrayed as bored and near death, if not already in rigor mortis. Models are posed awkwardly like dolls – it’s about the clothes and the style, not the women enjoying the clothes and feeling alive because they have great style. It’s a fetishy death fantasy and I hate it so much. It’s so demeaning, and I’ve never understood why women continue to support it.

  3. TC says:

    I agree with that. “High fashion” has never really been my cup of tea, which is probably why I don’t subscribe to those types of fashion magazines, personally. Sadly, the industry does continue to do what sells, and sadly what sells is anorexically thin women who do appear bored/disinterested and near death. Or, rather, what is shoved down our faces. Look at all the CSI type shows that show blood, rage, and violence (and mainly towards women and children) for shock value. I think it feeds into that death fantasy/fetish.

  4. Heather says:

    Ok, so I looked at the full spread on Jezebel. I have to say that most of the pics look like little girls playing dress-up. They’re wearing undershirts to keep them fully covered. While some of the poses are more grown-up than the girls are, many of them wouldn’t cause you to raise an eyebrow if they were wearing, say, flannel pj’s or a t-shirt and shorts. As for ad campaigns that make women look dead/beat up, I don’t like those either. But just so you know, there is actually a point where even models are considered “too skinny” and that happens to be when they look like they are starving themselves.

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