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.