I’m the first to cry foul when children are seemingly sexually exploited for monetary gain. Like 10-year-old French model Thylane Loubry Blondeau, who has appeared topless in print. Or 3-year-old male “supermodel” Hudson Kroenig, who is quoted as talking about all the “pretty model girls,” and as being “already a ladies man.” It’s sad and icky, I think.
But 17-year-old actress Dakota Fanning in the new Marc Jacobs ad campaign? Meh.
Still, the Advertising Standards Authority in the U.K. has banned the ad for Jacobs’ Oh, Lola! fragrance, according to the New York Daily News. The reason? It “could be seen to sexualize a child.”
Here’s the thing: If Fanning were 7, I see their point. But she’s 17. Yes, technically she’s still a minor. But barely. She’s been a professional actress who has done adult things on film. I have no doubt she knew what she was doing when she posed for the ad; she’s been around enough to decide what feels right and what doesn’t.
And she’s not naked in the Marc Jacobs ad. Or seductively licking, say, a hot dog. She has a perfume bottle resting on her crotch. Her crotch, which is covered by a dress.
The ASA argued Fanning looks younger than 17 in the ad, and said they considered “the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle” — all of which “drew attention to her sexuality.”
The perfume manufacturer has defended the ad, saying it’s provocative, “but not indecent.”
A note to the ASA: Here’s a surefire way to draw attention to Dakota Fanning’s sexuality — ban the ad, thereby ensuring that media outlets everywhere talk about Dakota Fanning’s crotch.
Do you think the ad is too racy, or innocent (enough)?
Image: Marc Jacobs