When I was twelve, the world of adulthood seemed like a distant place. Grown-ups were boring and I wasn't all that thrilled with the prospect of eventually turning into one. It was a time when chocolate spread sandwiches didn't taste of regret, and fluffy scrunchies were socially acceptable; and I liked it that way. Nowadays, though, young girls are all too eager to ditch the gingham dresses in favour of something more mature.
This month saw the launch of Miss Vogue, the little sister of the esteemed British Vogue magazine. Its first cover features model of the minute Cara Delevingne wearing custom Topshop Unique. Delevingne's outfits are youthful, and certainly age appropriate to the magazine's young target audience. But even so, this high end teen read is worlds away from the publications of years gone by.
Magazines like Mizz and Bliss were once my go to style bibles- guiding me towards bootleg jeans galore and -on one occasion- a top with the word 'attitude' emblazoned upon it... Don't judge me. Once upon a time, girls' magazines featured girls' fashion; but nowadays, the likes of Miss Vogue point their young fashionistas towards more adult wardrobe choices.
And it's not just magazines that are influencing this 'old before their time' culture; celebrity role models also play their part.
Way back when in the early 2000s, the most prominent teen celebs in the UK were the members of ultra-cheesy/ always happy pop group S Club Juniors. The pint sized pop stars never tried to put on a grown-up façade, meaning that their wide eyed fans didn't either. Sadly the Puppy love days are nothing but a memory, as today's celebrity teens are slightly less relatable...
Despite their tender ages, juvenile style icons Elle Fanning and Chloe Moretz are being welcomed into the adult fashion fold. 15-year-old Elle modelled in an editorial campaign for Marc Jacobs when she was just 13, causing controversy as it was widely argued that she was too young for the job. The young actress is a regular on the pages of adult fashion magazines, and can often be found hobnobbing with fashion's elite. This month, Miss Fanning attended the Costume Institute (or Met) Gala, wearing a Rodarte gown- having been invited to attend by the brand's designers.
Her fellow US actress, 16 year old Moretz, also has fashion credentials far beyond her years, often sporting designer brands like Chanel. With aspirational teen figures acting in this way, the current generation of young girls are left with little option but to follow their example.
Letting kids be kids is firmly 'out', but, really- when was it ever 'in'? Teenage girls were wishing away their youthful appearances long before Miss Vogues and Met Galas. C'est la vie, I guess.
I'm very thankful for my Peter Pan-esque childhood. If wouldn't change a second of it. Well, maybe that's not entirely true... I should have spent more time eating chocolate spread sandwiches.
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