Cindy Crawford's 10-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber is the new face of the Young Versace Campaign. Versace released a photo of Kaia, who is a spitting image of her mum, in an adorable mini skirt and black leather jacket. An outfit I would love to wear if I could squeeze into it (and afford it).
So now prepare for the backlash - the one side who will argue the outfit is age-appropriate, the photo clean-cut and lovely and the other side who will argue the skirt is too short, the child has on too much make-up and is being forced into an adult world before she's even hit puberty.
As for Kaia, I have no immediate concerns. We can be assured that her mother will oversee every aspect of her young child's career and that any modeling shots we see will only be done by the top-notch photographers in the world and approved by her.
No one is going to mess with Cindy Crawford's little girl.
It's all those other girls I'm concerned about. The ones that think modeling will be their ticket to fame and fortune. The ones who will want to play dress-up just like Kaia, but will probably instead just be welcomed to a cruel world of rejection and distorted body image.
And I question the long-term effects of Kaia's new career. Crawford was one of the lucky ones who escaped the modeling world unscathed. But she knows the dangers Kaia will face if she pursues modeling: drugs, eating disorders, public scrutiny. Is possible fame and success worth the risk at such a young age?
I wonder who or what was the impetus to get Kaia involved in modeling. Perhaps growing up surrounded by images of her mother all dolled-up was enough for Kaia to want to be seen as just as beautiful and glamorous.
It makes me ponder my own situation and what I may face with my daughter. Granted, I was no supermodel, I was a stripper and 'adult' model, but I also worked for many amazing artists whose photos of me are beautiful and tasteful.
I no longer display any of even the most 'appropriate' nudes anywhere in the house. While I will not hide the facts of my former career from my daughter, I do not want her growing up with her focus on what her body looks like.
Strip club customers would ask what I would tell my daughter if she announced she wanted to be a stripper. I said something like, I'd encourage her to do something else, but I'd support her final decision. It was easy to say that when my daughter didn't exist.
I know I will support my daughter with whatever interests she wants to pursue, but I will definitely try to steer her into pursuing hobbies and interests of the mind, not the body.
While I know there will be a lot of people who point out there are no comparisons between being a 'regular' model and being a stripper/nude model, I disagree.
Modeling is a gateway drug to stripping.
If a young woman feels comfortable posing in barely-there clothes, she often sees no problem in exposing her flesh completely to the world.
Of course, in the end, I don't think posing nude is necessarily a bad thing. I think it can be empowering for women to have the experience of posing nude at least once in their lives. But to rely on how one's body looks as a way to make a living? Not so great.
And as for little girls modeling, I understand that someone has to wear the clothes in the advertisements - what I take issue with is the way the girls are being presented. If the photos showed Kaia in this outfit playing in a backyard or hanging out with friends, it would be more believable and real-life.
Or wait - no, if fashion designers placed little girls in real-life situations we would only see how bizarrely wrong the outfits are for 10-year-olds. How does a girl climb a jungle gym or kick a ball when her skirt is halfway up past her underpants?
If girls were shown in context, the whole high-fashion children's market would crash and burn. I mean, really - little girls aren't meant to be concerned with what they're wearing, they're meant to have fun, explore the world, and discover who they are.
Not so easy to do when they're wearing thousand-dollar miniskirts and leather jackets.