Child fashion model Thylane Blondeau stirs controversy, again

Child model Thylane Blondeau stirs controversy with her new magazine cover.
Child model Thylane Blondeau stirs controversy with her new magazine cover.Today

The little girl who created a fashion frenzy with a provocative photo spread several years ago in Paris Vogue is back with a more mature, yet just as talked-about, look in another magazine.

French model Thylane Blondeau graces the cover of fashion magazine Jalouse, which touts the girl as “the new Kate Moss” and features the hashtag #BornIn2001.

Thylane made news in 2011 when, as a 10-year-old, she posed for Paris Vogue in a low-cut, metallic gold dress and stilettos. She was heavily made up and stroking two rabbits on a bed of leopard-print pillows.

This time around, Thylane, who says she is 12 on her Twitter page, still looks far older than her years, but much more age appropriate on the cover of Jalouse, where she wears a sweater, minimal makeup, and her hair tied back in a ponytail. 

She took to Twitter to proudly display the cover, along with other photos from the shoot showing her in similarly dressed-down attire.

The use of child models has long-forced the fashion industry to defend itself against charges it sexualizes children. The controversy surrounding Thylane is reminiscent of Brooke Shield’s unconventional rise to stardom from a child model, who was allowed by her stage mom to be photographed nude at age 10. At age 12, she portrayed a prostitute in the Louis Malle movie, “Pretty Baby.” 

More recently, the debate gets reignited with racy photo spreads like those featuring models Kendall Jenner and Chanel Iman during their earlier years. Eyebrows also were raised when Cindy Crawford allowed her then 10-year-old daughter to make her modeling debut in a Versace ad.

As for Thylane’s current magazine cover, reaction online has been mixed. 

A request to Jalouse seeking comment was not immediately returned Tuesday.

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