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Vogue uses 10 year old girl model.

August 5, 2011

She reclines among leopard print pillows, her rouged lips pouting at the camera. But shockingly the model in these highly sexualised pictures is only 10 years old.
The provocative images of Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, who is tipped as the next big thing on the fashion scene, are causing a storm of controversy with campaigners furious that a child so young should be displaying the sexual allure of someone twice her age.

Thylane has appeared in numerous campaigns and her image is all over the internet. To date she has an impressive portfolio – the French girl has graced the cover of Vogue Enfants and posed for high-end editorials

Born in the Ivory Coast, she has already been compared to Sixties siren Brigitte Bardot – who at the age of 15 appeared in ELLE.But these latest images, complete with heavy make-up and stiletto heels, which appear in French magazine Cadeaux, have brought the issue to a head.

They come in the wake of a recent Government initiative in the UK to enforce restrictions on the sexualisation of children in the media and sexual content in advertising.Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union, was commissioned to conduct the independent review on the pressures faced by children today.

A spokesperson for the Mothers’ Union told MailOnline: ‘We have grave concerns about the modelling agency who represent Blondeau, which clearly does not know if it represents a child or an adult.’Photo shoots requiring her, a 10-year-old-girl, to dress in full make-up, teetering heels and a dress with a cleavage cut to the waist across her pre-pubescent body deny Blondeau the right to be the child she is.

‘These images would, we hope, post Bailey Review, not pass through the standards of magazines, on street advertising and other media within the UK.’In the review a survey revealed that 88 per cent of parents agreed that children are under pressure grow up too quickly, with 58 per cent accounting this to celebrity culture

One blogger said of the images: ‘She is a beautiful little girl, as are all ten year old girls. While I am sure she will make a terrific model someday, I find these pictures beyond disturbing – she is styled way too maturely.’And experts warned today about the psychological damage done to children who are treated in this way.

Dr Emma Gray is a consultant clinical psychologist and cllinical director of The British CBT & Counselling Service, which deals in behavioural therapy.She said: ‘This picture is the antithesis of what childhood in our society should be; a child being exposed to a world she is not yet equipped to deal with solely to serve the needs of the adults around her.

‘If children are to develop into happy, grounded and psychologically balanced people their childhood needs to be spent appropriately preparing for the demands of the adult world.

‘Before they are exposed to this world it is the task of the adults around them to create an environment that gives them the time, space and nurture to complete their physical and psychological development. Prematurely exposing a child to the adult world is dangerously preventing the completion of their development into a person who can survive in it.’

Thylane’s entry into the fashion world follows a recent trend for younger models. At 13, actress Elle Fanning is the current star of the Marc by Marc Jacobs autumn/winter campaign and 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld signed a deal with Miu Miu soon after receiving her Oscar nomination for True Grit this year.

Like many child stars Thylane has strong connections with the entertainment industry. She is the daughter of Véronika Loubry, an actress and television presenter and the former French international football player Patrick Blondeau.Despite all those concerned about Thylane’s age and image, younger admirers seem to be less averse to the provocative images.On her Facebook page, which totals over 700 fans, people have posted comments celebrating her looks. One writes: ‘Hey I just wanted to say that Thylane is absolutely stunning! xx’ while another writes ‘the awkward moment when a ten year old is prettier than you’.
Mr Bailey added: ‘Society also seems to have become more openly sexualised; the rapidly changing technological environment has its benefits in so many ways but has also made the seamier side of humanity inescapable.’

David Cameron has endorsed the findings of the Bailey report and plans to grill companies and regulators at a Downing Street summit in October on the progress they have made.

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