Little girls wearing tiny triangular brassieres, panties with trimmings and frills, layers of makeup, a diva bouffant, a sensuous pout and a sexy attitude that befits a grownup woman is how French fashion label Jours Après Lunes portrays little girls to promote its lingerie line Loungerie designed for girls aged between 4 and twelve years.
Designers, lingerie labels and fashion bloggers across the world have found nothing adorable in the idea, and the brand is facing flak for presenting little girls as sultry adults. Jennie Amardeil, Area manager, Asia of French lingerie label Simone Pérèle says, “Lingerie, and underwear items can be worn from an age when a girl sees her body changing, usually between the age of 10 and 14.
But a small girl should not to be pushed to turn into a seductive and sexy woman.” That’s why traditional brands of underwear for young girls propose products suitable to their age and highlight promotions that are in sync with the children or teen-age, adds Amardeil. The sexy or sensual connotation is banned from these brands codes. “A little girl should not be advertised as a sex symbol,” says Amardeil.
Lingerie designer Suman Nathwani says, “The ads look sleazy. What message is the company trying to send across? Which four-year-old will need a triangle bra top, and pink frilled panties?” She adds that girls as young as 9 or 10 are menstruating now, and have enough breast development to need a bra. However, they need plain support bra and not sexed up lingerie.
Saurabh Dadu, C.E.O, strapsandstrings.com, an online lingerie store agrees. “Making these young girls wear lingerie, and look sexy, adds a lot of mental pressure on them,” he says.
Dr. Avdesh Sharma, psychiatrist says that such products and ads can adversely affect a young child and do irreparable damage. “Children who encounter their sexuality at such a young age can have distorted notions of sexuality, and are more prone to child abuse.”
Nothing childlike about it:
The picture of the 10-year-old model, Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, in the January issue of French Vogue stirred a lot of outrage. Recently, the UK Government initiated a move to impose restrictions on the sexualisation of children in media. A review by Reg Bailey, the Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union, shows that 88% of parents said that children are pressurised to grow up too fast and 58% blame it on the celebrity culture. In the Indian ad world also little girls are made to wear makeup and cleavage creating clothes.