August 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Even fashion industry insiders say they are shocked at the launch by a French company of “sexy” lingerie aimed at girls as young as four years old.
Photos on the website of Jours Après Lunes show child models dressed in striped bras and panties, sunglasses and strings of pearls with what one publication described as “Amy Winehouse”-type hairdos, playing with make-up and jewelry or lounging on deck chairs. In its report, the UK’s Daily Mail wrote that “most” of the photos were considered too risqué for publication.
In an unsigned, first-person media release, however, the founder of Jours Après Lunes has defended the company’s products from critics, saying they were created for “material comfort.”
“There is no vulgar connotation,” the release said. “The material is totally opaque, no transparency, no lace, no satin, no shiny silk … There is in my collection no bra, no corset and no G-string.”
The company also clarified that the clothes have “nothing to do” with controversial and salacious photos of ten-year-old model Thylane Len-Rose Blondeau published by French Vogue magazine recently, and that the press was “totally wrong” to equate the company with the photo spread.
The website Fashionista broke the story about the controversial clothing line, saying that the photos are part of the “never ending story of France’s apparent disregard for age-appropriateness.”
Fashionista’s Dhani Mau wrote, “What’s disturbing about Jours Après Lunes is not just the fact that it’s lingerie for people who probably shouldn’t be old enough to even know what lingerie is, but the photographs on their website.
“The little ‘filles’ are styled like grown women with Amy Winehouse hair, sunglasses and pearls and there are a few instances of Thylane Blondeau-esque seductive gazing and reclining poses.”
The company also produces lines for young teenagers and women. But Mau also called the photos of the older girls “unsettling” because the model is “made to look like a child, while the actual children are made to look like adults.”
In its statement the company said that the attention given to their catalogue photos was “extremely dubious.” “It is time to put things in their place and to address serious problems such as displays of pornographic magazines on the newsstands exposed daily in front of our children,” they said.
Feminist authors, however, have long criticized the mainstream fashion industry, pointing to its highly sexualized images and presentation of an impossible-to-emulate ideal of feminine beauty. Now experts in child psychology and development are warning that these images are increasingly affecting young girls, with dire results. Recently released UK statistics show that a disquieting number of children – 197 between five and nine, most of them girls – were treated last year in British hospitals for anorexia nervosa, the often deadly eating disorder.
Experts also continue to warn of the connection between the proliferation of pornographic images of children and pedophilia. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health issued a report in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology showing that child pornography offenders were almost twice as likely of being identified as a pedophile.