While the website for Jours Après Lunes markets its new line as an “innovative” and “unexpected” addition to children's fashion, fashion experts and child psychologists are calling it creepy and totally inappropriate. Veteran fashion writer Marilisa Racco told the New York Daily News that the company has clearly crossed the line in how it is portraying children in its online ads. “It’s cute when a little girl dresses up in her mom’s clothing and jewelry and high heels,” Racco said. “These pictures are not cute. It’s entirely inappropriate to put a four-year-old in a bouffant like she’s Brigitte Bardot in “And God Created Woman.” She added that “it’s inappropriate to sexualize children. A pearl-encrusted triangle bra on a little girl does not sit well with me.”
Leah Chernikoff, executive editor of Fashionista.com, the site that broke the disturbing story, told FOX News: “There’s something undeniably disconcerting about the styling of the photos — at least to American eyes. It’s off-putting to see four-year-olds made-up to look like seductive self-aware young women.”
Fashionista style writer Dhani Mau noted: “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.” She pointed out that the little girls on the company’s website “are styled like grown women with Amy Winehouse hair, sunglasses and pearls,” adding that “there are a few instances of Thylane Blondeau-esque seductive gazing and reclining poses”—referring to the now-notorious 10-year-old “model” who was recently featured in the FrenchVogue magazine inappropriately posing in a skin-tight dress and stiletto heels while lying seductively on a tiger-skin rug.
Writing on the “woman’s” website Jezebel.com, Margaret Hartmann pointed out that perhaps “it’s unwise to throw stones at the French brand when pretty much every mall in America has a Victoria’s Secret Pink outpost selling lingerie to teens…. But we will say that whether it comes from France or the U.S., the last thing we need is more images that sexualize young girls.”
Paul Miller, a psychology professor at Arizona State University, told ABC News: “This kind of marketing does sexualize young girls, it does serve as a model that inspires very young girls to think that minimizing what they wear and revealing as much of their body as possible is appropriate, and ‘fashionable’ and ‘cool,’ and that this is the way that they should think of themselves.” Miller explained that the “cultural message goes beyond ‘lingerie’ … to girls’ self-image, body image, and what it takes to build a ‘good’ image of one’s self.”
According to ABC News, the American Psychological Association (APA) has formed a task force to address the “increasing problem” of the sexualization of young girls in advertising and the media. “We don’t want kids to grow up too fast,” Shari Miles-Cohen of the APA told ABC News. “We want them to be able to develop physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially at appropriate rates for their age.”
Meanwhile, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America pointed out to the Daily Caller: “This is a pedophile’s dream. Sophie Morin, the lingerie designer at Jours Après Lunes, should be ashamed and French mothers should be outraged and demand a response.” Nance added that such disturbing stories “are becoming more common as our society further sexualizes little girls. From Hollywood to Abercrombie & Fitch’s push-up bra bikinis for eight-year-olds, the United States has its own issues. Concerned Women for America’s members will not accept the cheapening of our children and will fight pedophilia anywhere we find it.”
Photo: Jours Après Lunes model