This is Thylane Loubry Blondeau. She's ten years old, and she appeared in a deliberately-provocative editorial in French Vogue last December, which appeared to be intended to play with the idea of "dress up", and perhaps to satirize the fashion industry's obsession with youth.
The images in question, however, have caused something of a stir, with some people arguing that, however knowingly it was done, the sexualization of ten year old girls in this way just isn't cool.
(We've no idea why this outrage is all happening NOW, when the photos in question were published several months ago, but for some reason it is...)
Thylane herself now has a Tumblr dedicated to her photos, (the owner recently changed the name from "F*** Yeah, Thylane Blondeau" to the slightly less controversial Thylane Blondeau pictures, although as of this morning, that site seems to be down, too), many of which showcase her very "grown up" poses and a much more sophisticated sense of style than we'd usually associate with a ten-year-old.
While some are excitedly declaring her to be "the next big thing", however, others think Thylane's sultry pout and "sexy" photos "go too far" - and not just in the French Vogue spread, but in many more of the child model's shots.
Here are just a few of the contrasting opinions being voiced about Thylane:
"This isn’t edgy. It’s inappropriate, and creepy, and I never want to see a nine-year-old girl in high-heeled leopard print bedroom slippers ever again."
"...she looks more self-aware and confident than most models working today — to say nothing of grown women in general."
"there’s no lightheartedness or playfulness there. There’s
none of the unselfconsciousness that let childhood be so much fun... There’s just Blondeau’s dull eyes and pursed, painted, parted lips of a hard-to-get siren, laid out on a tiger-skin rug or placed in a chair with her skirt carefully tucked out of the way to bare her legs nearly to the hip."
"I personally found the Vogue Paris editorialrefreshing. Sure, it was disturbing, but it seemed purposefully, knowingly disturbing — "
As for us? We think Thylane is one beautiful little girl, and one day she's going to be an amazingly beautiful woman. And when that time comes, we'll have no problem seeing her lying on an animal skin in stiletto heels. But there's plenty of time for all of that, and for now we have to admit that we do find it a little unsettling to find adults drooling over photos of a child.
What do YOU think, though? Should a ten year old be modelling adult fashion in this way, even if it IS intended to make us question the industry, or is it just too young?