Duke It Out: Fashion Goes Prepubescent?

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. Sometimes with mean words. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like ratings sites!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

Ah fashion, you cruel, sadistic mistress. Unrealistic body image has always been part of the package, considering that most major designers only have a vague concept of what human anatomy even looks like, but historically they have at least pretended that their designs are created for full-grown women. Well, recently, Elle Fanning has become a fashion world darling, praised for her “ballet-dancer frame perfect for Rodarte and Valentino“… did I mention she’s 12? Yeah, she’s 12.

Now, I’m not trying to get down on Elle – she’s a very pretty young girl with a healthy build for her age. There’s nothing wrong with the way she looks (and I’m seething with envy that she’s already 5-foot-6); what’s wrong to me is that her lovely figure is being held up as a pinnacle for women’s fashion when she’s not, in fact, a woman yet. That “ballet-dancer frame”? That’s also known as ‘not-having-hit-puberty-yet’. We’re talking about fetishizing a child here! And in a world where we’re supposedly embracing different body-types and where curves are supposed to be making a come back. In this world, we’re really going to discuss a little girl’s body as something that major designers think that we should strive toward? How sick is that?

But! On the other hand, as demented as I may happen to think the whole concept is, it’s not exactly new. Fashion models have been operating on the younger is better principle for years with girls like Kate Moss and Brooke Shields making a name for themselves in their early teens. 12 may be a little low on the spectrum, but it’s really just an extension of what’s been going on for years. Does that make it any better? Maybe not, but it also means it’s not likely to change.

Alright ladies, what do you say? Is Elle Fanning just another example of fashion’s waif-obsession? Is it a product of something deeper and more messed up in the industry? Or is it just the same-old, same-old? Duke It Out!

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