Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's hard to believe that Dakota Fanning, whom we first saw at age 5 playing Sean Penn's daughter in I am Sam is now 17 and on her fourth of fifth collaboration with Marc Jacobs and Juergen Teller as the face of one of Mr Jacobs' products.  She's the new girl for Oh Lola, March Jacobs new fragrance, which some are calling just a little too provocative for a 17 year old.  When I first saw it, I thought, mmm cute and didn't think anything of it. I guess I'm clearly desensitized to the (over) sexualisation of women or girls in this case to sell products. I posted some American Apparel ad campaigns last week and a photographer I respect said that she hates American Apparel campaigns because they are too sexual.  I agree with her, but I won't say they don't look good or that the models don't choose to put themselves in those situations, with their parent's consent.  Who then, is to say that it is exploitation when a model who has free will like the rest of us, puts herself in that situation?  The Lola in Jacobs' fragrance pays homage to the character of Lolita in Vladimir Nabokov's infamous novel Lolita, in which a 12 year old girl has a full on affair with her step father, out of a fusion of her own (12 year old) and his will.  Fucked up? Indeed, but it's not completely unfathomable, unfortunately. Fanning, who poses against a pink background wearing an innocent polka dot dress poses like a young girl with her legs prostrate, her face provocatively looking directly at Teller's lens and the large bottle of perfume placed around her under age vjajay! She is 17. When did you break your virginity? 

Clearly this is meant to be some kind of sexual but the girl jumped at the opportunity, with her parent's consent, the same way she played a wild girl-kissing character in The Runaways. Who is to say this is not another role she is playing? I won't lie and say that I have a major issue with how women are portrayed in the fashion industry - it's a form of art and expression about the times we live in.  Is it the industry's role to set the moral parameters of our society? That is debatable.  What fashion does is expose what's already there. Does that make it right? I don't know.  I personally didn't read too much into this image and in fact, thought it was tastefully done. But if you are looking for the nasty in it, you will find it.  

The other Fanning girl, Dakota's 13 year old sister, Elle, looked ever so much older in the latest Black Book magazine where she has a whole editorial. I can't hate on this.  Some people are saying she's too young for this, which she may be, but she has consent from her parents to look this beautiful. She doesn't look like she's in pain. 


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