Should we put 9-year-olds in adult fashion campaigns?
All this week, Marc Jacobs has been unveiling models for his newest campaign on Instagram. Among his high-profile muses, including Willow Smith, Sofia Coppola, Winona Ryder and Cher, is a nine-year-old girl named Betty Lowe.
Betty and her brothers Alfie and Frankie modeled for Alex and Alexa in 2010, way back when Betty was just four. And her sister, Daisy, has already worked with Marc Jacobs on the MbyMJ campaign.
Marc Jacobs himself introduced the young fashion star on Instagram, along with this caption: “Allow me to introduce Betty Lowe @ocean_bubble photographed by David Sims. In 2009 her sister Daisy Lowe did the MbyMJ campaign..I love these girls, their mom Pearl, and this family!”
But if you’re feeling a little nervous about a kid working in fashion, her mom shared a bit about Betty’s experience working for Alex and Alexa. Pearl Lowe told Vogue that, although she had some hesitation going in, the kids loved the experience.
“They’re indie kids at heart, and we weren’t sure whether they’d be a bit grumpy and not enjoy it. You never really know whether it’s the right thing to do, but, they LOVED it — so much so that they’re asking, ‘When is the next one?’!”
The first image to be released is striking — a little Alice in Wonderland, a little 1970s. Lowe is undoubtedly a captivating model, but her image raises the question: Is nine too young to be modeling women’s clothing?
Teenagers, some as young as 13, have become fixtures of the high-fashion modeling business for some time now. While there’s nothing wrong with teens modeling for teen content, one could argue that having girls—girls who are still developing—represent adult female bodies promotes unrealistic beauty standards.
At the same time, fashion designers have been challenging age norms all over the place, with 80-year-old author of our hearts, Joan Didion, representing Céline, and Dolce & Gabbana selecting two unknown older women for their recent campaign. Meanwhile, a 5-year-old is designing a collection for J. Crew. The poised 9-year-old Lowe is another representation of how fashion spans the decades—a message the fashion world is totally embracing right now.
Certainly, that seems to be what Jacobs wants to project with this campaign. In a recent Instagram post featuring model/awesome teen Willow Smith, he wrote, “Beauty, style and talent know no age. It is those individuals whose creativity, unique vision, and voice inspire all of us here to create and express ourselves through our medium: fashion.”
(Image via Instagram)