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Tuesday
Aug092011

10-Year-Old Model's Mom Defends Racy 'Vogue' Pictures of Daughter

ABC News(PARIS) -- The mother of a 10-year-old fashion model whose racy photo shoot in French Vogue reignited the debate about the sexualization of young girls has apparently defended her daughter's work.

Veronika Loubry, a fashion designer and mother to Thylane Loubry Blondeau, told a French newspaper, "The only thing that shocks me about the photo is the necklace that she's wearing, which is worth 3 million Euros," or about $4.3 million.

She also took to her daughter's Facebook fan page page to blame a "bad personn in usa [sic]" for drawing attention to her daughter, before later posting that "something going's wrong at the moment [sic]."

ABC News could not confirm that Loubry made the comment about her daughter, whose sultry stare beyond her years on the pages of French Vogue had the fashion industry drooling but left other parents, child experts, and media outlets outraged.

Within hours, however, Loubry Blondeau's fan page had been closed.

"… thylane doesn't know about the buzz and i want to protect her from the deapest of my heart ,,, she's so young ,, so we are going to close this accompte for a while ,,i know all of you are good person who like her so i send you a big kiss,,thanks [sic]," the page read.

That parting message for friends and fans shows the toll the attention on the photos of her young daughter -- wearing makeup, high heels and haute couture in Vogue -- has taken on the family, as well as concern for how her daughter is being portrayed in the media.

A report by ABC's Good Morning America last week was the first to break the story in the United States, drawing worldwide media attention and a flood of reaction from viewers, fashion watchers and child psychology experts alike.

Some called Thylane's modeling spread "sad and repulsive," while others, agreeing with the young model's mom, said they found "nothing sexual about these pictures."

Even in childish smocks and cotton tees, Thylane's expressions in the Vogue shoot were seen as oddly adult, a product, perhaps, of living half her young life in the fashion world -- she reportedly hit the runway for Jean-Paul Gauthier at age 5. Other pictures of her appearing elsewhere were more suggestive, such as a posed picture that showed the girl topless and in jeans, with only her long hair to obscure her chest.

Some say the grown-up beauty portrayed by Thylane and other children is giving other young girls unhealthy ideas about how they should look.

"We don't want kids to grow up too fast," said Shari Miles-Cohen, senior director of women's programs for the American Psychological Association.  "We want them to be able to develop physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially at appropriate rates for their age."

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