Vogue’s GAG ‘Gift’


“Cadeaux,” meaning gift or present, is emblazoned across each fashion page. These images, from Dec. 2010′s French Vogue, are the parting shots from editor Carine Roitfeld, who just resigned. Her signature editorial choices were meant to make viewers squirm, and advertisers pay.  From ‘blackface’ models, and charges of racism to barely fleshy (but called fat) models draped with food [see ham hock below] to a very twisted bit that portrays bandaged women after cosmetic surgery who are being kissed, and appear in various states of undress.

Now, fashion often attempts to infantalize females, showing their weakness and pain as being instrumental to their allure. Men and boys are trained from an early age to sexualize weakness, hairlessness (everywhere but on her head) and innocence. The construction of childhood innocence sets youthful females up as delicious targets where indulging in the forbidden is sexualized. Voilá, child sexual abuse. The sexualization of childhood is big business. It is hypocritical that Hollywood along with French Vogue sells little girls to the masses in a highly sexualized way – and then pretends to be  shocked that child sexual abuse is rampant.

Animated or virtual child pornography is totally legal, thanks to the ACLU and sex industry front groups like the Free Speech Coalition. Perpetrators can, with the help of competitive websites, create avatars of themselves having sexual intercourse with their nieces, neighbors, step daughters, daughters, whoever. All that’s needed is a facial photo of the child and one of the perp and Voilá –Mr. Child Rapist is free to create his virtual world.

The latest research from Stanford University (watch PBS’s Digital Nation) notes how difficult it is for humans to draw the line between reality and fantasy when watching an avatar who is based on one’s actual facial/physical structure. When one’s avatar eats, the real human feels full or even nauseous. What sort of world are we creating  when avatar child porn is legal? Please watch Price of Pleasure (mediaed.org) if you think I mischaracterize this type of pornography. It can include graphic child rape with children screaming as they are penetrated by adult men. Exactly whose free speech is being protected in this instance?

Knowing about this makes these Vogue images all the more horrible. Anyone in the know of how many millions of men and boys are daily sharing peer to peer videos and images of criminal child rape would be equally sickened by Vogue’s holiday ‘gift’ issue. Child porn is no longer about images of children posing nude. We haven’t the law enforcement to prosecute all those who engage in exchanging child rape videos through their computer fingerprints (ip addresses). How has it come to this–that men and boys are sexually aroused by two year olds child screaming, or toddlers tied to chairs being penetrated by an adult?  Are we so sexually repressed that we can’t bear to discuss this growing reality? Why is there so much silence around how we teach sex and sexual intimacy?

Sexualizing equality between consentual adults is what is really hot — to me anyway.  Why are we endlessly fascinated by the tired old sexual dominance and submission roles?  Sexual equality where negotiation and open communication blurs the line of body parts and gender can allow sexual partners to merge as one. Are we afraid to let go of the old capitalistic notion that satisfying sex must include the purchase of  something — be it whips, outfits, pornography or sadly prostituted humans? Sexual equality is by nature free.  It is time to wake up to the reality that what our sexually repressed culture pushes as “sexually arousing” is careening us all down a dangerous dead end road.  Ann J. Simonton

PLEASE WRITE VOGUE A NOTE: copy and paste emails or snail mail or skype them!

Let’s let Ms. Roitfeld hear that her parting editorial photos are abusive. Telling audiences that little girls look hot and sexy in heavy make-up, gold lame heels, and posing as gifts under trees does a terrible disservice to everyone.

sherz@condenast.fr,lcivet@condenast.fr, mlebreton@condenast.fr,cbarkatz@condenast.fr, jghosn@condenast.fr

CONDE NAST/VOGUE PARIS
26 rue Cambacérès
75008 PARIS
Tel: 01 53 43 60 00
Fax: 01 53 43 61 61

5 Comments

  1. Yes You are correct French Vogue has issues, as does our world that sexualizes children and disempowers them. We all need to help stop this abuse!

  2. THAT IS GROSS AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ON THERE CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE USED LIKE THAT
    TOTALLY NOT APPROPRIAT FOR ANYBODY TO SEE OR CREATE. HOW DO YOU SLEEP?
    YOUR SICK!!

  3. Zakaia Cvitanovich

    It’s sick to use children in this way.
    ANYTHING can be justified.
    ANYTHING can be called art.
    Dressing up a child in that way is normalizing sick behaviour.
    There should never be any reason to do this.

  4. sir, is not this trend of photography to raise future models for advertisements of luxury items? i, as a journalist and a photographer, firmly oppose this initiative.

  5. Vogue is courting danger for all young women and girls when they sexualize children and present images of women carving meat between their legs. It is irresponsible to present these images. Women are still the victims of male violence both sexual and physical, and to present images of children as being available for sex is to invite violence against them and degradation of women throughout life. Grow up and stop selling women’s lives for profit.