We now live in a world were ‘moral panic‘ is gradually taking over. We live in fear of not ‘belonging’, of being taken over by a foreign country and we attempt to avoid the daunting thought of being judged. Society is becoming a subject to this fear where now the way we advertise is transforming into G rated marketing strategies.
But what do I mean by this?
Recently I was introduced to the concept of ‘corporate pedophilia‘, yes I was just as confused when I first heard this term. This term is narrowed down by Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze; “Corporate pedophilia is a metaphor… used to describe the selling of products to children… it encapsulates the idea that such advertising and marketing is an abuse of children and contravenes public norms”. This is a term that creates moral panic. The sexualisation of children is a common topic of discussion when looking at marketing and advertising, it seems as if has become a major ‘danger’ and parents are becoming weary of how their children are being photographed.
I approach this topic witch the analogy of a woman’s make up, some people say she has a ‘cake-face’ while others think she looks ‘good and normal’. Prior to learning about this topic, we were taught about the concept of the public sphere and semiotics and how these concepts have ability to influence they way we interact and our opinions, views and ideologies. I think that this is a contributing factor that influences the way in which we feel about certain advertisements.
Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, one of the most famous fourteen year old models the world has seen. The photo above is from Vogue’s 2011 January spread, where the young tween is posing for the renowned brand ‘Tom Ford’. There has been much public speculation about this young girl and the work she does. In an article from the Daily Mail, Dr Emma Gray states “This picture is the antithesis of what childhood in our society should be; a child being exposed to a world she is not yet equipped to deal with solely to serve the needs of the adults around her.” ‘Body image’ and the ‘media influence’, appear to be one of the biggest worries parents are having with their young children. When examining the image it is obvious that she is made to look older and this further highlighted by her clothing, makeup, hair and poses. Furthermore it is understandable as to why this young model can be viewed in a ‘sexualised’ way.
Although for those who are apart of the ‘high fashion’ public sphere this model can be viewed in a different light, some could call it art and have a profound appreciation for fashion. Analysing the above photograph from an artistic point of view, some would say that the young girl is show casing high fashion of the time, with elements of sophistication and poise.
It is evident that there are numerous views on this topic and the way we view these images and the harm that can arise. Due to moral panic we are being encapsulated in ‘bubble wrap’ – the idea that we are being shielded from everything because of the idea that the media has the ability to change the way we view and absorb everything we see.
It seems as if this panic is diminishing the notion of free thought by constantly reinstating negative views.
One persons fun can be another’s worst nightmare.