It’s no secret that the fashion industry has a serious problem with sexualizing underage girls, but when it comes to Kate Moss‘s teenage sister, the media is taking their disturbing obsession to a whole new level.
Lottie Moss celebrated her 16th birthday this week by tweeting out a handful of her modeling photos and announcing that she’s officially been signed by Kate’s agency, Storm Model Management. This is her sort-of-kind-of coming out, according to Vogue:
Lottie was 13 when she first caught the eye of scouts, after she appeared as a bridesmaid at her big sister’s wedding in July 2011. Speculation fast emerged that she was due to follow in Moss’s footsteps, but her mother and Storm decided that she was too young and her career has been put on hold until now.
Good. I totally support their choice to hold off on selling Lottie to the public until she was more able to make her own decisions about her career. Unfortunately, even if she’s mature enough to handle the intense life of her older half-sister, the media isn’t mature enough to treat her like the kid that she still is. The general response to Lottie’s emergence as a model has been a lot less of “look at this pretty, talented teenager” and a lot more of “look at this tiny, innocent version of Kate that we can stare at.”
As usual, the Daily Mail seems to be one of the worst offender, referring to her as “mini Moss” and “Kate’s lookalike” and juxtaposing photos of Lottie with sexy photos of a topless adult Kate. They compare the two images, noting “the sisters’ similarity,” and it weirds me the eff out. How do you not see the issue with asking your readers to picture a high school girl naked?
Choosing to have your picture taken and distributed is not the same thing as choosing to forfeit your childhood. Lottie may be ready for a career, but her sexuality is still 100% off limits to adults. Treating a 16-year-old like a fresher clone of her adult sister is creepy and invasive. Stop.