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to find the cover photo of a young girl on Smalltalk-magazine's summer issue 34 just 'wrong'

(68 Posts)
Ocktober Thu 18-Jul-13 20:36:44

A very young girl dressed up like a grown up, striking a model pose with nail varnish, lipstick, adult sunglasses and jewellery? Let children be children and all that. There's enough pressure on young girls to conform and be 'pretty' without family magazines endorsing the trend. I have emailed them my view.

Justforlaughs Thu 18-Jul-13 20:39:32

YANBU in my opinion. I really don't like the way that some children are dressed like mini adults. I'm sure that there are worse things, but I still don't like it.

OwlinaTree Thu 18-Jul-13 20:42:52

No that's a little girl playing dress up. Not a sexualised image imo.

LilacPeony Thu 18-Jul-13 20:44:56

What she is wearing is ok for dressing up, but the sultry pose not so much

Sparklymommy Thu 18-Jul-13 20:46:17

I think yabu. My daughters wear nail varnish (age 4 and 10). Have shades and lots of little beaded necklaces. My 4 year old has an abundance of bags and toy phones/cameras that make up a large part of her play.

The picture is not sexual. It's a little girl playing grown ups. All little girls play mummies, they emulate their own role models, their mothers. It is adults twisting the images in their own minds that make it inappropriate.

kinkyfuckery Thu 18-Jul-13 20:50:11

Just a little girl playing dressup IMO

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Jul-13 20:55:17

No, its not sexual (the OP didn't say it was), but I don't much like it either. Nothing wrong with a bit of nail varnish IMO, or dressing up - but those don't really look like 'dressing up' clothes to me. She'd have to drop most of those accessories to actually run around and have fun.

catgirl1976 Thu 18-Jul-13 20:59:23


I don't like it

Don't have a DD but if I did she would not be buying that magazine

LastTangoInDevonshire Thu 18-Jul-13 20:59:55

YABU - she's just a little girl dressing up. Nothing sexualised or strange about it at all.

catgirl1976 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:02:27

The OP didn't say it was sexual

It is still not how a little girl should look or be encouraged to aspire to look. Which is what that cover is doing

Why couldn't she be dressed up as a doctor or pilot?

pictish Thu 18-Jul-13 21:04:53

I sometimes think it's gone too much the other way, and wee girls aren't allowed to just enjoy being girly any more.

cantdoalgebra Thu 18-Jul-13 21:07:21

This image is not of a little girl dressing up. Her pose is not natural. YANBU. I would not touch this sort of stuff with a barge pole.

BridgetBidet Thu 18-Jul-13 21:09:11

Little girl playing dress up. The pose isn't sultry. Also in the context of a family magazine. There's nothing wrong with it.

SecondRow Thu 18-Jul-13 21:11:26

I get what you mean OP but I surprise myself by not actually being particularly outraged by this one wink. The home page of the magazine makes it clear it's geared towards advertisers, a free magazine offering exposure of your business or whatever to discerning parents. So it's all about consumerism, making the cover pic just what you'd expect. If you look at more earnest parenting magazines, I'm guessing you'll get kids grubbing around in sand and stuff on the covers.

kelda Thu 18-Jul-13 21:11:30

Looks fine to me. I don't have a problem with girls dressing up in girly clothes.

squoosh Thu 18-Jul-13 21:11:54

I don't think it's overly sexualised, not that the OP said it was but I'm not a fan of that 'little girl looking like a jaded adult' look.

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 21:14:36

Nothing wrong with the outfit, and props. DD2 would go round collecting a total coordinated set of clothes and accessories.

In the present climate I would have chosen a slightly smilier, little girl pose, if I was the editor.

Remotecontrolduck Thu 18-Jul-13 21:15:41

It's fine, you're reading too much into it.

Some girls dress in pink and still want to be doctors and pilots. Just because they're 'girly' doesn't mean they're a stupid bimbo wag.

littlewhitebag Thu 18-Jul-13 21:17:10

It's lovely. There is nothing wrong with that image at all. All children try to mimic adults. That is how they learn. Her clothes are appropriate as is her hair. She is not wearing loads of make up. She looks like she has borrowed her mums jewelry and accessories.

squeakytoy Thu 18-Jul-13 21:20:22

it is a child dressing up.. I do wonder about some people who have so little to get on with in their lives that they can be outraged about seeing something like this..

were you not once a child yourself? did you not pretend to be a grown up?

its normal.. absolutely innocent and normal..

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 18-Jul-13 21:30:10

She's playing dress up, that's exactly what children tend to do

Dorris83 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:40:50

Ha ha I think it's sweet, I think you might be reading too much into it.

SmalltalkMag Thu 08-Aug-13 14:33:59

As the editor of Smalltalk Magazine I would just like to say that when considering this image for the front cover it never crossed any of the panels minds that it would be considered anything other than a little girl dressing up and pretending to be a grown up, simple as that.
It is considered by many that role play and dressing up can be of great benefit to a child's development.
I think that reading the rest of the comments on this thread really speaks for itself.
Ocktober: We do take your comments on board and respect your opinion and apologise if we have caused you any upset.
Thank you all for your interest.
To keep up to date with Smalltalk Magazine like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.

VitoCorleone Thu 08-Aug-13 14:40:53

Get a grip hmm

DialsMavis Thu 08-Aug-13 14:43:08

In the past I've been accused of looking for things to be offended by, but this doesn't offend me in the slightest. It's a little girl playing at dressing up...

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 08-Aug-13 14:43:12

I don't like it either.

Of course, we all played dress-up when we were children but here, I don't much like the moodly glare into the camera and the pose. I don't even know why. It's a bit precocious and annoying more than anything.

FrancesDeLaTourCoughngIntoABin Thu 08-Aug-13 14:45:26

It's not sold in yhe shops, it's junk mail

quesadilla Thu 08-Aug-13 14:47:04

I don't think its sexual or even particularly inappropriate, I just think its naff.

SoupDragon Thu 08-Aug-13 14:49:29

I'm very confused as to what's wrong with the picture. There's no model pose, not sure how she can be giving a "moody glare" with those sunglasses on (if you look closely, she seems to be looking down into the bag). Just a girl dressing up.

farewellfigure Thu 08-Aug-13 14:50:33

It's a little girl playing dressing up, but I do think they could have chosen a smilier more natural post. I don't think it's something to get too wound up about though. I definitely don't think it's sexualisation and there is no way the company would have wanted that to be the message so if anyone is taking it that way, it's very unfortunate. Maybe the junior designer was given the cover to do for this issue!

inallmydays Thu 08-Aug-13 14:51:26

agree with SoupDragon just a little girl dressing up .

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 08-Aug-13 15:18:26

I hate the pose and the facial expression on the girl. They so seem inappropriate.

BinksToEnlightenment Thu 08-Aug-13 16:08:07

Oh she's obviously wearing the wrong colours to be a pilot. God, and can you imagine a woman who wants to wear lipstick and sunglasses ever being taken seriously as a pilot??

I dunno. Can five year olds be given a break from worrying if their attire will suit their future high flying aspirational career?

Tee2072 Thu 08-Aug-13 16:12:21

It's a little girl playing dress up.

And GASP wearing pink.

Call the police immediately.

Fakebook Thu 08-Aug-13 16:15:04

look at this and you might change your mind about whether the girl in the OP is looking horrible. IMO, she's just playing dress up.

The girls in my link are actually properly modelling. It's horrifying.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 08-Aug-13 16:19:03

I clicked on the link expecting to be outraged....and wasn't.

Sorry OP, but YABU.

Whothefuckfarted Thu 08-Aug-13 16:21:03

Fake book - good comparison, I was ready to be outraged by the OP's link, but found nothing offensive in it. Your one however is truly shocking, as is this -

BinksToEnlightenment Thu 08-Aug-13 17:36:24

I don't get the bikini one either. In England, it would be a little weird and premature to make mini bikinis, but those pictures are clearly from people who live on the beach in a hot country. A bikini is going to be normal everyday wear in Hawaii. It's just people dressing their kids up to look cute, only you have a skewed perception on it because you come from a different culture.

SarahAndFuck Thu 08-Aug-13 17:47:50

I'm in Yorkshire and have never received a copy.

Obviously I am not a discerning enough parent to be one of the 24,000 people on the distributions list.

I can't decide if I'm pleased <non-conformist> or offended <nosey> by this grin

spotscotch Thu 08-Aug-13 17:49:51

Christ, between the bikinis, the pierced ears and the names of some of the kids, I think that Facebook link you posted whothefuckfarted may just cause mumsnet to spontaneously combust!

quoteunquote Thu 08-Aug-13 19:25:05

the thin and thick end of the wedge,

All grim, all sad and very disappointing we still exposes our daughters to this.


MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 08-Aug-13 19:49:37

You don't have to be "confused" about anything, soupdragon. Unless you often get confused about people having different opinions from yours.

namechangesforthehardstuff Thu 08-Aug-13 20:10:39

YANBU. OP - horrible pose and just hate the Smalltalk comeback on. this thread. If that's genuine I reckon MN Towers should tell them where to stick it.

megsmouse Thu 08-Aug-13 20:14:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 08-Aug-13 20:17:21

Little girls (and boys too) have been playing dressing up like that for years and years. It is not some sort of hideous pageant photo.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 08-Aug-13 20:19:27

It is interesting though that we see things differently. For example I don't see her pose as sultry at all, I just looked again, I think it's like she is looking down, preoccupied. Interesting though.

NellysKnickers Thu 08-Aug-13 20:26:00

Oh FGS, children like to dress up, this morning I had to paint ds2's toenails as I was doing mine then wrap a towel round him like a dress. Yesterday he was dressed up in a hard hat as he was a builder. Ds1 can often be found in a bow tie or trenchcoat as he is DRESSED UP as one of the Doctor Who's. It's playing, its what children do.

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 08-Aug-13 20:28:12

No-one has sais they're offended. Finding something distasteful or odd doesn't automatically mean bosom-hoikingly offended.

It's the way it's shot. It's not light and natural. It looks like a cover from Dazed and Confused. Just because childen have been playing dress-up forever, doesn't mean that every depiction of it will be tasteful or that everyone should like it. That argument sounds like something my mother would come out with. "Oh we've been doing that for YEARS, ergo it is FINE" hmm

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 08-Aug-13 20:33:05

Here is a picture of children playing dress-up that is nice and natural

and another

and another

None of these children look like pouty mini adults.

SoupDragon Fri 09-Aug-13 07:36:58

But the girl in the original photo doesn't look like a pouty adult either. She looks like a girl dressing up and looking down towards her bag.

SoupDragon Fri 09-Aug-13 07:38:17

You don't have to be "confused" about anything, soupdragon. Unless you often get confused about people having different opinions from yours

When it makes no sense, yes I do.

NellysKnickers Fri 09-Aug-13 07:40:29

Yep SoupDragon, that's exactly what I see too.

Nishky Fri 09-Aug-13 07:46:06

When I first looked it did look like a pose, but having zoomed in - it does look like she is looking at the bag

Retropear Fri 09-Aug-13 07:46:57

Sorry soooooo don't get the hoo ha.

Errrr those of us with little girls(and boys)are well used to them clomping around in oversized sunglasses,chipped nail polish,gaudy bags and more strings of beads your average Christmas tree could shake a twig at.

I know MN is on a competitive pc outrage streak at the mo but sorry this op is ott imvho.<gavel>

Chatteringarses Fri 09-Aug-13 08:51:56

YANBU at all. Yikes! yes sorry this is definitely a creepy picture and it gives off a very uncomfortable impression to me. I think its strange that others can't see the problems with it.

She doesn't look like she is having any fun at all. She looks like an adult has posed her very in a very unnatural 'adult model' way- definitely not a kid striking her own fun silly photo pose, which was what I was expecting from reading the comments. And a happy kid having dress up fun does not have that serious face most importantly.

The impression is of an adult having loaded her up with their choice of tat and then posing her under very carefully done lights. It does not give the impression of a child model having a fun day out- just looks like hard work for the child conforming to a non-age appropriate photo shoot.

I'm not even going to go there with the 'creative' concept behind the carefully coordinated pink stuff and all of what tired pish that is promoting about what little girls want to be when they grow up.

It's the adult agenda imposed throughout this that makes this seem strained and not like most other photoshoots involving child models. Child models should not be treated and photographed exactly the same as miniature adults, even when they are being paid to do a job. It's definitely a creepy photo.

PrettyKitty1986 Fri 09-Aug-13 08:55:15

To me it looks like a picture of a little girl playing dress up - too big bag, jewellery and glasses. It's cute.

I don't think the photo is 'too old' or will put pressure on other...uh...5 year olds? There is no ott make up or flesh on show.


MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 09-Aug-13 08:59:00

Cute? Really?

Chocovore Fri 09-Aug-13 09:42:46

I don't like the image at all. She doesn't look like she is having fun. To me it is not dressing up in the traditional sense, it is mimicking adult attire and poses.

Wuxiapian Fri 09-Aug-13 09:46:44


Not sexualised at all.

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 09-Aug-13 10:08:13

Chocivore has hit the nail on the head.

Can someone please point out where anyone has actually said it is sexualized?

DryCounty79 Fri 09-Aug-13 10:52:29

NellysKnickers, I have a quick question for you which is nothing to do with this thread. The trenchcoat your DS wears when he is being Dr Who - is it one that is his and fits him, or does he borrow an adults? I just ask because I've been trying to find one for my DS and am failing miserably.

Sorry to hijack the thread, everyone smile

HandMini Fri 09-Aug-13 11:05:27


If she was beaming at the camera / laughing it would give more of an impression of fun/dress up. I've seen lots of pictures of children "dressing up in mummy clothes" type playing which are fun and clearly playful.

This photo has been styled like a women's magazine fashion shoot (lighting, not looking at camera). That's what makes it a bit icky - whenever you see a child who looks like they've been parachuted into a situation rather than they want to be there, it's uncomfortable viewing.

Branleuse Fri 09-Aug-13 11:11:08


youre being ridiculous. Its just a girl playing dress up. There is nothing sexual or sexualised about a little girl playing grown up

Branleuse Fri 09-Aug-13 11:11:59

why are we so petrified of what little girls wear???

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 09-Aug-13 11:35:32


NellysKnickers Fri 09-Aug-13 18:45:55

Hi Drycounty, its one I got off ebay, its a ladies small one but is perfect for those days when he just has to be David Tennant (sorry everyone who is having a serious debate)

Retropear Fri 09-Aug-13 20:14:08

Erm Choc dressing up often is mimicking adult attire.Mimicking adults including what they wear is a valuable part of educational play.

Branleuse Sat 10-Aug-13 22:48:46

if you dont think its sexualised then what is the issue???

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