Photo Credit: Marc Jacobs
We get that the fashion and art worlds are all about taking risks, pushing the envelope and testing our boundaries. But a new ad featuring a seductively innocent Dakota Fanning -- who is 17-years-old -- clutching a perfume bottle in the shape of a blooming flower between her legs and a come-hither look in her eyes isn’t testing boundaries, it’s crossing them.
The Fanning ad in question promotes Marc Jacobs new fragrance, Oh, Lola!, which is inspired by the infamous Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov’s not-so-legal literary creation. The ad has gotten caught in the crosshairs of the British Advertising Standards Authority, which officially banned the ads in the UK, according to New York. In a statement about its decision, BASA said it determined the perfume bottle’s position to be “sexually provocative” and that Fanning “was seventeen years old but we considered she looked under the age of sixteen.” Coty, which makes the fragrance for Marc Jacobs, defended the ad, saying it was "provoking, but not indecent," as it doesn't show any "private parts or sexual activity." Yeah, okay, but it’s still pretty icky.
This certainly isn’t the first ad to titillate with a young girl. Look no further than the infamous 1980S Calvin Klein ad featuring Brooke Shields, then 15, saying “You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing,” as the camera points to her crotch. Today, A-list photographer Terry Richardson has been accused of crossing the line of art into kiddie porn, particularly when he photographed the Glee girls looking a bit too erotically schoolgirl-ish for GQ. And then, of course, there's 10-year-old model Thylane Blondeau's sexy spread in Vogue Paris.
We accept that sexy ads might make us want to buy clothes or try beauty products so we can look thinner, younger and hotter. But please just leave the kids out of it.