Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Pint Sized Icons

Every year has their break-out stars in the world of celebrity.  The ever elusive world of fashion also has their newcomers; with a  few choice red carpet looks, fresh candid style suddenly the actress can find herself front row at Miu Miu.

Such is the case of Oscar nominated Hailee Steinfeld.  Holding her own against heavyweights Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon was not enough for the actress, now she is embroiled in a fashion battle against seasoned veterans, the Diane Kruger's and Alexa Chung's of the fashion world.

Another newcomer was Elle Fanning; starring in a semi-autobiograpical film by Sofia Coppola had made a star out of Kristen Dunst and Elle was no exception.  Over night she turned into fashion gold.

But unlike Alexa Chung or Blake Lively who became style stars overnight, Elle and Hailee have one thing in common.  They've barely hit puberty.

Sites like, Vogue, WWD were fawning over the teenagers' style, worshipping their penchants for skyscraper heels and pretty dresses.  Forums had similar reactions as well, predicting these two girls to become fashion heavy hitters.

And yes, they do look good.  Great even; both have showed that they (or their stylists) have a brilliant eye when it comes to fashion.  Yet it strikes me as little girls dressing up in their mother's clothes.

I was not allowed to wear make-up until I was 15.  Perhaps I'm in the minority, but that is how my mother dictated it.  She is no stranger to make-up, she coats herself in Lancome, Chanel, YSL and Dior every day, but for her daughter she wanted to me to grow up first.  Embrace my childhood before I dolled myself up to look twice my age.  Granted such an attitude was met with plenty of resistance from me, I remember allowing my friends to apply eyeliner and lipgloss on me before we went out.  But the rule was there.

Looking at pictures of Elle and Hailee reminds me of American child beauty pageants, a practise that honestly, makes me sick to my stomach.  Little girls are painted with lipstick, thick foundation, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, hairspray, glitter and more fake tan than the cast of Jersey Shore.  It's no way for a child to grow up, paraded in front of adults and judged by their make-up, hair, dress and overall beauty or lack of it. 

Those pageants are merely an extreme and I am in no way suggesting that Elle and Hailee resemble these clownish girls.  Elle and Hailee have wisely presented themselves as young teen starlets with their make-up minimal and their dresses somewhat age-appropriate.  But I cannot help but wonder what effect this will have on them.  Are they not parading in front of adults, judged on their beauty or lack of it?  In regards to a celebrity in her twenties and older I have no objection to dissecting every inch of her outfit, but for a girl of twelve it feels a little cruel.  When I was Elle's age I remember wearing a lot of short denim skirts and zip up hoodies (long before Bieber made them his staple), at Hailee's I wore a lot of black and skulls.  I dread to think what the girls of Go Fug Yourself would say about me.

Of course, I'm not a celebrity and I never have been.  Going into acting means putting yourself out there in the harsh world celebrity, where every remark is analysed, every ounce of fat debated, every wrinkle sneered at.

At the tender age of twelve and fourteen I find it hard to believe that Elle and Hailee know quite what they're getting into, no matter how many well placed statements they may make.  I remember Lindsay Lohan as a bright, talented teenager, several years later and no one could have guessed her career would have spiralled into chaos.  However with every Lindsay there is an Emma, who at the age of nine was cast in the biggest franchise of all time, Harry Potter.  Over a decade later and Emma Watson remains scandal free.  And then there's Natalie Portman and Jodie Foster, both who played contentious characters dealing with adult themes of sex, drugs and violence.  Decades later, both are scandal free (and with a few Oscars between them).

So a teenage life in front of the camera does not guarantee you a permanent room in a rehab centre.  But I won't be judging any outfits of Hailee's and Elle's on this blog.  Analysing Elle's outfit in the same post as Alexa, Leighton, Kate, and ADR does not seem right to me.  One moment I may be thinking that Elle's dress would look better with a different colour shoe, maybe a smaller necklace, next I may think "if only she had leaner arms" or "she's so flatchested she looks like a boy in a dress".  Hold on, she's twelve.  Of course she's flat chested.

I'm inclined to wait a few years before I begin to pass judgements on these girls.  Describing Elle Fanning as a style icon seems far too premature for me.


I'd love to know your thoughts.  Any readers out there who are similar ages to these girls?  Do any older readers take cues from these two babies?

Also - Suri Cruise?  Discuss.


  1. I like the stance that you've taken against judging their style and appearence. They both look fantastic but are far from being fully matured in sense of body and style. I am around their age, 16 and and this is definetly the time of being super sensitive and very aware of your appearence.

  2. I love this post!! I think it's horendous how 11 and 12 year olds go to school with a full face of make-up and I used to see them in the toilets at break, (2 1/2 hours after the beginning of school) scrubbing their face with a bronzer brush saturated in make-up crap. Disgusting! I completely agree with your stance not to comment on these girls outfits, yeah they look good, but how many girls that age with limitless money wouldn't teeny boppers are more fearless in their fashion and that's why they're such a sensation. These girls really need to grow up before they have all this pressure to keep up with trends and the fashion pack. Sorry for the ramble, but this issue defs needs addressing! I'm only 19 and can see it!


  3. I think they are both completely adorable ( I've been in awe of lil Elle since I first watched her on the silver screen at age 4) and can't wait to see their careers unfold as actresses , but that's where it ends for me .


  4. i think elle fanning is the cutest little thing out!
    i actually really like that she's been depicted as somewhat of a "fashion icon" through the likes of vogue and
    i guess in terms of role models for younger girls, i'd much rather them look up to elle than say, miley cyrus.
    even though i do believe that her stylist is the genius behind her looking like such a sophisticated fashionista, i find it cute that she shows interest in what she wears and is in control of her appearance at such a young age.
    i'm totally in the boat where i think that all young adults should be young adults, but she's in this industry where everything is super glamourous and so magical that i think that she's should definately have fun with it.
    i mean, when i was her age, i'd kill to look and be able to dress like that.
    okay, whoah. that was too long. ahah x.

  5. i agree i think you have to wait till theyre a little older, if anything i find it kind of weird they wear heels and dresses like that from such a young age. i imagine they probably have stylists too - though i may be wrong, but theyre style certainly feels very impersonal and much more like these things have been picked for them or simply because they are the latest miu miu or chanel