And ad for Dakota Fanning’s Oh Lola! perfume has been banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority because they say it sexualizes a child. The ASA stated that the following helped form their ruling, “We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality.” While I would not sport her ultra-girly dress at my age, feminine lace dresses on younger women are a stylish trend created by several designers for the 2011 Fall and Winter collections. I see them in every fashion magazine I pick up, typically on young stars like Selena Gomez. In one article I read about the Oh Lola! ad’s ban the author states that Dakota Fanning is wearing a “provocative stare”, which makes me question the author’s vision, as well as my own. Am I so desensitized to sexy stares that I do not recognize one, or do I not equate sexiness with innocence? Perhaps a bit of both, but what is deemed sexual is unique to an individual. That is why people masturbate to images of feet, hands, pudding, or any other seemingly benign photo.
Although Dakota Fanning is 17 years old, they say she looks under the age of 16, which piqued my interest in British teenage style. On the BBC’s teen fashion site Slink (a provocative title, don’t you think?) it seems on the other side of the pond sequined mini skirts are all the rage on the teen scene . I would not have allowed my teenage daughter to wear what I term a hooker skirt, even with a grunge t-shirt, but perhaps the hookers in the U.K. wear little lace dresses and go around staring provocatively to lure in their clients.
Also deemed provocative by the ASA is the placement of the perfume bottle, which I chalk up to a natural male tendency to see phallic symbols everywhere. A woman is more likely to note the blossoming flower atop the bottle. While I strongly believe in protecting young women from exploitation, the written opinions of the ASA and media exploit Dakota Fanning more than Marc Jacobs with over-the-top sexual descriptions such as the Daily Mail’s “she tilts back lasciviously”. What they have accomplished is to direct pedophiles to this ad by tying enticingly illicit and child-like descriptions together. The below photos of Emma Watson are from a complimentary article in the Daily Mail about her modelling career and a Burberry ad with her little brother in which I easily recognize provocative stares.