Abuse vs Art: Is There a Line?

Eva Ionesco is a French model and actress but she’s making headlines for something other than her career. When Eva was eleven, she made her American modeling debut—in Playboy. Eva is the youngest person to ever appear in the magazine. That’s not all of it; Ionesco’s mother, Irina Ionesco, took the pictures.

Irina Ionesco is a self-taught photographer who gained attention due to explicit images of her daughter. Many of the photos feature coquettish poses, fetishistic clothing, and nudity. Eva has sued her mother and won 10,000 Euro ($13,213) in damages, as well as the negatives of the many explicit photographs taken of her between the ages of four and 12 years old.

Eva has said the photos resulted in her “stolen childhood” and made a movie about life with her mother called, “My Little Princess”. This isn’t a new story to Americans, however—we’ve lived through this with Brooke Shields whose own mother set up a nude photo shoot for her then ten-year-old with the hopes of a Playboy spread as well.

Evan Rachel Wood is another star whose mother pushed her to act, learn French, and modeled her daughter after Jodie Foster. Evan is quoted as saying, “I actually got to sit down with Jodie and I thought, ‘Not that this is a bad thing, but you’ve haunted me my entire life. I don’t know whether to kiss you or punch you.”

In the age of Dakota and Elle Fanning, the Olsen Twins, and Honey Boo Boo, there will never be a shortage of stage mothers trying to live through their children, or trying to cash in on them for that matter. The real question is how much responsibility does society have in this?

Should Playboy also have been sued for publishing the nude photos of an underage girl? Should Brooke Sheilds mother have been prosecuted for sexualizing her daughter? Should the director and producer of Blue Lagoon have to stand trial for exposing her in that film?

There’s a celebrity culture in the country and we tend to forgive these people because they make more money and have a better life than we do. It’s all covered up by saying, “its art”. When does it cross the line from art to abuse?



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Mom Chronicles 7-Year-Old Daughter’s “Obesity” Battle in Vogue

Photo of Dara Lynn Weiss and Daughter Bea
Let’s talk about fat, shall we?  In fact, let’s just throw caution to the wind and talk about the potential damage parents can do to their children in the name of curtailing the national trend toward childhood obesity.

Or we could just talk about what a crazy bitch Dara-Lynn Weiss, who recently wrote a piece for Vogue focused on the alleged need for her 7-year-old daughter’s need to lose weight, is.

Incidentally, her daughter Bea was 4’4” and weighed 93 pounds.  She is now sixteen pounds lighter.

And, in case I haven’t already mentioned it, seven.

According to Weiss, Bea’s diet was recommended by her pediatrician, who felt that “she was clinically obese and could be at risk for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.”

Just for shits and giggles, I put Bea’s stats into the BMI calculator at the National Heart Lung Institute.  It came out as normal. While, to be completely fair, the CDC has a pediatric BMI calculator that does classify Bea as “overweight” considering her age, I think there’s more than meets the eye here.

To wit, here’s what Weiss had to say about Bea’s dietary habits … and her own actions undertaken as…

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Lego my … Legos?

Picture of Lego Toy for Girl Currently Under Fire
I might well be the only person alive who hates Legos.  Like, I deplore those little plastic demon-infested things.  I was the kid who could never get the damn pieces of plastic the right way, the one who was always in search of the big red three-topper that my brother always seemed to be using.

And while Lego’s have a solid (and undoubtedly well-deserved) reputation as good learning toys, my own personal experience was marred by two factors.

First, I have a spatial disability.  It was painful for me to attempt to figure out whether the right-bending Lego’s would mesh with the left-benders or vice versa.  It gave me a freaking headache and made what was supposed to be playtime absolutely torturous.

I am pretty much textbook ADHD.  In other words, I struggled for a long time with finishing anything I started.  If I got a Lego kit, I either threw it against the wall or gave it to one of my siblings.  The prospect of actually putting together a Lego World … absolutely impossible for me.

But I have not allowed my Lego prejudices to interfere with my children’s enjoyment of them.  Both of my daughters went through extensive Lego phases, the younger one in particular (her father is a statistician who is all about everything going in its right place).

They’re a toy.  A childhood staple, really, kind of on par with Tonka trucks and Barbie dolls, only not as gender-specific … which was, of course, part of what made them so appealing to me as a parent.

But I guess all things must come to an end.

From Time HealthLand:

The classic playtime favorite is typically gender-neutral, but the new Lego Friends line is catered to girls with a Butterfly Beauty Shop and a Fashion Designer Workshop. Promotions for the line showcase stylish and slimmer figures instead of the usual blocky characters.

Carolyn Costin, an eating disorders specialist …

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Paris Jackson is Becoming an Icon

Photo of Paris Jackson Appearing on "Ellen"
Michael Jackson took steps throughout his life to keep his children out of the public eye.  I can remember looking at the masks they wore out and about, wondering just what the heck his kids looked like behind the feathers and bright colors.  Surely I’m not the only person with that  morbid curiosity.

Now, I’m not exactly a member of Michael Jackson’s fan club or anything (in fact, I think the guy was pretty skeevy, to be completely honest with you), but I have a lot of respect for him because obviously sheltering his kids from the limelight was of vital importance.  After all, Jackson knew better than anybody the double-edged sword of fame.

Which  makes the question of the insurgence of his children’s faces into pop culture following his death so compelling.

Joe and Katherine Jackson foisted their own kids into a paparazzi-fueled existence because it was apparently a small price to pay for the swelling bank accounts.  Essentially selling their children into celebrity slavery had detrimental effects on the Jackson children, Michael in particular.

And now, despite Michael Jackson’s best efforts to give his offspring a different, gentler world, it seems …

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