The age of kid fashion dawned on social media but came to the forefront of style radars with the fanfare surrounding celebrity babies.
These little style muses have inspired clothing lines dedicated solely to fashionistas in the making. Balmain announced their new kids’ collection (that boasts of a $6,000 dress that some kid is going to spill Welch’s grape juice on).
While these billionaire babies sport Balmain, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, the average mama is looking for affordable ways to deck her baby out in a-la-mode fits.
Hashtags like #kidcouture and #fashionskids are home to pictures of ordinary kids showing off the latest outfit their mommy dressed them in.
But how much exposure is just too much for children? It doesn’t take a genius to see North West rather not be at a New York Fashion Week show. At what point does it stop being cute and become abusive? Can children be just that…children?
Popular TV shows like Toddlers And Tiaras glorify kid pageantry and dress up. Critics slammed the series for showcasing kids as dress up dolls–sporting fake boobs and hooker outfits.
Before shows like that even existed, the tragic death of 6-year-old pageanista JonBenet Ramsey gripped the nation and sparked debate about how her media presence may have attracted stalkers and perverts.
While Ramsey’s case may be extreme, the constant collage of fashionable kids dressed in fur, military jackets, crop tops, and skinny jeans puts children at risk of exploitation.
Often these children serve as miniature fashion extensions to their parents, dressed in outfits that are way out of their appropriate age range. Then, these photos are uploaded to various social media pages, without their knowledge or consent (because..they’re kids), to be consumed by the masses which consists of good people, and also predators.
Protecting kids is of course, any parents number one priority, but perhaps all those Instagram pictures of your kids would be safer within a family photo album.
Celebrity status makes this situation even more complicated, because whether the parents like it or not, the child is subject to any attention their famous parents get.
The moment little Northie begged for her autonomy by telling reporters, “No pictures please,” may have elicited aww how cute responses from photographers, but those flashing lights bearing down on any child has to be traumatic.
Incidents like this are the exact reason why actress Halle Berry fought for a bill that punishes paparazzi who harass minors due to their parent’s celebrity status.
So what happens when the paparrazi is, on a micro level, your own parents?
While we can’t police what anyone puts on their child or puts on social media, perhaps there is something to keeping a kid a kid, letting your kid wear a shirt they can roll around in in the mud, and protecting them from the public until they have the wisdom to make their own decisions about their appearance.
What say you beauties? How do we protect our children on social media? How young is too young for dress up?