I was in a mall the other day when a teenage girl said loudly to a woman I presumed was her mother: “But look at the gap between her teeth! She can’t be more than eight years old!”
Curious, I followed where she was pointing and saw this ad in the window of Forever 21:
Let’s take a closer look at the face:
How old do you think this Forever 21 model is? Remember that most super models started between 12 and 14 years of age. Apparently, gap teeth are all the rage in fashion modeling right now, and we live in a country obsessed with “fixing” teeth before puberty. Could it be that Forever 21 wants to follow the trends, but they couldn’t get a model of the more normal age, so they dressed up a little girl this way?
It’s certainly possible. I base that not just on the fact that she looks that young to me and to that girl in the mall, but that we’ve all seen pictures of little girl beauty queens who could have passed at first glance for older girls or even women.
What do you think about this? Do you think she’s very young? And if so, does it bother you? If she is that young, this bugs me for a couple of reasons. First, that Forever 21 doesn’t sell clothes for people her age, so this feels deceptive to me, like so much marketing in the unregulated anarchical landscape of American advertising. Second, it just seems to reinforce that once again, the entirety of female humanity just isn’t good enough for marketers. We’re too fat at 90 pounds, too old at 21 (hai there, Irony!), too flawed, too un-flawed. We can just absolutely never meet their standards. Never.
Because, to paraphrase the late great Douglas Adams, if we ever did meet their standards, their standards would immediately be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. And some theorize this has already happened.