Last week, we documented fashion house Balenciaga exploiting children in BDSM fetish-themed ads. In the wake of significant backlash, the company has pulled the ads and announced it is pursuing legal action against parties responsible for "unapproved items" in their photoshoot.
Our Movement Director Melinda Tankard Reist weighed in on the issue in a piece by Clarissa Bye in the Daily Telegraph:
Author and women and girl’s advocate Melinda Tankard Reist says there’s no such thing as an accidental photo shoot from a huge global corporate.
“Give me a break,” she says. “Did they all have their eyes closed? No. It’s all part of what we call ‘pedo chic’. We see this pedophilic aesthetic in fashions, clothing, and advertising.”
Her team at the grassroots organisation Collective Shout have been fighting what they call “corporate paedophilia”, or profits based on the sexualisation and “adultification” of children, for years.
Balenciaga is not alone. Tankard Reist says children’s designer fashion house Caroline Bosmans has previously styled children to “appear to be bruised or otherwise injured, children with their faces obscured, made to look like dolls, who look drugged or in distress”.
More can be done. Tankard Reist says we urgently need proof-of-age verifications to stop children accessing pornography. And the ad industry’s system of self-regulation has failed because there are no penalties.
It’s disturbing to see our culture slowly being poisoned. How so many elites don’t see a problem with BDSM, kink and porn culture spreading their creepy tentacles to children.
We need a few more guardian angels like Tankard Reist’s team.