Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Miranda Kerr: I was a teenage political pawn

1997 dolly scan via

Had a (very) quick chat with new David Jones fashion ambassador Miranda Kerr after last night’s show. I was particularly interested in her take on the recent decision by DJs to ban under-18 models from its runway show. I thought Kerr would be well-placed to comment on the subject given that she made her modelling debut in Dolly at the age of 13 (see above scan^), in a blaze of controversy.

Sadly I am unable to quickly locate the original print stories from 1997. I was however working in current affairs television at the time and I recall the "child porn" outcry.

There is a quote that is widely attributed to Kerr on matter, on the net – the exact origin of which is unclear.

The quote appears on many modelling sites and on what appears to be a Victoria's Secret fan site, under Kerr's Victoria's Secret Angel profile.

Here is the quote:

“They were blowing out [sic] of proportion. In the media at the time they were trying to cling on to anything remotely to do with paedophilia. Dolly is a magazine for teenage girls, not for old men. And I was fully clothed! Doing a winter shoot! They just made something out of nothing.”

The Australia Institute appears to have a slightly different opinion on the subject of children in advertising - even when the children are advertising childrens' clothes.

In its 2006 discussion paper Corporate Paedophilia: Sexualisation of Children in Australia, the Institute pointed the finger at several retailers over marketing material which featured children.

David Jones dropped legal action against the Institute in May 2008.

kerr rocking alex perry last night

Here is the i/v with Kerr done backstage last night, before Kerr was whisked away to other duties.

David Jones recently introduced a ban for under-18 models. You yourself started modelling at 13.

Miranda Kerr: I wasn’t doing fashion parades at that age. I was modelling for magazines that were targetted for young girls.

There was a lot of controversy at the time.
There was. That was running in the media at the time. There were people running for Senate and they were using me as a platform to enhance their own careers basically.

Gemma Ward started her career at 15 – she was in at least one David Jones show.
The thing is that I was always at school and I never let modelling interfere with school and I just modelled for Dolly magazine, which was a young girls’ magazine at the time. I was two weeks off 14.

Do you think girls should be modelling at 14?
Well I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it. But I think the reason why David Jones has said ‘We’re not having them for the runway show...’ is because, for the runway show, their target audience is women and adults. So that’s why they’ve chosen adults to model for them. So it makes sense to choose adults [who are] over 18.


HotCaviar said...

i remember the controversy well and in fact think i even bought the mag at the time to see what all the fuss was about... i agree that there should be an age limit on runway models, but it all depends on the target market... i think 14 year old models trying to sell clothing to women is wrong, but 14 year olds to other girls of their own age group is perfectly fine... alot of the time these things get blown out of proportion, just like miranda said in your short interview... she's very grounded for someone who started so young, so it also depends on management and family support...

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