The XX Factor

Breaking: Fashion Industry Loves a Lanky 12-Year-Old

Generally I don’t get upset, or even really register it, when designers favor the very young and the very thin. That’s their M.O. But something about this Daily Beast article on the fashion evolution of Elle Fanning , the 12-year-old star of the new Sofia Coppola movie Somewhere , really rankled. The sisters behind Rodarte chose her for a magazine spread, and Fanning has been spotted in Marc Jacobs, Marchesa and Valentino. That’s all typical for a new baby starlet, but this is the line that really pushed me over the edge: “Though she’s still missing five teeth, Elle has shot up to 5-foot-6, and dresses look good on her ballet-dancer frame.” She does not even have all of her adult teeth yet!

This is just a few months after Christina Hendricks, the patron saint of women who don’t have ballet-dancer frames, said that she still struggles to find designer frocks to wear to big events . “People have been saying some nice, wonderful things about me. Yet not one designer in town will loan me a dress,” Hendricks says. None of this is to knock Elle Fanning, or those women who are naturally slender, but seeing a tween elevated to fashion icon before she’s fully gone through puberty while a famous woman with curves can’t even find a dress is pretty appalling.