At first, I was kinda mortified…but once I got to thinking about it, I realized that there’s really nothing wrong going on.
The article, which you really have to read, is about this new wave of subscription sites which feature pre-pubescent girls doing absolutewly harmless and innocent things. And there are apparently lots of men out there who are willing to pay $25 a month to look at pictures of these girls baking cookies.
Of course, everyone involved professes to be in the dark about who would pay for this, which is obnoxious. At least be HONEST about what you are doing, which is, in the end, exploiting the weakness of pedos in a manner that does not exploit or harm children, yet allows the parents and kids themselves to, as one mom put it: “apply for medical school today and not have to take out a loan.”
I think I’ve decided that while it’s vaguely creepy, in the end it’s harmless.
I’m absolutely certain not everyone will agree. Dopers?
(post edited to fix link - if an URL uses punctuation, e.g. a comma, the automatic URL parsing might do it incorrectly)
[Edited by Arnold Winkelried on 07-24-2001 at 05:01 PM]
I read the article and then I followed the link they provided that was an example of what the article was talking about. I felt that the pictures went a bit beyond simply baking cookies. I would feel very uncomfortable if someone was trying to take “sexy” pictures of my 11 year old daughter.
Do you really think it is appropriate to use a child to sell sex?
I think it goes beyond vaguely creepy. Perhaps thats just my opinion but there you go.
Well the link didn’t work for me, but from what you’ve said, it doesn’t sound like something I’d want my kid involved in. Out of curiosity, do the children know about their ahem unique audience, or have they been told that they’re just baking cookies on the net? Because if they haven’t been told, when they grow up, they’re eventually going to realise who was watching them, which could lead to a lot of complications.
So IMO, while not child pornography, this concept does seem to be encouraging pedos - it’s okay to look at pre-pubescent girls in a sexual way, but only if they’re clothed?
Definitely creepy, both the sites and the “aww shucks, I’ve no idea why they’re profitable!” denial throughout the article. Some of that may be simple psychological denial, and some of it pure expediency, and most likely a mixture of both.
Any harm from it probably can’t be quantified, though. Stalking from “clients” seems most likely; I don’t really think it can be blamed for inspiring any crimes from said “clients” any more than violent media inspires school shootings.
Mostly though, it seems creepy in the same way that kiddy beauty pageants seem creepy. I expect most of the kids won’t see any harm from it, but it makes me wonder about the headspace of the parents.
Okay, I realised what I did wrong with the link, and just read the story. Upon reading it, it seems even more creepy than I imagined it to be. If I were a parent, the mere possibility that a paedophile were watching my daughter would terrify me. The willful ignorance of these parents is astounding and, as others have mentioned, potentially dangerous.
One of these pages was the Awful Link of the Day at somethingawful.com last week. It was pretty bad, the worst part was the links page - there are hundreds of these ‘child model’ pages. There were also videotapes you could order. The parents know what kind of people are paying for their product - one of them had a separate ‘Fans of Molli’ bulletin board, it wasn’t maintained by the parents of the child but the mother posted there frequently. People would send boxes of outfits they wanted to see the girl wear and make suggestions on poses (yoga was REALLY popular) for the next videotape. Going back through the bulletin board I saw the mother responding to a since-deleted post, telling the guy to not be so ‘obvious’ and to stop using foul language since the girl reads the site herself. That whole ‘don’t be so obvious’ part really pissed me off, the mother not only knew that some people buying the videos were pedophiles, it implied she understood that most were, but were polite and discrete and she pandered to their requests.
Judging from the responses here, I seem to be the only person not looking at it with moral outrage.
But look at it from the point of view: who is being harmed? The only harm I can see this directly doing to the children is if they are forced to pose, which as far as I can tell doesn’t seem to be the case.
No matter what the consumers may be using it for, there’s no sensible way to consider pictures of anyone with all their clothes on, not engaged in sexual activities, to be pornographic. I mean, really; would this mean that pictures of the Berlin Wall would be pornographic if it was Mrs. Berliner-Mauer (remember her?) looking at them?
I can see where the qualms come from, but assuming the pedophiles’ admiration remains long-distance, I don’t see what the origin of the alarm is.
The harm will come when the children get old enough to realize why people were buying videotapes of them dancing around in their underwear - they will figure it out eventually, you can count on it. There is also the real possibility that they will encounter in person these people who bought their videos later in life, especially if they get famous for legitimate modeling work. I also think it’s wrong for parents to profit from their children in this way - they KNOW that they are providing fantasy material for pedophiles.
Gee, I didn’t think I sounded outraged. I did express discomfort but I don’t think any reasonable person would equate that with outrage.
I don’t know who or if anyone is harmed by this kind of thing. I have some concerns that these children are being taught to use sex to sell something. But I’m not sure they really grasp just what is going on since they’re not all that old. To them it might just be dress up and picture taking. Lot’s of kids are all to happy to ham it up for a camera and there’s nothing bad about that. What I am more concerned about is the parents of these kids. I might be strange but I don’t think it is right to sexualize young children.
You’re right that they aren’t pornographic. But like those Calvine Kline commercials from a few years ago they are in poor taste.
I’ve got the qualms but not much alarm. I just find the whole thing to be rather creepy.
The problem is not so much the posed pictures of the girl. You can see much the same thing in any mail order catalog that sells children’s clothing. The problem is that hardly anyone will purchase videos and pictures of a young girl that he or she doesn’t personally know unless there is some unusual motive behind the purchase. What would motivate a normal person to purchase videos or pictures of a stranger’s daughter? I expect the motivations of most purchasers will be pretty unsavory.
Dangerous? Possibly – if cumtopapa and his pals can figure out where these children live there is a possibility of actual danger.
Harmful? Well, to me the creepiest thing about these cites was the willingness of the children’s parents to exploit them this way for money. And forget all that “they’re just photos of a little girl baking cookies” stuff. Pretty disingenuous considering that the child is question is wearing a little chef’s suit and thigh high stockings! Nor do I take much stock in the whole “it’s for her college fund” thing. A person who would sell pictures of her daughter to a person with the username cumtopapa is very unlikely (IMHO) to be beyond putting that money in her own pocket. Yuck.
The federal law prohibiting “lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area” of minors has been held to include pictures or videotape of clothed children, when their poses and conduct are clearly sexualized.
We learn this from the case of Stephen A. Knox of Pennsylvania, who ordered two videos called “Little Girl Bottoms (Underside)” and “Little Blondes” from a French source. The videos depicted teenage and preteen females, between the ages of ten and seventeen, striking provocative poses. All of the children wore bikinis, leotards, underwear, or other attire in the pictures. A court finding characterized the children in some video sequences as “…dancing or gyrating in a fashion not natural for their age…” No children were shown nude.
Mr. Knox was indicted on charges of knowingly receiving through the mail visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and knowingly possessing three or more videotapes that contain a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, both in violation of federal law.
Knox’s defense was essentially that the absence of complete nudity rendered the tapes legal to purchase and possess.
The court disagreed, finding him guilty. The Third Circuit agreed, holding that the law does not require nudity as a part of a lascivious exhibition, and that the films Knox ordered were illegal.
With this backdrop, I’d suggest that some of these pre-teen model films border on illegal. Frankly, simply reading the commentary from the message boards gave me a very disturbed feeling, and I don’t think there’s any doubt as to the motives and intended audience of these pictures. I guess my reaction is: it is certainly wrong, and if not illegal, it ought to be.
I wouldn’t want my kids to do such a thing, but I would not stop someone else from making their child into a “preteen model” or whatever. Just don’t ask me to shed any tears if one of those wanna-be pedophiles steps over the line…
I came across this article last night. I don’t know what’s been said so far but this isn’t “baking cookies.”
It’s extremely fucked up that anybody would pay for that kind of thing. That girl is going to grow up in a comple slut and it looks like her parents aren’t too worried about that. I’m not gonna assert my values on the parents, but I still can’t see how they would be ok with it.