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This 9-Year-Old Is the World's Most Controversial Supermodel

Illustration for article titled This 9-Year-Old Is the Worlds Most Controversial Supermodel

Kristina Pimenova is 9. She's been a model since she was three and has been called "the most beautiful girl in the world." But controversy is raging around her as adults argue whether she is too young to be a supermodel. What do you think?

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While Pimenova, who is also an accomplished gymnast, models only clothes for children and doesn't wear makeup, has legions of loyal fans (more than two million on Facebook alone), concerned parties worry that she's being sexualized and also harshly criticized on the internet. For instance, numerous comments have come up on her photos suggesting that she is a "babe" and complimenting her on specific parts of her body. At the same time, photos of her in shorts have been deemed "creepy" (even though they don't seem much different than shorts other kids wear?) and there's even a video on Youtube titled "Kristina Pimenova Is Not Beautiful." All of this can wreak havoc on a child's psyche. Critics also worry that her career may send the message that sexualizing children at a young age is okay (or, you know, at all.)

Pimenova's mother is in charge of her social media and claims that she always removes commentary that is not appropriate. She also tries to enforce rules, which include keeping her daughter's feeds kid-friendly and making sure no one is using her photos for roleplaying.

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The Daily Mail spoke to a modeling agent, who had this to say about all the controversy.

'You can say her expression is sultry in her photos, or suggestive, or too mature,' one London-based model agent, who prefers to remain anonymous, tells MailOnline.

'Or you can say she looks moody and sulky. Essentially, you're just looking at a girl who happens to be extraordinary beautiful. Perhaps if her face was that of an average-looking child, no-one would be having this conversation.'

Either way, Pimenova is not quitting modeling for now.

Image via Instagram

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DISCUSSION

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If she is having a good time and making money for her family, good for her.

I find it interesting and worth discussing that it's even possible for the expressions of a girl her age to seem "sexy" to us. Girlish, shy or pouty faces are perfectly age-appropriate expressions for a pre-teen. The fact that we can find these looks sexy, when similar looks on age-matched boys would never be sexy, says a lot about how femininity is constructed.

Either we're projecting an inappropriate sexual agency onto a child, or we're acknowledging the fact that sexual agency isn't a necessary component of feminine sexiness. Which, you know: yikes.