To educate people about this complex issue.
To move people emotionally.
To motivate people to action.
After my initial instinctual reaction of horror and dread about the children wearing haute couture with extremely glamorous hair and make-up and the parents who would permit this, I thought about The Child Labor Project and its mission statement. Julia Dean launched this working with renowned photo editors after photographing the heart-rending poverty of children living at risk in India: in the tradition of the earlier WPA Farm Administration photo-journalists of the 1930's, her Tides Project sent photographers to live with a family for thirty days to document the children: the purpose was to educate and inspire a conversation because the easy answers may not have been the right answers.
Carine Roitfeld and Tom Ford did the same thing showing the surreal world of young girls being sexualized and the reaction was intense. Intense in that it is wrong to do this to children. The stylized and glamorous photo shoot capturing a tired and used look did its work. There was anger and repulsion.
The images of older women flaunting their bodies without hiding the marks of time in clothes that call attention to themselves shocks and entices you to a second look, more closely. These women are not victims of fashion, they were not used carelessly: they challenge another perception. Helen Mirren has a coy sexuality that is accepted and admired in ways that the aged beauties choosing something brazen and hard cannot have.
The December '10 issue of French Vogue, and many of Ms. Roitfeld's editorials, provokes and inspires a conversation.
The images of young children doing dangerous work at a tender age provokes and inspires a conversation