Is it ethically okay to use children in magazines?

In 2011 a news article came out about a 10 year old girl who was used in a modelling campaign in French vogue. As I read the article I started to wonder if it is right that images of a child so young dressed in adult clothes was ethically okay and if these images being available to everyone was doing more harm than good to the little girl.  In the pictures the girl is dressed in clothes similar to those that are worn by models twice her age, for a girl aged 10 surely she shouldn’t be dressed in this way. Most girls at the age of 10 are dressed by their mothers and it’s safe to say most mothers would dress their daughters in long dresses or dungarees like my mother put me in. I remember when I was 10 and like all of friends at that age we were acting like children because we were children, we weren’t trying to grow up quickly. Unlike the 10 year old model we weren’t worried about being in a magazine we were more worried about whether or not we would be able to play with a skipping rope at play time. Should we be worried about children growing up too quickly? Of course we should, we should be encouraging children to enjoy being children because they are never going to get that time back. We shouldn’t be encouraging children to grow up quicker; they have loads of time for growing up. You are essentially a child up until you are 16 or 18 depending on what age you or your parents consider to be an adult. If you only have 16 years of being a child and not caring about the big bad world out there why throw it away, it is only after leaving school and going away to university that you fully understand the pressures of being an adult and wish that you didn’t have as much responsibility as you do. Therefore we should keep children as children instead of pushing them to grow up.

Some parents out there would question if there is anything wrong with putting a child in a magazine, so here are the images so you can judge for youself whether there is nothing wrong with them or if in fact they shouldn’t have been in the media at all. Thylane Lena-Rose Blandeau in the Vogue Paris fashion editorial. Sharif Hamza for French Vogue.

The images that have upset parents and Mother's Union organisation. Photo: Sharif Hamza for French Vogue.


Some adults have said that there is nothing wrong with these images, one even said “I don’t find this unusual, she is super talented…plus it’s French Vogue!!! FRENCH. VOGUE. Totally ok.” After reading her comment, I wondered if you could actually justify these images because they are in a famous magazine. My personal answer is no, just because the pictures are in a vogue magazine doesn’t mean that its right to use them, surely no matter what magazine they are in they shouldn’t have been printed. As its adults magazine you would have to question why children are modelling in it, surely in an adult’s magazine you would use adults to advertise clothes or adults not children, you wouldn’t use adult models to advertise children’s clothes would you.

When we look at these pictures it’s not only the child in the photographs that we should be concerned for, we should also be concerned about what these images are saying to all children and teens. In a research paper called Ethical Judgments of Sexual Appeals in Advertising Image – Based Products to Teens done by Daniel Korn from the University of Rhode Island, he said that advertisers are increasingly using teens to advertise their products as teens can influence purchases made my family and friends. Also they can develop a ‘brand loyalty’ which means that as they grow from teens into adults they will still continue to shop with that brand. This would give the brands a bigger income and with teen influence it means that the teen’s friends could possibly want to shop their giving the brand even more of an income. With advertising some people are more influenced than others. Meaning that some people think that they have to look a certain way to be able to wear the same type of clothes that the models are wearing and that if they look a certain way they will be accepted into society more. If it is teens wearing the clothes then some teens think that they should look that way and this could lead to eating disorders and depression in young girls.

Unfortunately the majority of adverts/advertisements are in fact ethical. This is because that yes they are seen as inappropriate but they don’t show any form of nudity but they imply behaviours or meanings which means they are more ethically acceptable. This means that society is saying that it is okay to show children and teens suggesting something but that is not okay for them to do it. Surely they are both as bad as each other, even if the models aren’t doing anything, suggesting something is just as wrong. Children should be innocent and not faced with adults issues of sexual imaging until they are adults. At a certain age they should be talked to about sexual imaging and everything like that but not at the age of 10 or even 12. The adverts are linked with how society is nowadays and therefore they are less likely to be seen as wrong or unethical. However society is using children in photo shoots to promote anything that targeted to adults in wrong and in my opinion should be unethical, even if modern day society doesn’t seem to think that it should be.

The difference between a case study and a single case design

A single case design or a single subject design is usually identified as reversal design or an A-B-A design. It has one or more participants but still manages to focus on individuals. It makes several observations of participant’s behaviours over a period of time and focuses on the clinical significance differences. In the single case design one variable is usually changed at a time, this is because if you change more than one variable at a time it becomes hard to identify which variable is related to a behaviour change in the participant. However the sample does not represent the population this is because the results cannot be generalised. Another limitation of the single case design is that the multiple observations may have an effect of the participant’s response.

A case study shows detailed analysis of a small number of observations or controls and their relationship to them.  It like the single case design is able to show an individual’s case in detail instead of an overview of all the participants. With the case study you are able to gain a large amount of data therefore meaning that you can try and prove or disprove a theory or hypothesis with a significant amount of data or evidence. However like the single case design the case study cannot be generalised as it is focused on an individual’s results instead of a group’s results. 

Is music a distraction?

Have you ever been told that listening to music is a distraction from work? I have, however I have always found that listening to music whist revising has helped me. I want to find out if music has been found to be a distraction or if it actually helps you revise better.

In a study done by Mowsesian, Richard; Heyer, Margaret R. (1973) it was found that music when used as a distracter had no effect on spelling, arithmetic and self-concept measures.  This would suggest that you could listen to music whist revising and it wouldn’t distract you. However in another study done by Adrian Funham and Lisa Strbac (2003) it was found that during a mental arithmetic task and a recall task introverts did worse than extraverts in both tasks. This was whilst listening to garage music but in silence the performances of the two groups would be the same. If we look at these results it would suggest that listening to music wouldn’t help revision.

Looking at both of these studies, it shows that some people find music whist working distracting and some people find that it doesn’t make a difference to their concentration levels. Also it shows that listening to music doesn’t actually help revision it either is something that you can work through or something that puts you off.

Statistics in the media

Statistics is everywhere in the media, whether it’s in the newspapers or television adverts, everyone will see it at some point.  In a lot of the adverts that have statistics they can be misleading and make the product sound better than it actually is. For example in an advert by Rimmel London they said that 94% of 81 people who tried the product said it was good. It is misleading as they did not test the product on many people therefore making the percentage sound much better by testing fewer people. Another example is Colgate whitening toothpaste as they said that 82% of 29 people saw a difference in one week. By them saying 82% of people saw a difference it is making people think that the product works really well. However only 29 people were tested and not all of them saw a difference so they product can’t be that good. In my opinion adverts like these should not be used as they are making the product look better than it is and misleading people to buy them. There should be a minimum amount of people that should be tested before companies are allowed to include the statistics about how good they are. Then we would be able to make better judgements on whether the product is actually good. 

The methodology of the most recent SONA study that you have been a participant for.

My first blog will be on the last SONA experiment that I participated in. The experiment was titled ‘Telling the brain what to do: Impacts on working-memory processes.’ The principle researcher was Paloma Mari-Beffa. The experiment aimed to record the relationship between task-switching and reaction times. This was a computer based task were you had to do the experiment several times but with a slight change in how it was done. For the first experiment you had to look at the computer screen and press certain keys if the shape was a square or a circle and if the shape was red or blue, this was done in silence. The second time the experiment was done you still had to press keys if you saw a square or a circle but this time you had to say out loud square or circle depending on what shape came up. For the last time the experiment was done you still had to press keys depending on the shape, however instead of you saying the shapes out loud the computer said them for you. At the end the experiment was explained and it was to see if listening to something or talking whilst doing a task affected the task.

Monsell, 2003 did a similar experiment about task-switching and he found that participants reaction times where slower and they were more likely to produce errors straight after task-switching. During the experiment that I did I found that my own reaction time was slower but not by a significant amount. Which suggests that the principal researcher would possibly find similar results to Monsell.