Things You Can’t Buy Back

10-Year-Old Model’s Grown-Up Look: High Fashion or High Risk? – ABC News

I’m working on some editing for the Essays on Childhood project, and I came across the above link.

I have one comment, which apparently is of no concern to most other people talking about this, and that is that no matter what you think about the portrayal of children as adults, one thing is certain:  It takes something.

This child is in the 3rd grade.

Children are not little adults. Dressing them up and trotting them around as adults does nothing to change their developmental state inside.  But it does change their perceptions of themselves, how adults respond to them, and what shreds of innocence and guileless joy that are left to them in the ever-shortened years of being allowed to be a child.

This is a beautiful child.  She, like all children, deserved to have her childhood years preserved for the one and only time they had a chance to exist.  I’m sure these photos made some grown ups, including her famous parents, a lot of money.

That money can never buy back what it took.