We Need to Leave Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (and Her Clothes) Alone!
By Jo Piazza Posted Sep 21st 2010 05:00PM
It is starting to get a little unseemly how much attention the media pays to Shiloh Jolie-Pitt's fashion and style sense. She is, after all, only four years old.
One of the most read stories on the US Weekly website last week was "Shiloh Jolie-Pitt Rocks Combat Boots." The story read: "Shiloh Jolie-Pitt made yet another fashion statement at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday."
Thankfully this particular post shied away from the kind of commentary we are now used to seeing on Shiloh's sartorial senses, which include claims made by fashion editors that she is androgynous and her mother, Angelina Jolie, is wrong for allowing her to dress like a boy, claims that make it seem wrong that a four year old girl happens to be a tom boy.
Jolie, 35, has admitted that she dresses her blonde daughter "like a little dude" because that is what the little girl asks for. "She likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits. She likes to dress like a boy."
And that's fine. What isn't fine is the constant commentary on it. She's just a toddler!! We thought it was bad when the media scrutinized another young girl in the spotlight because of her looks. That was Chelsea Clinton. Even though her treatment was rough, she was at least practically a teenager when she was publicly shamed for her awkward years.
The commenters only feed the frenzy.
"I'm kinda thinking Chastity Bono here? Then again it could be just a childhood phase."
"Some women are jealous of their daughters...has anyone ever thought that maybe mama dresses her that way on purpose...she's been dressed that way since she was a baby...just saying"
In one fell swoop Shiloh has been transformed into a post-op transsexual whose mother hates her. And she only recently started using the toilet on her own.
What is happening with Shiloh is a new low and one that could be psychologically damaging to the child in the future. We can only hope she never sees all the things that have been written about her.
"Hopefully, since she is only four years old, Shiloh has been spared awareness of the media's scrutiny of her style," says psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman. "As Shiloh gets older, and becomes more aware of the media scrutiny - which will inevitably be both positive and negative - she will need help in coping with being put under the microscope. One can only hope that, despite their relationship preoccupying most of their attention, her parents will be vigilant, protective and sensitive to her feelings."
It will be Brad and Angie's job going forward to make sure Shiloh doesn't overdose on the nasty things that have been written about her since she learned to walk and put on her own high waters and Doc Martens.
"We really don't know the long term impact of this type of exploitive attention on a child since this whole phenomenon is relatively new," says 'Cult of Celebrity' author Cooper Lawrence. "Researchers do not have access to these children to study them. In my opinion, the paparazzi should stop photographing and commenting on famous children on the off chance it does have a negative impact. Why on earth would they want to be responsible for that?"
Let Shiloh do what she wants. When I was four, I wore boys Spider-Man under-roos. Why? Because they were cool. Chaz Bono wore dresses when he was a little girl. What we wear when we're four doesn't mean anything, but what other people say about it definitely could.
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