'The most beautiful girl in the world' has just walked the runway at Milan Fashion Week
Everyone feels some kind of pressure as they're growing up. It's awkward, anxiety-inducing, and you probably spend way too much energy and emotion dwelling on what other people might think of you. Imagine that kind of pressure, on top of a title you're given at age six to be "the most beautiful girl in the world".
To try and hold onto that label as you're going through puberty – with pimples, growth spurts, extra hair, breasts, the works – is a challenge no one would meet with confidence.
But for Thylane Blondeau, the French model who was unofficially dubbed "the most beautiful girl in the world" when she was just a child, it seems no drama. She walked in a Jean Paul Gaultier fashion show when she was just four years old, and two years later claimed her unofficial title after attracting media attention with her bright blue eyes and long, tousled hair in a feature for Vogue Enfants.
The child star continued to do (sometimes controversial) high fashion modelling gigs as she grew older, featuring in campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana and L’Oréal, editorials for Vogue, and appearing on the cover of fashion magazines like Jalouse. Today, 16-year-old Blondeau is still in the media spotlight as a millennial socialite with a cool 1.6 million Instagram followers.
And now, she's made her debut to the catwalk since her first Jean Paul Gaultier show 12 years ago. Blondeau this week walked a Milan Fashion Week runway for the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2018 show.
She wore a floor-length floral print dress, a red and gold tiara and her signature pout. The show featured a handful of other millennial stars, including Jamie Foxx's daughter Corinne and Hailey Baldwin.
Blondeau is 5'6" tall, a chunk shorter than the typical height for female runway models who usually come in at a minimum of 5'10". This is not unusual for Dolce & Gabbana, who of late have been showing off a non-traditional lineup of both models and social media influencers in their shows.
Most countries enforce an age minimum of 16 or 17 years to be working as a runway model, so the news that Blondeau is walking runway shows again is sure to spark a flood of casting calls for the young French model. She is already a VIP guest for many fashion houses, frequently invited to the front row of Chanel's fashion show and most recently spotted in the front row at Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring 2018 show at London Fashion Week.
Blondeau has been involved in a fair share of controversy too, over the course of her modelling career. At age 10, she posed in an editorial shoot for Vogue wearing tall stilettos, heavy makeup and a gold dress with a plunging neckline. The photos attracted criticisms of exploitation and sexualising the child.
Despite the negative commentary, Blondeau continued to land modelling jobs and now enters a new stage in her career where she can legally walk in runway shows and work with women's brands without attracting criticism for her age.
Lucky for her, she hasn't transitioned from young beauty to ugly duckling. It's certainly going to be hard for anyone to challenge her "most beautiful girl in the world" title now.