We’re in the middle of one of the biggest paedophile scandals that this country has ever seen. And yet, the Daily Mail still thinks that it’s appropriate to report on Elle Fanning‘s Halloween costume with the headline

Lady Liberty! Teenager Elle Fanning shows off her womanly curves as she pays homage to New York Statue

The article continued the theme:

Elle was a posing professional as she wore a metallic maxi dress which looked rather demure at first glance.

Although it covered up her chest area and thighs, the design featured a high split which allowed her to pop her leg out of the side.

When she turned around, flesh was on show as the cut-out material scooped to just above her derriere and featured clasps which fastened at the centre of her neck.

Elle Fanning is 14.

This creepiness didn’t go unnoticed. There was soon plenty of criticism of the headline both on Twitter and in the article’s comments. Later on the headline was updated to the simpler

Lady Liberty! Teenager Elle Fanning pays homage to New York Statue

And the article was edited to remove the worst of the content. Although the author still insisted that Fanning “was eager to show the lady she is becoming”.

The Fanning family must be getting used to this. The Mail were similarly creepy about Elle’s older sister Dakota when she was 14.

The Mail has been very vocal in its coverage of the Savile affair. But, of course, they seem to see it more as yet another stick to beat the BBC with rather than actually understanding what the real problem is here. If they really understood the problem, would they publish so many stories containing the creepy phrases “older than her years” and “all grown up“?

Two weeks ago Melanie Phillips wrote an article where she blames the “liberal left” for making paedophilia acceptable. In her survey of organisations that promote the sexualisation of underage girls she somehow omits the Mail and its “sidebar of shame”. Alan White has written an open letter to Phillips inviting her to comment on the Mail providing this useful service for paedophiles. I await her response with interest.

Finally, I highly recommend that you take twenty minutes to watch Martin Robbins‘ brilliant talk on this subject from the Pod Delusion‘s third birthday bash.


  1. I don’t spend enough time in the UK to know how bad it is over there, but the sexualization of younger and younger children is something that’s been going on for some time here in the US. The popularity of shows like Toddlers And Tiaras is probably one of the most obvious examples. And that’s on TLC which, thankfully, does not seem to still stand for The Learning Channel.

    Granted, this doesn’t speak directly to the hypocrisy of the Daily Mail, but I’m guessing that the Mail is simply following the trend, and the hypocrisy may actually be coincidental. Not that I think that makes it any better, of course. I think I’ll go throw up now.

  2. All creepiness of the article aside… She does kind of have “womanly curves” even though she was only 14 back then, she’s tall for her age and no matter what you think of me for saying so… that is around the age that girls start to become women. Is it okay for the writer of the article to talk about her like a sex-symbol? No, that was actually pretty weird.

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