Jours Apres LunesWith the DSK affair slipping from the public eye, Americans have found a new French sin to fixate on: children's lingerie. Thursday morning's Good Morning America featured photos of ruffled bikini sets and briefs with bows, items from new children's underwear line Jours Après Lunes.

Mispronouncing the company's name, newscaster Dan Kloeffler proclaimed that "the new line of sexy lingerie for girls as young as four . . .is rocking everyone from fashionistas to ordinary parents."

The garments themselves don't seem that different than other children's underwear -- briefs give substantial coverage, colors are muted, and bras are without padding. However, ABC, NYDailyNews, and other media outlets have also criticized the company for its look book, where child models wear teased hair and are dressed up in their mother's pearls.

"Some call it fashion. Others call it appalling," ABC said. For critics of the "children's lingerie" brand, this is yet another example of the fashion industry having "gone too far," as Vogue France did when it put 10-year-old cover model Tylande Blondeau on a recent cover.

Meanwhile, Americans are voicing their opinions on Jours Après Lunes' official facebook page. Recent posts include "FRENCH PERVERTS????? SCUM???", "Gross!!! Sicko's!" and "STOP PIMPING OUR KIDS!"

Jours Apres Lunes

"We don't transform our children into adults"

The only problem is, it isn't really even lingerie. As Sophie Morin, the line's designer, told DailyFinance, the word "lingerie" in French has no sexual connotation. "Lingerie is any undergarment, for men, women, or children," she says. "It's a cultural misunderstanding."

The so-called "bras" that the press has singled out are actually bikinis for the beach, she explains, while all other garments are made of simple, opaque cotton.

Morin was "completely surprised" by the controversy, as her line has existed for two years and has been "very well received" in the past. It is currently sold at one of France's oldest and most famous department stores, Le Bon Marché.

As for the lookbook, Morin says: "I photographed the girls while they were playing. We never posed them. They weren't wearing heels, makeup, or nail polish. The hairstyles and jewelry seem exaggerated like they would on any little girl playing dress-up with her mother's clothing. . . One often sees little boys dressed up as cowboys and Indians. Does this make them future criminals?" Morin herself has two children.

According to Colombine Blum, a journalist for Marie Claire and L'Express who covers children's fashion, "The French are hyper-traditional when it comes to children's clothing. Neither underwear nor outerwear is ever avant-garde or edgy." Petit Bateau, the French brand that makes basic cotton underwear and t-shirts, is the industry reference, according to Blum. "Bras for children don't exist. We don't transform our children into adults," she says.

In Morin's opinion, her brand has become a scapegoat for public anger over Vogue's 10-year-old model. Morin considers the whole situation a cultural misunderstanding, if not a journalistic error.

Some French commentators had more critical interpretations. "France is being singled out by puritan America," ParisMatch wrote. Or, as Gala put it, "It seems that on the other side of the Atlantic, shock has become a second nature."

The French public is also reacting. On, one reader commented: "When you think of the Americans and their Mini Miss America competitions (which is worse and which attracts pedophiles like flies) this whole thing is ridiculous."

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When their toddler become pedifile targets, they will wonder, Why?

August 19 2011 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
You've got IT!

French girls and women know it more than any of us - they are made to feel and be objects of desire for boys and men at the youngest (and oldest) of ages. My French expats can't wait to leave the sexual oppression. They say this misnomer that the French are so sexy and sex-driven is a cover-up for the men and is not applauded by modern women. And now it goes to the toddlers. Disgusting.

August 19 2011 at 5:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The only difference between these companies and a run of the mill pedophile is the parents are selling their kids for big bucks to a rich company. And it's legal. They went out of the way to make these poor kids look slutty.

August 18 2011 at 10:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You can bet pedifiles are watching.

August 18 2011 at 8:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Jours Après Lunes is a disgusting company that is exploiting these young girls for profit. They are feeding into the despicable appetites of pedophiles worldwide. The French say we are overreacting and need to calm down. I can't stand the show "Toddlers and Tiaras" either, and think all the "glitz" pageants should be stopped immediately. These French perverts need to remember that the only reason they are able to keep open minds and not speak German is because of this great country and the values we cherish. Just because the "glitz" pageant perverts are doing what they do does not mean we should allow another group of child exploiters to thrive.

August 18 2011 at 8:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This is the hypersexualization of children.. Plain as day. Can you say pedophilia ??? End it now. I have noted liberal hesitation at denouncing any form of this exploitation, including outright pedophilia... being "uncomfortable" with "labels".

August 18 2011 at 6:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sheldon Lee Feld

I guess the parents don't care that there child could be harmed by exploiting them

August 18 2011 at 5:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Forest Chump

Wait 'til freedom of expression/speach legalizes kiddy porn. And don't think it's the liberals who want it. It crosses all political lines and all religious views. Just wait....

August 18 2011 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay, I just went and looked at the lookbook. Those aren't swimsuits; they are clearly underwear and bras for tiny little girls. Also, the girl models are wearing makeup and their hair is very highly-stylized (though there is a nice bit of editing on the photo for this article, just cutting out the curled bouffant of the girl and making it look like she has a nirmal little-girl pony tail).

August 18 2011 at 3:07 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Here's another "cultural misunderstanding," Ms. Morin: neither cowboys nor Indians were criminals. So playing cowboys and Indians is not at all like playing at being criminals. To avoid "cultural misunderstandings" in the future, I would recommend a little thing called translations. If you want to call something undergarments or pajamas or swimsuits in the US, use the American English words for those items, not a French word that is used to convey more sexualized clothing.

August 18 2011 at 3:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply