It’s no surprise that Madonna’s offspring was going to rise to stardom sooner or later. And after staying away from mainstream media for 19 years, Lourdes Leon stepped into the limelight last week, when making her modelling debut on Stella McCartney’s latest perfume campaign ‘POP’.
The perfume advert is refreshing, in the sense that we’re not looking at the same models we’re used to (Kendall, Gigi, Jourdan) instead the campaign sees four new and young influencers unite. In the words of McCartney herself who describes her new muses as : “A group of young women who can come together as one, but at the same time, they can stand alone.” Sounds like a revival of girl power, right?
The campaign has achieved matching reviews from the media, with many magazines branding it as “the way forward in female empowerment,”a “new focus to modelling,” and as Vogue put it “promoting self-acceptance and positive mutual support, the campaign offers a refreshing alternative to the occasionally divisive atmosphere of body shaming.”
But does it really achieve as much as they say? Leon’s media coverage outshone the likes of Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg, Pop Princes ‘Grimes’ and model and animals rights ambassador Kenya Kinski -Jones.
So how does the 19-year old student spark more interest than her fellow influencer Amandla Stenberg? Speaking of Amandla’s casting McCartney says she is: “an extraordinary talent and actress… she’s not afraid to speak her mind, which makes her an inspirational role model for girls all across the world.”
Lourdes’s debut has also received thrice as much extensive coverage as that of 27- year-old Canadian Poptress ‘Grimes’ who is currently on tour with Florence and the Machine. Grimes is equally a pop star and an artist, not to mention she’s one of the very few female producers currently in the music industry.
And what about that of animal rights focused model, Kenya Kinski-Jones. Similarly to Lourdes, Kinski-Jones parents have an influence on the model’s status, as being fathered by Musical legend Quincy Jones doesn’t go unnoticed. However Kenya is dedicated to Last Chance for Animals, a non-profit charity that aims to eradicate practices such as animal research, fur farming and vivisection. She’s also been a vegetarian since she was eight years old, which closely aligns with McCartney’s animal-free brand ethos.
Yet again, despite all these young women’s achievements, it’s Lourdes modelling debut that takes the spotlight.
When speaking of the casting, McCartney says: “They’re all great young girls, and the exciting thing is, if you don’t know who they are, you want to know who they are. You will want to follow their careers and see them grow and hear what they have to say. We wanted to try and set a precedent for a new way to look at beauty, and a new way to just talk about how young women are allowed to be.”
Really? Surely in that case, McCartney could have chosen four young ordinary girls that hadn’t yet reached celebrity status. And if it really is about a new way to look at beauty, then there’s a long list of different types of young women who could have headed the designer’s campaign.
However, this seems no different to Burberry casting the Beckham’s or Chanel opting for Kendall Jenner. It simply says, celebrity endorsement; or even more palpable, it says Madonna.
Lourdes ‘Lola’ Leon’s debut at just shy of 20 years old will see her be showered with modelling contracts from huge fashion labels worldwide. She has the opportunity to join the likes of GiGi and Jourdan, and all she has to do is simply feel like it.
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