Dakota Fanning on her banned perfume ad: ‘Why are you making it about [sex]?’

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning covers the March issue of Glamour, and I think we’re supposed to look at this shoot and realize that she’s all grown up now that Dakota will turn nineteen years old next month. Still, it seems a little bit skeevy that this cover features a belly shirt with a Mickey Mouse figure emblazoned across the chest. So the message here is sexy but still very young, right?

The rest of the shoot doesn’t send as many mixed messages as the cover, but it’s still difficult to see Dakota looking so mature since we haven’t seen her onscreen since she was still technically a child. I don’t think Breaking Dawn Part 2 counts as an adult appearance since Dakota shot her scenes well over a year ago. Don’t get me wrong though — she does look lovely in this Glamour editorial, and I’m more comfortable with Dakota doing an “iffy” shoot with Glamour than when she covered Cosmo last year amidst sex-tip headlines.

In the Glamour interview, Dakota does make me scratch my head just a bit though. She talks about her Marc Jacobs “Oh, Lola!” perfume advert (the one where she held a flowery bottle between her legs) and how the United Kingdom banned the ad for being “sexually provocative.” Basically, Dakota thinks there’s something wrong with people’s minds who went there in the first place:

Dakota Fanning

On fame & fashion: “It’s really fun when you’re getting dressed for something. It’s not when you’re in the rain with an umbrella and trying to carry a case of water. Yep, that’s me, alone, coming from Duane Reade. I’m not wearing a bra. Deal with it.”

Was she surprised about her banned Marc Jacobs ad? “Yeah, I was! If you want to read something into a perfume bottle, then I guess you can. But it’s also like, Why are you making it about that, you creep? I love Marc and trust him, and we just laughed about it.”

Could she ever be a fashion designer? “I don’t think so. I mean, I won’t rule it out, because then one day I’ll be like, ‘I said that in Glamour in 2013, and here I am now [with my own line].’ But when you know designers and see the work that they put into making their collection, and how much passion they have for that–I think that’s so amazing. And I don’t have the passion to design clothes. It’s nice to be able to grow up and know what you want to do…. I’m reminded of that every time I make a film.”

On her little sister, Elle: “She’s very uninhibited and will try pretty much anything. Even the way she dresses– she dresses totally for herself. She risks being made fun of…by me, which I sometimes do, because I’m an older sister! But I totally admire her and think she’s very cool.”

[From Glamour]

Dakota’s really starting to come out of her shell, isn’t she? She recently defended Kristen Stewart by telling us all that we have no “authority to judge” her friend, and I get it. One wants to defend their girlfriends, so I’ll leave it at that. Now Dakota seems to lack perspective when she asserts that anyone who saw something pervy about a perfume bottle between her legs must be a “creep.” I mean, I still love Dakota. She’s a good girl, and she’s never been spotted drunkenly stumbling out of a nightclub or flashed her hoo-ha to the paparazzi, but still. That perfume ad was so gross.

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning

Photos courtesy of Glamour

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49 Responses to “Dakota Fanning on her banned perfume ad: ‘Why are you making it about [sex]?’”

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  1. Katie says:

    Well her lack of perspective is not surprising. She’s been raised in Hollywood! Didn’t she do a movie in which she was a rape victim at a very young age? I seem to remember some flap about that and she didn’t seem to think that was a big deal either.

    • lexy says:

      Yep in Hounddog. I think her character was about ten. It was shot in a way where she didn’t actually experience anything bad – all you see is her face looking horrified.

      I get what she was talking about. Rape is ridiculously common but it rarely gets talked about or shown (compared to murder which is always present in cinema). I think it is good to show as then maybe people can begin to grasp how horrible an experience it is and get into the mindset of the victim showing how it is never theif fault.

      • Pipsqueak says:

        What are you talking about? I feel like I see rape EVERYWHERE as a plot point. The Watchmen, Madmen, Game of Thrones, Swamplandia, Breaking Bad… And it really upsets me BECAUSE it is so much more common that murder. So common that you should really be thinking to yourself, “Hey, if potentially 1/5 of my audience has experienced this, why should I stick this really upsetting ‘Rape Saved the World because she loved him’ plotline into my superhero movie”. I mean there was a flap about how common rape jokes are in comedy. I love comedy, but so many times I have gone to see stand-up to have a good time and then have people joke about something that I and many of my friends have gone through. Its one thing to talk about rape seriously (my rule: fine in drama, not fine in action or comedy) , but I want to be entertained by enterainment, not triggered.

    • 'Sup? says:

      Ah, the sweet 19. When you think you can eat the sun in one bite and not get burnt (one of my many gramie’s sayings). You know, it’s bad enough that pedophilia is a very real threat towards our children. Look at kids like you, Dakota, seeing it as “no big deal”. I am sorry, it is a mega humongous deal for a lot of people still, especially when one is a mother. I can’t standard young starlets that act as the “all knowing horacle, no big deal shitheads”. IT IS A FRIGGIN BIG DEAL, GIRL! I am appalled that a girl who seems to be into “college education” ignores the rampant problem of porn and human trafficking or child abuse and flicks it off as “you are a creep for thinking that way”. No, kid, we are not creeps, we still have some decency, we live in the real world and don’t want our children copying your mannerisms and nonchalantery when it comes to exposing yourself to predators. What’s wrong with this kid??? If there was no demand for porn then you’d be dressing in a very different way because if wouldn’t be profitable. This is just one of those topics that gets me going…sorry. Look where Lohan’s “it’s not a big deal” attitudde has left her at?

  2. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I think she’s in a tight spot. She can’t bad mouth someone she used to work with and I doubt she had much editorial control of the perfume but I seriously hope she doesn’t believe those words … she can’t be that naive having been in Hollywood this whole time.

    • RocketMerry says:

      That was my first thought, too: is she trying to fool us with this and totally understands the issue, or is she really that detached from reality?

      Also, someone should teach her to express herself in a way that does not offend potential buyers of her products: “creep”? Really?

      There, already for her playing dumb in this unclever way I either think her a silly girl with no understanding of her surroundings or an idiot who tries to blame the public for her own actions/image.

  3. Faye says:

    Oh, for heaven’s sake. I really wish stars like Dakota wouldn’t pull this coy garbage. If you want to be sexy, go ahead and be sexy, but be unapologetic about it — don’t deny what you’re trying to do. It’s not everyone’s bag, but people will either like it or not, and that’s fine. Vive le difference and all that.

    But this hypocrisy really gets to me. I can’t stand this doing one thing but saying another. This cover is a prime example of that. “Look at me being all cute and childlike . . .with a Mickey Mouse belly shirt!” I guess it’s fitting, since Disney perfected that sexification of underaged girls thing. It’s so, so, creepy.

    And please explain to me how putting a phallic-shaped bottle in between your legs can have anything other than a sexual connotation.

    • Seagulls says:

      I don’t disagree that the ad was in poor taste, but the bottle doesn’t strike me as especially phallic, what with the rose bursting out the top.

      • Willa says:

        The rose your gonna stick it in.

      • Faye says:

        I meant the shape of the bottle, not the rose at the top. I can’t really remember all the details. It just struck me as gross, and still does, no matter what she said. Put it this way – as a woman, it would not inspire me to buy that perfume, and as the aunt to several lovely pre-teen nieces (both my actual nieces and friends’ kids), I sure as heck wouldn’t buy it for them either, if they were shooting for a younger demographic.

      • Amelia says:

        I thought the hoo-ha was over how some people thought it referenced the book ‘Lolita’, being called ‘Oh, Lola!’ and all that jazz.
        Either way I didn’t like the ad.

      • Alana Fajina says:

        @Willa – I just died and came back to life on that one, girl! Best comment on this site!!

    • Lucinda says:

      I don’t know that she fully understood the subtext of the ad which is why she is puzzled by the response. That’s my guess.

      As for Mickey, I doubt she chose the clothes.

  4. gee says:

    The big curls suit her so well.

  5. Riana says:

    When you’re in the middle of shooting and being a part of something you have a different perspective than the person who is only observing the end result.

    I also think she falls into that category of starlet who people are going to struggle accepting in more adult ways without it immediately feeling perverted.

    • T.C. says:

      It’s because she still has a baby face. Other 19 year olds look older or more mature. The Disney shirt doesn’t help but plays up to her Lolita type image.

  6. Willa says:

    I was flipping through a magazine and turned to that ad and my husband said that the ad just looks all kinds of wrong! And it does!!!

  7. kay says:

    oh come on! 19?! she’s not 13 anymore. just because people think of her as a child doesn’t mean she is. have you seen what most normal 19 year olds wear on the street? a mid-riff mickey mouse top is nothing. and it’s not a question of whether the marc jacobs perfume ad is sexy, it’s why does it matter? It’s not sexualising children, because she’s grown up by any standard- she can have sex, vote, drink (in most countries) be tried as an adult and sent off to war, but she can’t pose provactively with a perfume bottle? she’s not a child and shouldn’t be treated like one.

    • Willa says:

      Yeah she looks 12 in the ad!! So the ad is kinda gross and pervy! And is suppose to come across that way. Guess people will buy young vagina perfume…

    • Claudia says:

      I agree, kay. A lot of this is projection too.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        CRAZY projection going on here. Sometimes I think people’s perception says more about them than it does about the reality of what it is they perceive.

        …if that makes any sense ;)

        Also, a lot of this is social conditioning. The girl is 19-she’s not a child.

  8. Hannah says:

    I just googled the ad – I don’t really see it, either. It’s a bit weird but I am not sure it warranted a ban. Just my opinion, though. I find stranger that you would get a (then) 17-year-old to advertise anything.

  9. littlemissnaughty says:

    Um, if people see it, that might be because it was there. She may not have seen it, but as if Marc Jacobs didn’t. It’s nice that trusts him I guess but at the end of the day, he’s a top fashion designer, not her bff. It’s about sales, plain and simple. The banned ad was probably a dream come true.

    Otherwise she sounds like a smart girl.

  10. sasa says:

    You are obviously a creep for pointing out the skeeviness of the cover. lol
    I think Oh, Dakota is a bit full of it to be honest.

  11. marie says:

    I’m not really a fan of the pictures, too much make up I think, maybe the blush? I love that she’s close to her sister.

  12. Maya says:

    If I recall correctly, Marc Jacobs himself said that they wanted the ad to evoke the image of a “modern-day Lolita”, which would suggest that he, at least, wanted it to be seen as sexual in some way.

    Also, can I just say how messed up it is that ‘Lolita’ has become a cultural byword for ‘sexy young girl’? In the original story, Lolita is a victim of rape and abuse who has an incredibly tragic life. I don’t think viewing her as some kind of teenage temptress is what Nabokov intended…

    • katiebob says:

      Yes! anytime people refer to a young girl as a “lolita” as a compliment – I think…What book have they read???

      • Reece says:

        That’s the thing, they haven’t read the book.
        Ignorance breeds ignorance at a much faster rate than research and information.

    • Vivian says:

      This so much!! I work relating to preventing sex crimes against children and it bothers me so that the sexualization of children is occurring on a regular basis but yet it’s been normalized to the point that ppl say ‘so what; what’s the big deal’ or blame the children when they been conditioned by society/media. Trust me when I say that the offenders come from all walks of life and no, they are not just padeophiles.

  13. flor says:

    It’s not just the bottle but HER FACE scremed sex. If she didn’t want to do it about sex she should have posed differently!

  14. Effy says:

    I like Dakota but these pictures are hurting my eyes. . . too much light?

  15. Leek says:

    I strongly dislike her makeup in the Glamour spread. It’s too much and makes her look less pretty than she is.

  16. serena says:

    Because she’s good friend with Marc Jacobs she doesn’t want to trash him or anything.. but of course it was about ‘that’.
    Anyway I still love her, I mean she’s so young but talented and I like almost all of her movies -didn’t put twilight in the mix since she’s only appeared there- she’s so drama free.

  17. HotPockets says:

    Here is my main issue with that ad and yes, it is perverted and it is intended to be pedophilia-like.

    A Lolita character, is defined as being a young and virginal (often underage) girl, who is fantasized and pursued by much olden men, so when an ad featuring a young girl with a perfume bottle between her legs and it reads “Oh, Lola!” What are we supposed to assume? How stupid. Maybe she didn’t realize how sexualized the ad really is.

  18. Reece says:

    I need all of those shoes and the dresses.

  19. Zorbitor says:

    How provocative!

  20. Jane says:

    She looks like an exploited 14 year old in some of her ads. She does not know this.

  21. MJ says:

    She may be of age, but this shoot definitely has a Pretty Baby (both the Brooke Shields movie and the Blondie song) vibe.

  22. NeoCleo says:

    She’s been around for so long that I have to remind myself how young she really is. Of course she’s going to defend an ad she’s featured in but frankly she’s no good judge.

  23. Crystal says:

    LOL. What an absolute mess of a photoshoot. Ew.

    So like every other interview she talks about her sister and Kristen. Boring.

  24. mac says:

    I read some more quotes from this interview about her views on dating. She seemed really well-grounded and mature for 19, and credits her parents with her set of values. You should add those to the excerpt!

  25. Kim says:

    Sounds like your typical, immature little girl. Of course she doesn’t grasp that she’s being exploited sexually in ads like that. And even if she understood it, she still may not care. And as for my “authority to judge” – I’ve never screwed around with a married man or cheated on my fiance..so yes, I damn well can and will judge. Garbage is garbage and there’s no reason not to call it like I see it. Maybe once she grows up some, she’ll realize that being someone’s friend doesn’t mean approving of everything they do and making excuses for their (awful,disgusting,whorish) bad behavior.

  26. Cassie says:

    I think this is a case where people don’t accept someone’s real age because of the visual appearance. If Dakota changes her face to look more mature, everyone will cause drama saying she destroyed the pretty baby face she had.
    The girl decides what she wants to do in life and looks like she deals with the consequences well enough. This is a sign of maturity to some peoople.

  27. rtms says:

    It amazes me that people are worked up over the ad yet didn’t blink an eye about Elle’s recent commercial for Lolita perfume?! That commercial had all sorts of sexual imagery/ innuendo about it yet everyone just glossed over it and said what a cute little girl she is, who cares if she’s only 14. At least Dakota was 17 when her ad was done.

  28. Jag says:

    When I see these types of pictures where she looks 19 in some, and 12 in others, it really makes me wonder if she’s the one they were talking about in a particular blind item. If so, it would make complete sense as to why she doesn’t care about things being sexualized.