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9-Year-Old Supermodel Sparks Controversy

9-year-old supermodel Kristina Pimenova sparks controversy

Kristina Pimenova isn't your average 9-year-old. Unless the average 9-year-old has a Facebook following of, say, 2 million. (The Russian elementary schooler also boasts an Instagram fan base of 402,000 and a loyal Twitter following of nearly 4,000, in case you were wondering.)

That's because Pimenova is a pint-sized supermodel—one of the first, really—and by the looks of things, she's already a force to be reckoned with.

But while the young beauty is gracing covers, commanding photo shoots, and amassing a social media following some celebs would envy, she's also igniting a fair bit of controversy for those who wonder: is it all too much, too soon?

Their concern doesn't just come from whether putting a 9-year-old through a busy, rigorous modeling schedule is ethical or not (though that's part of it). It also stems from the intense attention she's received around the world—ranging from harsh critiques to creepy, inappropriate comments on her social accounts.

After all, just skim the comments on her Facebook page, and you'll probably see more than a few people calling her "a babe," or commenting on her body as though she isn't a mere 9 years old.

Some adoring fans have even gone so far as to sketch her image and beg her to share it on her page, like this recent drawing made by a man from Lebanon.

And while there are plenty of fan-made videos asserting that Pimenova is "the prettiest girl in the world," there are also those that declare the opposite, like this one which is titled "Kristina Pimenova Is Not Beautiful."

"She is just beautiful with makeup. Many more children [are] more beautiful than Kristina," the video explains obnoxiously, before taking us through photos of Pimenova with and without makeup, and looking ... well, beautiful in both.

But as her fame seems to grow, so does the conversation around whether or not she is being sexualized.

"Creepy pic for a child," wrote one commenter on a candid photo of Kristina. Another man chimed in, "I like it."

"Treating a child like a adult, taking adult-style photos is so wrong," someone else said, in response to a comment about her "sexy legs."

"You are sexifying your daughter and parents like you are the reason why girls grow up to have many issues," wrote another commenter. "Also there are so many sick people out there that look at these in sexually [sic] ways."

The MailOnline recently dove into the controversy surrounding Pimenova, and brought the issue up with a London-based modeling agent, who wished to remain anonymous.

"You can say her expression is sultry in her photos, or suggestive, or too mature," the agent said. "Or you can say she looks moody and sulky. Essentially, you're just looking at a girl who happens to be extraordinary beautiful. Perhaps if her face was that of an average-looking child, no one would be having this conversation."

The MailOnline goes on to note that in all of Pimenova's photos—which have graced the pages of Vogue Bambini and at times have made her the face of big-time designers like Roberto Cavalli—she wears little to no makeup, and never wears revealing clothing. Most, if not all, of her work has been for children's magazines, as well.

Instead of a manager, Pimenova's mother, former model Glikeriya Shirokova, is behind every single post to social media. She also has stipulated specific rules on all of the account pages, for those who flip through her daughter's photos.

Kristina with her mother, Glikeriya
Kristina with her mother, Glikeriya.

"All the content shared on this page should be kid friendly," writes Glikeriya. "Any video or pictures posted here that is not appropriate for Kristina's age will be deleted and whoever posted it will be blocked."

And because, sadly, she has to write this, Glikeriya ends with: "Kristina's pictures can not be used for role playing."

What do you think? Is 9 years old too young for this kind of attention?

Photos via Instagram/Facebook

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