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Is Suri Cruise Becoming A Beauty Icon?

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Like many children of celebrities, Suri Cruise is the subject of much press. Katie Holmes‘ childrearing practices make weekly headlines while the little girl’s wardrobe are often estimated at a dollar value and parsed out by designer. But while other child actors are the direct subjects of ad campaigns and magazine covers, like 13-year-old Elle Fanning for Marc Jacobs, or  the then 15-year-old Miley Cyrus on the cover of Vanity Fair, Suri Cruise has yet to officially commence her career in the spotlight. But with the constant speculation regarding her dress and style choices, the constant quotes from Katie regarding what Suri will and will not wear, it’s become rather clear that the little girl  is accruing much interest for her clothes — despite that she’s only five years old.

Little girls walking around in heels is a debate to be settled between parents, as while some children prefer everyday to be a dress up day, others simply done heels in an effort to emulate their mothers. What makes Suri Cruise a jarring image in magazines and in photographs is not so much her high heels and purses, but the media and public’s obsession with them.

Suri’s closet has garnered so much interest that the media felt compelled to appraise her $150,000 shoe closet — along with estimating her entire wardrobe $3.2million according to The Daily Mail. Suri is photographed quite often in little high heels with purses to accompany her teddy bears, and a gorgeous array of dresses and accessories. Katie credits her daughter with her innate sense of style , telling the August issue of InStyle:

“I do not dress her. She dresses herself! Obviously, I buy her clothes, but she is the one who puts her outfits together.”

The subject of many style blogs, Suri is referred to as a “pint-sized fashionista” by Us Weekly. Her expensive outfits and designer fashion choices have earned her a fictitious mean girl persona with internet users who put together the Suri’s Burn Book, assuming the voice of the youngster as she judges the clothes and appearance of other kids in the media. Photographs of her latest ensembles often appear on various celebrity baby blogs, as writers share researched prices and designers for such items suggesting that parents can purchase them for their own little ones.

In a just a few short years, young Suri has catapulted to height of beauty and fashion, as it’s not rare to read her described as “beautiful” or “pretty” along side zoomed in photos of the detailing on her dresses.

Although Suri’s parents always seem to imply that they are “cultivating” their little girl’s innate sense of a style, their decision to parade her in front of the paparazzi with full-on makeup and heels often go unaddressed. Many children express themselves creatively through a number of outlets including fashion, but Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes seem to take no issue with their little girl’s induction into style magazines at such a young age. Granted, Suri’s celebrity parents make her more of a spectacle than the average fashion-conscious little girl you might encounter in a playgroup, but her parents seem to welcome this public study of their youngest daughter.

Idealizing and analyzing the appearance of a small children presents a cornucopia of problematic circumstances. Despite saddling a very young  girl with the sudden pressures of beauty and image, the Cruises also leave their daughter vulnerable to the critical gaze of adults, who might have an array of intentions for studying her looks. Becoming a beauty and style icon is fraught with all kinds of body-consciousness and insecurity for even adult women. But to invite that type of attention for a child, one of which has not even approached her teen years, could perhaps engender so much more.

(photo: people.com)