Dannielynn Birkhead is six years old now. And not surprisingly, the daughter of the late Anna Nicole Smith (and center of one hot mess of a paternity/custody battle royale) is a pretty exceptionally good-looking child.
Which means: TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS, SWEETHEART.
Here’s the press release boilerplate:
The GUESS kids Spring 2013 campaign features Dannielynn Birkhead, daughter of iconic GUESS model, Anna Nicole Smith. Also in the campaign is Peyton Edmonds, daughter of music legend Babyface. The GUESS kids images were shot on the beach in Malibu by Elliston Lutz and directed by Paul Marciano, Creative Director at GUESS? Inc. and depicts the same sense of wonder and fun that is embodied by the GUESS kids brand.
“Dannielynn has the same playful spirit that her mother had on a set,” said Paul Marciano, Creative Director for GUESS?, Inc. “She is a second-generation GUESS girl, which makes this campaign a first for us.”
The Spring 2013 GUESS Kids campaign will appear in international fashion magazines, on buses and billboards and collateral materials beginning mid-January 2013.
They also helpfully emailed two sample photos for our enjoyment and edification.
So Dannielynn is modeling perfectly cute, age-appropriate outfits here…no tacky overt homage to Anna Nicole’s not-exactly-back-t0-school-fashion famous GUESS campaigns. She looks adorable. And exactly like a blend of her mother and father (NICE TRY, HOWARD. YOUR PLAN WAS DOOMED). With maybe a little young Brooke Shields vibe in that top photo? I hope when the shoot was done she got to play on the beach and go swimming.
Her father said of the photo shoot: “Dannielynn had fun paying tribute to her mom with the Guess ad campaign, but it is back to school for her which is her focus. The first thing she asked is ‘When will I be on the shopping bags like Mommy?’ “
Here’s the thing: I actually feel like Larry Birkhead is a really good dad, or at least does a decent job of seeming like a good dad. Yes, he sells yearly birthday updates on Dannielynn to People and Access Hollywood and they probably get the occasional appearance fee for planned photo ops, but he at least moved her far away from L.A. (they live in his hometown in Kentucky) where she can mostly live a pap-free existence with a (again, by all media accounts) hands-on dad and his family. I’m not sure how harshly I can blame the guy for occasionally accepting what I’m sure is stupid amounts of money for only the most superficial access to his famous daughter. (Provided the money is in fact benefiting her, obviously.)
“Dannielynn is doing great and likes kittens and ponies! Okay, that’ll be $10,000, please.”
As a child model for a big famous brand, Dannielynn and her earnings are — presumably — protected even more by child labor laws and trusts and such, so maybe this isn’t really a big deal at all. Just something fun she did over summer vacation. Or…I don’t know. Anna Nicole Smith ended her life as such a messy, tragic person that I’d be more comfortable seeing as big of a distance between her trajectory and Dannielynn’s life as possible. Thus, these GUESS ads unnerve me a little.
We’re meant to be reminded of Anna Nicole when we look at these pictures. GUESS probably hopes we’re reminded of Anna Nicole at her most beautiful and vibrant, before it all went wrong. I see a beautiful and vibrant little girl who lost her mother (and her brother) to addiction and all the trappings of fame. I want to believe that she’s living an awesome, happy and loved life…and that nothing else about that sad story will ever repeat itself.