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Daniel Drezner has an interesting post on this matter that doesn’t appear to be primarily a troll for Google visitors:

Why is it that some celebrities under the age of eighteen can be universally acknowledged as sexy, whereas if that adjective is assigned to other underage but physically mature stars, people start leveling accusations of perversion and lechery? Why was it so shocking for Britney Spears to start flaunting her sexuality, but everyone instantly accepted Anna Kournikova as a sex object? Spears is about six months younger that Kournikova, but a Lexis-Nexis search reveals that Kournikova entered the pop culture zeitgeist as a calender-worthy subject when she was younger than Spears.

The recent appearance of the suddenly-near-grown Olsen twins on the cover of Rolling Stone (cue Dr. Hook) also draws some commentary.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. BeldarBlog says:

    When “Aren’t they cute?” becomes “Aren’t they hot?”
    As a single 45-year-old man (but divorced dad with two preteen daughters), I’m not quite sure how embarrassed I’m supposed to be for thinking, as I look at the cusp-of-18 Olsen twins on the cover of the September Rolling Stone: “Yep, they’re hot.”

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