[Content Note: Hostility to consent.]
There is a video, which I am not sharing here for reasons that will become obvious, of North West, the two-year-old daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, being taken to ballet class by her nanny. (As an aside, her mother usually accompanies her to ballet class, but is currently heavily pregnant, which I suspect is why the nanny was taking her.) Paparazzi snap millions of photos and shoot video of her. In her little toddler voice, she says, "No pictures! I said no pictures!" Her nanny repeats, "She said no pictures."
The paparazzi make "Aww, how adorable!" noises, while they continue to take pictures of her.
Against her explicit request that they not.
The hostility to consent starts so fucking early.
Her "sassy" response to be photographed is "adorable," read the news stories. She is "taking control of her image," just like her parents!
They assign grown-up motivations to a child, and reduce her resistance to being exploited to something "cute," in order to justify this gross disrespect of her consent.
There are people who will certainly be inclined to argue that North West is fair game, because her parents are famous, and/or because her parents have shared images of her.
But those arguments are irrelevant—not least of which because her parents weren't there. North West was asserting her own agency. She was saying in her own voice that she didn't want her photo taken.
And everyone laughed at how adorable it was. This tiny female child imagining that what she wants matters.
I heard you, Nori.