Larry Birkhead Tear-Jerkingly Explains Why He Exploited Dannielynn For GUESS

Anna Nicole Smith‘s now 6-year-old daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, did a little modeling as “second-generation GUESS girl,” according to the company’s creative director. Not shockingly — neither her father nor the company seemed to find anything even the slightest bit problematic about lassoing the gawk factor of deceased Anna Nicole’s only living child into dollar signs. But Dannielynn’s father, Larry Birkhead, doesn’t even cite money– and shame on us for thinking so.

People magazine reports that because Dannielynn  was only five months old when her mother died, shilling product for GUESS may be the only “connection” they’ll share:

“Dannielynn has always looked up to her mom’s image and said that her mom’s an angel,” Birkhead told Good Morning America on Tuesday.

“I think that this is kind of Dannielynn’s way of paying tribute to her mom in her own special way….To see her mom’s picture next to hers as a GUESS girl and say, ‘Hey, I was a GUESS Kids girl and my mommy was a Guess girl,’ that might be her only connection with her mom,” Birkhead explains.

If selling products for a company that didn’t even hesitate to make a profit off of her is the only way this baby can connect with her mother, then we’ve somehow stumbled into a new angle of dysfunction in all this. Luckily, Larry maintains that he doesn’t intend for Dannielynn to spend much more time in front of the cameras, saying that his “goal for her is to to be a child and do what all kids do.”

As in not pushing GUESS-branded fedoras and denim mini skirts with her deceased mother’s resemblance? Let’s hope so.

(photo: C.Smith/ WENN.com)

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    • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

      I really really hope you are being sarcastic here.
      Because (soapbox coming) How dare you–or anyone–judge how this girl connects with her dead mother.
      If they were dressing this 7 year old up in the same outfit that her mom modeled–sure that might be exploitative. They’re not. She is dressed in totally age appropriate clothes. The skirt might be a little short for my taste for someone her age, but compared to the child models who are being dressed up like 30 year old divorcees? This is nothing.
      And again, I think you are jumping on the “Let’s bash Larry Birkhead” train too hastily. It was a sweet thing, a way for her to connect with her mother. He says that he does not plan on letting her continue to model. He says he wants to let her be a kid. How about we give the man the benefit of the doubt before we start condemning him?
      As for the “gawk” feature that you’re talking about: How is this any different than Cindy Crawford’s daughter modeling for Versace? The only articles I saw about that were ones that said how pretty her daughter was and whether or not a mini skirt was appropriate The only difference here is that this little girl’s mother is dead and that towards the end of her life she was a tabloid fixture.
      Give the man a break. Give this little girl a break. Someday she’s going to be googling herself and her Mom, and articles like this are going to put what was to her a lovely way to bond with her mom into a nasty light. How about we let her keep this memory as a sweet one.

      Also, I imagine I shouldn’t apply for that Mommyish internship now…..

      • Koa Beck

        Hi Not A Parent. We have a lot of different opinions on Mommyish — especially regarding child modeling. On that note, I of course invite you to apply to our internship. And yes, sarcasm is must around here.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        Thanks Koa. Sarcasm and soapboxes tend to be mainstays of my writing. And I do understand how you could see this as exploitative I just think we’re going to have to wait and see the ramifications of this modeling experience before we can accurately judge it.

    • mm

      Some kids are precocious and know exactly what they want to do. When I was 5 years old I complained about wanting ice skates and lessons for months until I got them. I went on to compete in figure skating until I was 15. I don’t really think it’s fair to say he’s exploiting her. She could easily have wanted to do this. Don’t discredit kids. This is a parenting site, you guys know that kids her age are not stupid.

    • Marla’s mom

      The father could be letting his daughter “be like mom” for a day — maybe that’s her dream-come-true. Do you have the inside scoop on their finances to know this was financially driven? Maybe the paycheck amount is a drop in the bucket to them. Maybe the was deposited to her college trust fund. Perhaps they will donate it to an orphanage or women’s shelter. I doubt you have any insight into the situation, certainly not to merit such scathing judgment.

    • Mari

      Gasp ! How dare this photographer let his child model ?! The nerve! You are beyond ridiculous.

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    • RhonDOH

      I just wonder, though… did little Dannielynn ASK, “Can I be a Guess girl, too, like Mommy?” If so, this is fine. But if Larry went to Guess and said, “I’ve got an idea that’ll make us all a bunch of money. All I’ve got to do is tell my daughter ‘this is what Mommy did’ and she’ll jump at it,” then he is NOT worthy of the title “father.” Google as I might regarding this story, however, and I can’t seem to find anyone mentioning whose idea this was. Judgment pending, I “Guess.”
      No matter what, she is absolutely beautiful, and deserves a fantastic life after such tragic beginnings. Poor baby.