The cover, which Gomez posted on Instagram, shows the 22-year-old former Disney star wide-eyed and pouty, wearing curly pageant-queen extensions accessorized with a girlish red bow. The effect is a combination of baby-faced innocence and provocative posing that reads a little bit Lolita.
While Gomez has made a definite effort to distance herself from her Wizards of Waverly Place past (see: Spring Breakers), it seems as if V is using her child-star persona to transform the actress into a forbidden fruit type of sexual object. And although she may be an adult, it’s uncomfortable and a bit problematic to see Gomez portrayed this way—specifically reading, “Haha, this was a child star who still has big doe-like eyes and now she’s super sexy.” Perhaps the point of the cover is to provoke, but having a topless young girl emphasize her youth just reinforces the way our culture sexualizes young girls. That isn’t new or revolutionary.