A Russian model, aged just six, has been dubbed the "most beautiful girl in the world" – and people are torn between whether it's true or just creepy.
Anastasia Knyazeva, who turned six in July, has 561,000 Instagram followers on an account run by her mother. She came to global attention this week after a Daily Mail article highlighted her beauty. Anastasia is represented by Russian modelling agency President Kids Management and her mother has been sharing photos of her from photoshoots and behind the scenes since she was just four.
Responding to the Daily Mail article, which called Anastasia the most beautiful girl in the world, mum Anna said: "Thank you. Very unexpected, but certainly nice."
Anastasia has received countless sexual comments of various degrees on her Instagram page, ranging from "How cute babe" to "those eyes, beautiful". However, hundreds of people have said online this week that calling her the most beautiful girl in the world is creepy, and sets unrealistic expectations.
One person on Twitter said: "Proclaiming little girls "the most beautiful girl in the world" is extremely disturbing. Let them be kids for crying out loud." Another user called it "absolutely s**t parenting".
The comments on the Daily Mail article saw a mixed response. Some were negative: "This is gross. Encouraging something that none of us want. Let the child be a child," and "Why can't they just let her "be a kid" instead of thinking about her appearance." Others called it "sick" and "creepy," saying "let little girls be little".
Others took the opposite path, calling Anastasia "beautiful as sunshine," a "sweet little angel," and another said she had "beautiful big eyes". One particularly unnerving comment said: "Phwoar she is gonna be a looker!"
Many others called her beautiful but decried the fact she was plastered all over Instagram at such a young age, questioning why adults would follow a six-year-old on social media.
Discussing children on social media, psychologist Emma Kenny told Yahoo: "The problem with baby branding is that firstly you are sharing information about them without their permission, and secondly you are creating a voice which isn't actually theirs, and this means that people are getting to know you and not your child."
Photographer Lance Burkitt also expressed concern that Anastasia's photos have been retouched and photoshopped, and the effect it may have on other children. He said on Twitter: "Could those images be any more over retouched? What signal does this send out to kids? Most beautiful girl in the world, has to be retouched to death..."
Anastasia appears to be following in the footsteps of French model Thylane Blondeau, who was also dubbed the most beautiful girl in the world at age six. Now aged 16, she is brand ambassador for L'Oréal and signed to modelling agency IMG.