Attn Parents, executive assistants… beware

This message is for the parents of the girls who may be considering attending the event. The organizers prowl the world media for potential invitees. They have lists they collect together and wait for years to see some girls grow old enough to be invited. If you have received an invitation, you have a very serious decisions to make.
If you get any message from this blog, it is that you should consider very seriously what impact of having your family name forever associated with the event.
You need to be sure to research the names on the list they mention. You need to consider where the past participants have gotten from participating (many of the designers are out of business, many of the girls have ongoing personal problems). The truth is that the outcome is pretty scandalous. You might think this is a nice freebie of a weekend in Paris, but the truth is that your daughter will be demeaned(three to a room, schedule answering to strange adults, curfews, etc) and herded around to be photographed and constantly made to submit to whomever is considered the lead name. It is a staged PR event and the organizers are primarily concerned with themselves and not you or your daughters ‘coming out’. (if you look at video of the event you see that it has a very strange stiffness as it is so staged- you will also see the after party sloppiness that is not necessarily present at other world debutantes where young women are truly being introduced to society). The lack of respect for all of the members is clearly evidenced in that the 20 or so girls that participate each year and are not the prime invitee are lost in the back ground(commonly mentioned as ‘fillers’ on this blog). No special mention is made for them. They are treated more as props. They are not published individually. While other debutante events go so far as to create a sort of yearbook which lists the names and backgrounds of all girls, this is not the case with le Bal. (or at least I am still waiting to see a copy)
Most likely if you have been invited, you can afford to do a much better private party on your own. Or you could now go to the Queen Charlotte Ball in the UK or the International Debutante in NYC at the Waldorf (VERY classy).
Chances are that if you have been invited to le bal, the last thing you want is negative publicity.
Chances are if you have been invited, the last thing you want is to pander to the whim of the arrogant organizers who intend to use your name and images for their own profit(collectively le bal and the sponsors who are paying for the whole thing)… (not for the charity, not for you or your daughter).
Most likely if you have been invited, you can afford to buy your daughter her own haute couture gown, actually modeled to her body and unique personality, and that she can actually keep to remember. (as opposed to an off the rack sample from the previous seasons pieces- that’s right, there are not necessarily current designs- they are not made to measure for your daughter. Rather your daughter may be made to measure for the dress when she is asked to lose a few pounds.)

You may also like to know that the charity intake is quite low. according to very high sources amongst the sponsors (higher than le bal organizer), only about 30-40,000 USD was produced for charity in Nov 2008. This is pathetic compared to other charity events (which take millions in a single night… e.g. Amfar, Elton John White Party). Most likely, if you have been invited, you have personally spent more on individual charities or even your own wedding. These organizers manage to bring together 24 of the supposed elite and the best they can do is that small amount after they have spent all the money on their own annual activities.

If you allow your daughter to participate and demean her to this level, what will that say about you too? If on the other hand, you do not feel you are an elite, but you think this is an opportunity to get your daughter up in social ranking, I can assure you there are far better ways to do it. Whether through the media reality frenzy of being notorious, or by actual participation in genuine social circles.

Perhaps the worst of situations… what will you do, if after several months of planning, your previously invited daughter is dis-invited because the organizers think they have found a bigger name that will increase their photography sales? I am aware of possible cases. For no good reason, and with little warning, I have heard that the organizer dropped a girl because suddenly she thought she had a bigger celebrity. She did not admit that. She uses excuses like ‘pushy parents’ (pushy parents is cited in the telegraph). In another case, she proclaimed that the girl was too fat…  The bottom line, as the organizer has later admitted or shown by admitting overweight girls, or girls with pushy parents, it is just a matter of what the organizer thinks will sell better. She will say some thoughless hurtful thing against the minor that isn’t even true. She may even take it back later (I have proof like this in writting). She will do this if she needs your seats or your daughters place, and she does not think you will sell the newspaper, she will drop you. Or if the magazine in your country will not pay as much for the girls images from another country in her local magazines. And YOU will be left having to explain to your daughter that the organizer said your daughter was too fat, or some other silly comment, or that you were too pushy(even though you were not- what a great way to create more animosity between you and your teenage daughter).
The idea is ludicrous. To say such things to a young girl could cause years of emotional problems leading to substance abuse and addiction(but the le bal founder does say such things to young women. She has done this, I have evidence. You can see for yourself by researching old interviews. Mrs. Renouard is quoted many times as saying ‘no fat girls’, and ‘no pushy parents’. Many of her own staff are horrified. Others have apologized for the poor behavior because they can’t believe how crazy she acts. I also know there are pending court cases related to this(at least one). Whether or not they ever see their day in court, or whether or not you believe me, you have an obligation to protect your child and you need to remember that where there is smoke, there is fire.

If you consent, be sure to have your management and or legal staff review the image release contract that you will be asked to sign. You are entitled to a copy by European law. You also should consider limiting the duration of the validity.


6 Responses to “Attn Parents, executive assistants… beware”

  1. 1 anonymous October 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    its true… I have seen it happen before too. The later is usually very nice, but I have seen her do horrible things when she has been stressed out.

  2. 2 anonymous October 12, 2009 at 8:14 am

    That really is horrid. I can’t imagine how I could explain to my daughter that an event we were preparing for to celebrate her ‘coming out’ party could not happen because she is ‘too fat’ or because of acne. Its just not the way an invitation works. And its not how you treat your child. What a terrible woman that must be that she actually thinks that is reasonable?!

  3. 3 anonymous October 12, 2009 at 9:17 am

    In interviews she acts like she is an expert in psychology (! NOT) and she tries too act like it is all for the girls… but its a lie. She does not ever seem to have married or had children… what made her an expert that could take care of people girls and their teenage mentality? She might expect parents to say ridiculous things, but she probably also says the same ridiculous things right to the girls faces.

  4. 4 anonymous October 12, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Money making was obviously the objective of the Crillon event and necessarily charity.
    It never was a real debutante nor a ‘celebutante’ as the participants were never celebrities or offspring of A-list celebrities.
    In fact many of the celebrities like Demi Moore from the D-list looked at the event as an opportunity to promote their failed shot at regaining fame in London- or to try to promote a bad movie.
    The event carries the bad Karma of its founder that is representative of the old french school where you hide your low social status with rudeness snobbishness, and name dropping.
    The result for Demi Moore was in alignment with the fate of the event her daughter was highly criticized by the press and the designer of the dress went out of business, Demi’s London opening went unnoticed, and her Hollywood husband Ashton Kutcher lost his show moving down to the c list.
    Parents should be aware not only that their children may be stigmatized but also their own business can be jeopardized for participating in an event that tries to make money by criticizing and discriminating against a healthy body mass index(BMI).

  5. 6 anonymous October 12, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Oh, and BTW… the most amazing thing for anybody with any economic sense is the picture in the sight of the event were the organizer thanks Demi Moore on her way OUT of the hotel
    the two women tried to boost their own publicity by grabbing from each other and left the Crillon with negative publicity -Demi Moore left to stay elsewhere- and the Sternlicht brothers to cover the bill and the cleaning of the party. Yes that’s right, non- of the Moore or Willis clans stayed at the Crillon that weekend. They opted for competitor hotels like George V. Its outrageous that the le bal organizers could not at least generate some income for the hotel by getting participant families to stay there!
    No wonder Starwood capital has problems generating the return promised to their investors

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