She doesn't know how famous she is

She has been called "the most beautiful girl in the world".

Russian supermodel Kristina Pimenova, eight, has been on catwalks since she was three.

She models for Armani and Roberto Cavalli and is famous for her big blue eyes and bewitching smile.

She has over 2.5 million fans on Facebook and nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram, but has no idea how famous she is worldwide, said her mother, Ms Glikeria Pimenova.

The former model told AFP: "She is a very modest girl, she does not know what it is, this star-mania.

"She never hears the word 'popularity', we simply do not use it at home."

But the Kristina phenomenon has also raised worries and plenty of hackles, with many claiming some of her photoshoots are too sensual for an underage girl.

"She is too young to be so sexually explicit," one of the fans commented on a photo where Kristina is sitting beside a vintage typewriter with her mini-skirt riding up on her thighs.

"Don't forget to be a child!" another commentator wrote.

Ms Pimenova, who handles her daughter's social media accounts and updates them with new photos almost daily, has rejected the criticism.

"If someone reacts to photos abnormally, it's not my problem," she said, adding that Kristina, who turns nine tomorrow, wears only children's clothes and rarely uses make-up.

"Photo sessions take very little time in Kristina's life as she chooses them in a very meticulous manner. Otherwise, she would have worked almost every day," Ms Pimenova said.

American actress, model and former child star Brooke Shields said that the controversies over Kristina's photos highlight ethical problems around child models in the social network age.

As a child, "I had pictures just like that. I think that with social media and with access, it becomes a bit more dangerous," she told New York-based Meredith Vieira TV show earlier this month.


"I don't think these photos (of Kristina) are bad," Shields added.

"People on social media can say whatever inappropriate thing they want to say, they don't have to be responsible and that just becomes dangerous.

"It can get out of hand."

Born in Moscow, Kristina spent the first months of her life in France, where her footballer father Ruslan Pimenov played for FC Metz. She is passionate about gymnastics and spends four to five hours a day training, her mother said.

"Kristina is a very ordinary girl and goes to an ordinary Moscow school," she added.

After school, Kristina goes to gymnastics classes and gets home at around 8pm or later and has only one day off a week, said Ms Pimenova.

Kristina loves pizza and pancakes, and likes to read Alice In Wonderland, Greek myths and The Little Prince, or to make mini-films on her iPhone.

"She dreams of becoming an actress or a film-maker," said Ms Pimenova.

"Kristina has a great inner beauty, maybe others feel it. And there is her face, which many find attractive."

This article was first published on Dec 26, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.