'I'm not sexualising my daughter'
A MOTHER accused of sexualising her young daughter in a bizarre quest for fame has hit back by labelling her critics perverts.
Jenna Eastland, 31, says she spends thousands of dollars annually on skimpy outfits, make-up, hair extensions and tanning sessions for seven-year-old Layla Thompson.
Layla's controversial look, which is showcased on several online platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, has generated accusations Ms Eastland is "sexualising" the child.
"I get abuse all the time saying I'm sexualising her, but I think that if people think that then there's something sadly wrong with them even thinking that about a kid," a defiant Ms Eastland said.
She said Layla was "bored of real life" and that the dream of becoming famous was her daughter's, not her own. The youngster was "mature for her age" and "loved to pose".
"She's not a normal seven-year-old,' Ms Eastland said. "She would be a great reality TV star."
The pair, who are from County Durham in northern England, are a fixture at beauty pageants and dance competitions. Ms Eastland has also set up a Star Now account for emerging models, actors and dancers.
The obsession with Layla's appearance is now affecting her diet, with the child taking to eggwhites and yoga because "she saw on YouTube it's better for you", according to her mother.
Ms Eastland claimed her daughter possessed a determination to succeed that was beyond her years, putting on make-up before she could walk.
"She's always worn make-up and dressed up from the age of one. If I left make up she would cover herself in bronzer," she told the Mirror.
"By the time she was two she was putting on her own mascara. She has always been mature for her age and loved to pose.
"It was apparent from a young age, I'd get my camera out and she would just instantly pose without any prompt.
"She just wants to be famous and has the mind set of an adult. For her birthday she told me she wanted a boat ride with dinner on the boat."
Winning several beauty pageants had fuelled her daughter's quest for fame, Ms Eastland said.
"Layla just loves all attention being on her. She loves fake tan, make up, false eyelashes, hair pieces and bling," she said.
"She would much rather get clothes or make-up than toys. It costs me a fortune. Dance costumes alone cost thousands.
"She only eats the white of eggs because she saw on YouTube it's better for you and she likes yoga and iced tea. Layla's got a six pack so she loves wearing belly tops and shorts.
"I guess people might think it's too young but it's just Layla."
The seven-year-old was recently selected to represent Durham in international beauty pageant Miss British Empire next month.
She has also been offered the chance to represent the UK in Junior Model International and Miss Superglobe held in India in September.