Half of the pictures show the cast members in various pieces of lingerie and underwear, while in the other half, they each wear additional clothing to show "how simple — and chic — it can be to turn your underthings into double-duty showpieces."
Elle's creative director Joe Zee was the mastermind behind the spread, which paid no attention to the fact that the stars – Eleanor Zichy, James Newman, Rachel Thevenard, Britne Oldford, Camille Cresencia-Mills and Sofia Black D'Elia – range in age from just 15 years old to 19.
The cast's youth had already raised the ire of the Parents Television Council, which has said the sex-filled series may "have violated child pornography laws." Not surprisingly, a rep for the PTC told EW.com that they "have some concerns" about the Elle photos as well.
"We had concerns about the GQ photo shoot of ''Glee,'' even though [that cast] was over the age of 19, because they were presenting themselves as high schoolers," the New York Daily News quoted Melissa Henson, the Director of Communications and Public Education for the Parents Television Council, as saying.
"With this, even though the poses are less provocative, the fact that they have these underage girls wearing lingerie is troubling," she continued. "It does contribute to the problem we're seeing increasingly, sexualizing young girls."
Henson added that, "These are clearly very talented and capable actresses, but the purpose of that photo shoot and having them pose in lingerie isn't to highlight their acting ability. It's to highlight their attractiveness." In response, Elle's editor-in-chief Robbie Myers says the purpose of the shoot was to actually draw attention to the fashion. "Innerwear as outerwear has been a trend for decades, and Joe Zee's point was to make what the actors wear on their show more fashion, less vulgar," she said.
"The content of Skins is infinitely more racy than anything we'd have them do. And we had the blessing of their parents: they were at the shoot," she added.