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When Dannielynn Birkhead, the 6-year-old daughter of the late Anna Nicole Smith, was introduced as the next face of Guess, the news was met with some criticism. Now, her father, Larry Birkhead, is defending his decision, calling it a tribute to her mother, who also modeled for the label.
“Dannielynn has always looked up to her mom's image and … I think that this is kind of Dannielynn's way of paying tribute to her mom in her own special way,” Birkhead told Good Morning America Tuesday.
Birkhead notes that this is her chance to build a connection to her mother, who died when she was just five-months-old. Smith was 39 when she died of a drug overdose.
“To see her mom's picture next to hers as a Guess girl and say, 'Hey, I was a Guess Kids girl, my mommy was a Guess girl,' that might be her only connection with her mom,” he said.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Smith was the Guess girl in 1992, months after she had her first Playboy cover.
Birkhead stressed to GMA that this is not a sign that Dannielynn will still grow up a normal kid. “My goal for her is for her to be a child and just do what all kids do,” he said.
The daughter of music producer Babyface, Peyton Edmunds, also appears in the Guess ads, which will appear in January 2013.