Melbourne: Australia’s Next Top Model producers are under fire for allegedly promoting size-zero figures amongst young girls.
One of the contestants, Alison Boxer, 16, weighs 55 kilos, and has been told by the judges to lose centimetres off her thighs – in spite of being underweight.
"It was a shock to the system to be told I needed to lose weight," News.com.au quoted Alison as saying.
"At home a lot of people say I`m too skinny. I was 50kg at one stage, which I thought was a bit scary.
"So I was coming from a place where people were telling me to gain weight, to now people saying I should lose weight.
"I have never tried to lose weight before, but since then I have been going to the gym twice a day and eating in proportion to try to lose the weight," she said.
Model agent and show scout Lizzi Leighton Clark said that although they weren’t looking for any particular body types, "at the end of the day you have to be tall and skinny to be a model".
"Hopefully, we have a range of body shapes, faces and personalities, but tall and slim is what works," she said.
Eating Disorders Victoria spokeswoman Megan O``Connor, however, has criticized the show for promoting the zero size image as “in”, creating impressions on young girls.
"Most people would look at her and see a particularly attractive young woman, yet it is suggested she lose further weight, and it is not attainable," O`Connor said.
She added: "We would prefer the show to promote diversity of body shape rather than assume a model needs to look super skinny."