Australia’s Next Top Model Tells Underweight Teenage Contestant to Lose Weight

not-thin-enough - Australia's Next Top Model Tells Underweight Teenage Contestant to Lose Weight

At 120 pounds (55 kg), Alison Boxer, a 16 year-old contestant for the Australia’s Next Top Model title, is not thin enough for the popular show. Alison wasn’t the only girl labeled “too big”, as 3 more girls were asked to melt cm off their thighs or shed some kg off their already-thin frames. How does the young contestant (who is already underweight according to BMI) feel about the request? Details from Harold Sun:

“It was a shock to the system to be told I needed to lose weight. 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.”
“It was a bit of a shock as I’m so young and new to the world and to be told, no, your walk was bad and to lose weight in the first week was pretty full-on.

“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.”

Oh that last statement is sad…

The feedback came right away:

Eating Disorders Victoria spokeswoman Megan O’Connor slammed the show for promoting a poor body image among impressionable teenagers.

“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,” Ms O’Connor said.

“We would prefer the show to promote diversity of body shape rather than assume a model needs to look super skinny.”

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63 thoughts on “Australia’s Next Top Model Tells Underweight Teenage Contestant to Lose Weight”

  1. That is just ff—* up. This has been going on for years and yet no one has done anything about this, so typical eh.. Everyone knows it’s wrong, everyone b—es about it but nothing is done. Oh this world is doomed 🙁

    • agreed.
      in reply to beckers! comment below me- i agree. i think that australias next top model is even more harsh than americas next top model. sometimes i feel we (australia) try far too hard to be america. Not that being like America is necessarily a bad thing (am talking in regards to body image here), but just that Australia take it too far

  2. I have noticed Australias next top model is particulary bad for it. They are harsh to them about their weight and constantly pressurising many contestants to sort out their bodies. They also have younger contestants which really means they should be less critical.

  3. Modeling is definitely not part of this world. It just encourages anorexic, androgynous-looking women…which is very sad. And the girls who aspire to be models (at least the mainstream super skinny models) have to be thin or (sometimes literally) die trying. even the Vsecret models who used to be healthy looking are getting scary skinny. I think teen and women magazines should refrain from posting images of these anorexic models… leave them for the fashion shows or vogue since these editors and designers such as karl lagerfeld loves them…I am definitely against the next top model shows…most of these girls look sick…

    • exactly. it is a trend (even in VS) that looks sick. not sexy. i am not saying no thin girls are sexy! i am just saying that most are not meant to be that thin and it is glorified as the only and ‘best’ body type. i saw a playback of VS shows from the early 90s to now…wow! seriously. what a change. when you actually see the models bhack to back in the shows they have gotten much much thinner…and also ‘bustier’ (as in more padding, more push up)

  4. Ugh.
    She’s gorgeous, with a rocking bod.
    It’s not okay to tell people that their perfectly healthy/perhaps even underweight (though she doesn’t look emaciated, so I’d say she’s prolly healthy) body is too big, no matter what their age.

  5. wow and she is tiny!!! they are sick to say something like that to a teen. the fact that they are so young they can’t stand up for themselves and instead “go to the gym to sort out their bodies” is so sad.

  6. She’s a beauty, hopefully she’ll find successful someplace that will appreciate her more. It makes me sad to think there are models that are younger than her that are told worse.

  7. If fashion designers are too tight with money to produce bigger garments, that’s their problem and shouldn’t expect the models to conform to their ridiculous standards.

    • it is naturual…i watched that season…they made her eat more on the show…showed it…everything was filmed….she liked that she just “got to eat more cake haha”

      i have a friend who has a medical problem where she cannot gain any weight at all…so you can’t really assume anything

      • chill… but I don’t think a bmi under 17 -18 is natural in any way. What does a natural weight even mean? The weight you are when you eat 2000 cals a day?

        • good point! When I was 16 I weighed 115 lbs ate like two horses and my parents thought I was eating them out of house and home!
          Now if I look at a pizza I gain 10 lbs!! Ha!!

  8. This is so wrong. I think she is too skinny as it is, and I definitely don’t want to see girls who are stick thin and worse than this. I like girls like Eva Mendes who are slim but fabulously toned and healthy. Models should be girls who have AMAZING figures that we should aspire to, but that are above all HEALTHY. Models are supposed to be natural beauties not people who have to torture themselves to fit a mould that the public DON’T EVEN LIKE!! I wish that designers and model agencies would read websites like this and realise that they are not giving the public want they want. People who like this sort of look have just been conditioned to like it. If it’s not natural, it shouldn’t be advertised.

    It is beyond irritating to have these stick thin, ill-looking girls forced upon us.

  9. In last year’s season, they labeled one of the contestants, Lola as “plus-size” and during one of the shoots one of the photographers said her “I wouldn’t put a girl with thighs that large in a Chanel skirt.” I remember seeing her after the show in Surry Hills and she was so THIN..if that’s what they call plus-size then I would hate to see what the industry’s definition of thin is. This girl is miniature, they need a reality check.

  10. This is absolutely disgusting. This girl is absolutely beautiful and plenty thin enough IMHO. She’s only 16. A 16 year old should NEVER be told to lose weight unless she is obese and it is for health reasons. No wonder girls are suffering from ED’s at younger and younger ages. Her last statement was incredibly sad and unfortunately she will probably now struggle with an unhealthy lifestyle of overexercising and under eating or purging for a very long time. This is just so wrong. How sad.

  11. While I think this is pretty ridiculous (Alison’s at an ideal weight right now), this is the industry she and the other contestants are trying to break into. It is cruel, harsh, and overall uncaring when it comes to how it treats its models. They are seen as interchangeable clothes-hangers. Which is why I don’t believe this industry is ‘forcing these ill-looking girls’ on us. Less fabric, cheaper to make apparel, perhaps even easier presentation because the less there is of a model, the more the clothes stand out.

  12. too skinny? she’s already skinny as it is and now they want her to lose more? it’s like you can’t be a certain size without people telling you to lose weight or get surgery to fit into some beauty standard. but i also realize that we need to stop paying so much attention to the media because like it or not, it won’t change. it’s messed up but the media won’t change for nobody and i think it’s best if this girl model somewhere else where she is healthy and keep her body the way it is. i feel we have let this gone too far. we can blame the media all we want to but we’ve let this happen and tell young girls in order to be beautiful you have to look thin or curvy, blonde or brunette, long hair or short, you name it. young girls shouldn’t have to suffer over some stupid standard. we all say we love ourselves, including me but how much are we showing it? the media standards won’t change when it comes to beauty but i won’t let some standard change me at all. sorry but just because the media find something beautiful and have to hold to that standard doesn’t mean i have to do it or anyone else. why can’t women just be themselves without being judge for the way they look?

  13. well, let’s be real, most of the weights they give on that show are bull. I’ll assume she’s about 5’9 coz i can’t find her height and that seems to be the average of girls on auntm, anyway i really doubt that alice burdeau (season 3 winner) was only 128, i’ve got a friend that skinny who weighs the same but is my height (5’9)

    but that being said, she doesnt need to lose weight, even for modelling. there’s so many girls who do fashion week who look like that picture (unless maybe she’s bigger and they photoshopped it? i dont know) maybe auntm hounds them to lose weight, because sometimes really really skinny girls get lots of catwalk work even if they are bad models, so if the winner is super skinny she will have a bigger chance of working, even if she’s a crap model (which is likely if its a next top model show)

    • alice burdeau was that skinny….she got on scales on one of the episodes where they all had to….and was measured…and the scale came up with that weight

      • mm well i guess everyone carries weight differently. or she looks a lot heavier in photos than she actually is? i dont know. but my friend really does look the same as the posted photo and she’s the same weight but 4″ shorter.

  14. Yeah when I see that girl, the first thing that’s comes to mind is FATTY. She really needs to lose 20 pounds.

  15. All of the NTM shows piss me off. America’s is the worst; Tyra shows just how two-faced she is. She blabs off about empowerment, acceptance and wanting to change the modeling world on her own show. Then she turns around and picks the girls apart on that one.

  16. the worst part of all of this for me is the effect it has on my self esteem. i am 180cm tall and weigh at around 73 kgs. it makes it so much easier to compare myself to these girl because of teh similar heights. the thing is, when i eat well for around a week and get a flat stomach i actually feel likei have a nice body when i look in the mirror. but if i’m 25 kgs heavier than most models, am i huge? it’s all too confusing, so i just decide to be strong and not conform to anyone or anything.

    • I think you have to take into account the deference in bone density and muscle density. If a girl is malnurished and underweight, more than likely her body has recycle most of the calcium from her bones just to function. I mean you need calcium for other things besides bones and teeth. So if you’re a healthy girl you are naturally going to weigh more than a model or pro ana type girl. Another thing, most of these girls are teenagers. Meaning they haven’t completed all of their development. So you’re muscles are going to be larger and denser and weight more, not to mention your bones will be stronger and heavier. So the best thing to do, is never compare yourself to models. Just be healthy and strong. If you think you look hot, that’s all that matters.

      • Well said, MaryBeth!

        Charlie, we all have insecurities, but don’t succumb to yours by comparing yourself to runway models.

        The advice they gave to this girl can’t possibly be on beauty. I’m actually starting to think that, like another poster said, what they expect her to look like is no more than a walking hanger. If there is a way in which she could look better, it is NOT weight loss!

        As for you, if it is true that you need to lose weight, just do it to the point where you said you felt good about it.

    • People carry their weight differently. For example, me and my BF have almost the same weight and I am very thin while she has a body like Kelly Brooke(at that photo with the pink dress where she loooks very curvy and pretty)!But she weights less than me!!!

  17. Silly people! It is a JOB! It is not a forum for every bodies insecurities. BMI is outdated anyway so stop using what we know is inaccurate. Since we cannot tell if the photo was not Photo shopped then what is a illusion. Many people do not want to do the work to put the time and exercise in to keep their bodies firm. Slim thighs are a part of that. Because it is a photograph it is not possible to do the measurements to decide if she will be Cat walk or not.

    • Just because something is part of a JOB does not excuse it.

      If being an artist came with having to prostitute yourself to the producers, would that be okay too? Because it’s part of the JOB?

      If it’s part of the JOB, the JOB needs to change.

      • That is idealist and incorrect. Go to a model casting website and look thru working models. These “headline wonders” are to sell magazines,and newspapers. Be more critical in evaluations. Go and ck how BMI was done in the 1960’s with 3 distinct body styles and then what was expected!
        About weight look at professional athletes. Weight is very important to them too!

  18. I’m pretty much desensitized to this sort of crap. And I’m going to be honest here, but who really cares? The girls should know that they’re trying to make a career about what they look like and should be ready for anything. If it’s not what they want, pack it in a try another way. It’s a bit stupid to be blaming the fashion industry as it is the models who just follow blindly. Imagine how much the industry would change if every size zero said “No more, I’ve had enough”
    THAT is what it will take to change this bullsh*t.
    Rant over.

    • That not the right answer.

      50-70 years ago, women had very much trouble trying to be doctors and lawyers and other traditional male jobs.
      Should they have been ready for anything, any abuse, just because the status quo was effed up?

      Can’t it be something they want, but in different conditions?

      Same as women can now to go college and be respected as equals, maybe the fashion industry needs a bit shaking up too. Rules that say you are not allowed to do this sort of thing. Because it’s sick and wrong.

      Teenagers are considered minors for a reason. They can consent to decisions (like losing weight) without being able to realise the implications. The same way you cannot have sex with a teenager as an adult, you shouldn’t be able to tell them to lose weight either. That is just too much power in the hands of money-oriented people who care 0% about the model’s health and quality of life.

      • Thumbs up, Suzuzhii!
        As for a possible solution for this, I think Chester is right when she says that a mobilization from the size 0’s themselves could make a difference.

    • they know the industry is based on looks…but for NO job should anyone asked to be unhealthy. that is the problem. i would personally find it wrong and stupid to ask a healthy size US 6 to become a healthy size US 4 (drop 5lbs and tone up)…but that isn’t asking them to be UNHEALTHY. that is purely aesthetic, and a critical view of their appearance, but not necessarily unhealthy. or to ask someone for go from brown to blonde or vice versa…or a different haircut. that is the job. to ask this young woman to lose more weight IS unhealthy. that is the difference. no one should be asked to sacrifice her health for her ‘appearance’ for a job. end of story.

      secondly, the idea about models rebelling against the size zero trend sounds nice and all, but it doesn’t really work. everyone would have to get together and agree, because if any of them weren’t in on it, they would get all the jobs. and there is always someone who is willing to do anything for the promise of fame and fortune. and there ARE campaigns against it now…and everyone freaks out and says its crap. i have seen it right here on this site. yes, they are more often then not ‘plus-sized.’ but what should the new standard be if plus size models aren’t good enough to fight for the cause? are size 4’s healthy enough? are size 2’s? some people aren’t healthy at a 2, but others would be too heavy at a 10. should the standard still be ‘thin’ because that will always be taken to the extreme. and why should the ‘thin’ models, who work to be zeros, encourage a standard other than thin? they would be out of jobs! they probably are naturally between a 2 and 4…they’d never say ‘size 6 or size 8! healthy, athletic, and maybe a few curves!’ if they said ‘let us be at our natural weight,’ and it worked, the trend would always be in danger of sliding back, since they would already be thin…and told there are girls who are thin enough ‘naturally,’ so sorry, if you want in, get down to that weight like them. AND there would be girls who were naturally 6’s maybe even 8’s who struggled and fought to get to 2’s and 4’s to be models.

      i personally think the industry should encourage diversity, and let the girls of different sizes then come forward (without fear of rejection on size alone or fear of being asked to be unhealthy). there is diversity in models’ ‘looks,’ so why not sizes? but that really isn’t up to the models.

  19. this is why women are starving to death from anorexia… ( i know anorexia has other causes but hey.. this superficial garbage can’t help.) Just disgusting, i bet the losers who told her to lose weight are fugly and insecure and spread their web of anger

  20. She’s beautiful and slender, if she loses weight she’s probably going to look fugly and sick.
    It’s so unfortunate that teenagers who watch the show are going to put this recommendation into practice and become anorexic, even tho they are not models and don’t need to be particularly thin.
    Also, once again, this proves that most models who claim to be “naturally thin” in fact are not…. the fear to lose their money and their career is stronger than the desire to have a healthy lifestyle. Sad.

  21. well i understand that clothes look better on a tall and slender person, but when the models are too skinny you can’t even look at the clothes anymore, you just look at the bones that are sticking out. that’s just disturbing.

  22. I dont get why everyone wants all these models to look the same, it is becoming so boring seeing the typical tall skinny girl walk down the runway. It is so repetitive and boring

  23. i guess the reason behind them wanting super-skinny contestants is that instead of ‘only’ being tv-entertainment, ausntm actually tries to find models who will have successful international careers. if you look at america’s next top model, they encourage a diversity of shapes (plus-size/shorter than the average model). although their winners are absolutely gorgeous, only very few have had great careers (jaslene). ausntm, on the other side, has had people like cassie van den dungen, who, despite not winning, now makes a living of modelling.
    that said, i think it is wrong to for a show whose target demographic is young and impressionable girls to promote such standards. it’s bad enough if an agent at a modelling agency tells the girl to shed some weight even if she is underweight, but at least in that case, it won’t be shown on tv, where it can lead girls (and boys) to mistakenly thinking that one needs to be thin to be pretty. in my opinion, (insert nation here)ntm should aspire to giving its viewers a good idea of what ‘healthy’ is in the fashion industry. although antm’s participants usually are very thin, tyra would never tell her twigs to shed pounds.

  24. If you are not the right measurements and you cant book a job and you aren’t naturally waif thin go plus size or find another vocation! As simple as

    • Because they are “right for the job” This isn’t like the olymics where the old crowd forced a change Why per-mature have better physics (polar center) and can do maneuvers that a “mature” cannot!!

  25. my first thought was ‘how irresponsible of the show to do something like this publicly…’

    and it was irresponsible…but the silver lining is that we get to see how absolutely ridiculous the modeling industry can be. i look at that girl and think she needs to gain a few…and they tell her she needs to lose? i can process that it is insane and its an industry that doesn’t abide by the standards of classic beauty or even what is generally considered attractive. but a 13 year old probably can’t. the modeling industry is entitled to want whatever they want – its a free market – but to be so public on a show targeted at young girls is just inexcusable. hopefully there will be enough outcry and these young girls will get the message that it is an insane standard and they do not need to live up to it to be beautiful.

  26. This picture does not even remotely look like Alison on week one of cycle 6.On the program she is not only noticably chunky,but unlike the others she does not appear to have a single toned muscle in her entire body,much like Tahnee the night she won (after months of not working out) and Demelza.Thanks to Tahnee never missing a meal and failing to work out thruout series 5,combined with people voting for this travesty,this show has had two duds in a row and industry people now see that this show is as big a joke as Tyras, just having the dumb luck of Alice walking thru their door in early 2007 and her being so exceptional that she overcame show internal politics and body image nonsense.This show is now paying the price for making teens alergic to exercise have their positive body image for a night in early July 09.For cycle 6 no Paris,Milan,London,or NY,and the city willing to have them had no major agents interested in the show anymore as with cycles 4-5.As far as comments that the girl pictured above is too skinny,I suppose they are to be expected from the masses considering that during Tahnee’s rise in 09, Australia eclipsed the U.S. and earned the dubious distinction of worlds fattest country.

  27. I get that High designers want their models to look super skinny because they want their clothes to look like their hanging on rack, but in reality you putting real PEOPLE into these clothes! Hello! were not 1in thick, and will never be!
    Plus I REALLY don’t get why you would want clothes being shown on the runway to look like their just hanging their.. I thought you were trying to sell your clothes to the public, The people! How will ANYONE no what certain outfit will look good on them if they don’t know what it look like on people in different heights and weights, how can a majority of women with curves and healthy bodies relate to something that looks blah on a 80lb. model?
    I dont understand.. I have wanted to model and still do but i would never want to get into the HIGH fashion world of really really skinny and bone industry. I want to be apart of the sports and modern day beauty of fashion/modeling where muscle and fit healthy bodies is something that is preferred compared to the i haven’t eaten food in 10days look or the Holocaust look.

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