Lifestyle

Debate rages over teen modelling

UPDATE: A YOUNG Sunshine Coast model, a prominent modelling agency and a child psychologist have weighed into a heated debate about how young is too young to enter the cut-throat world of fashion modelling.

Controversy was sparked following the announcement that 13-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl Kirsty Thatcher won the 2012 Dolly magazine search contest.

The competition was famously axed by former editor Mia Freedman just years after the discovery of Miranda Kerr in 1997, because she thought 13-year-olds were too young to enter.

Now a decade on and it seems Miss Thatcher will follow in Kerr's footsteps as the youngest of six finalists selected from thousands of teenage girls around the country, starting up the child beauty war once again.

Successful Coast model Caity Sanderson (pictured), who walked in her first bikini catwalk at just 14, said 13 was the right age to begin a modelling career.

"I did my first photo shoot at 13, it was very beautiful in a field of flowers, the photographer was great and talked me through the shoot and I felt very comfortable," Miss Sanderson said.

"From there I continued with the photo shoots and when I was asked to model in a bikini they were very considerate and never pressured me into anything.

"I was ready to model at 13, I was tall and I had very adult bone structure, which is the same for Kirsty and the reason why she looks so much older in photographs."

Coast model agent Serena Keenan agreed, saying many models knew they wanted to model as a career by the age 13.

"They know if they want to model and I can't see anything wrong with launching their careers then," Mrs Keenan said.

"What better way for them to have this sort of direction in life and the self-confidence that comes hand in hand with modelling."

However USC child phycologist Rachael Sharman said 13 was far too young to launch a career.

"This is an adult industry - we don't ask young men to start apprenticeships as a mechanic or plumber at 13 and that is because they are not ready," Dr Sharman said.

"I cannot think of any other profession where 13 is considered an appropriate age to start working in an adult industry and why some people think this is, is ridiculous."

Current Dolly editor Tiffany Dunk defended the decision to revive the competition this year.

She told media the competition had changed considerably, the magazine now working with the Butterfly Foundation which focused on body image issues and the media, to ensure it presented a "positive role model for young girls."

 

Model teen not stuck for options

THE 13-year-old winner of the Dolly magazine Model Search has a range of back-up options if a career on the catwalk does not work out.

Brisbane Girls Grammar student Kirsty Thatcher, who was named the winner on Monday, has broad interests in the arts and sport.

Kirsty shares her time between ballet and the piano, rowing, basketball and acting out Shakespeare with the Queensland Theatre Company.

"I can definitely see modelling as a career for me, but if it doesn't work out there are other things I could try as well," Kirsty said after being named from five finalists at Sydney's Museum Of Contemporary Art.

A range of interests was a key criterion in the nationwide contest, revived under the current Dolly editor Tiffany Dunk 10 years after it was axed by her predecessor Mia Freedman.

It followed controversy caused by the rise of another 13-year-old winner in 1997, Miranda Kerr, with critics claiming the young model was exploited in a series of provocative magazine shoots.

The competition now focuses on amateur beauties who can shine "on the inside and out" that readers of Dolly can relate to, says Dunk.

"We were looking for someone who's confident and has a healthy body image with interests outside modelling," she said.

Kirsty will feature heavily in the magazine as a model and columnist after she beat more than 500 hopefuls to win the contest.

 

Topics:  beauty, fashion, model, teenager



Former boyfriend's tribute to Home Hill stabbing victim

Jamison Stead met Mia Ayliffe-Chung on the Gold Coast in April. Photo: Facebook

"Mia was a beautiful soul who was always looking out for people."

‘Tireless’ principals paid tribute over new Ballina school

School principals thanked for their role in merger

Grave concerns for man missing a week

Jesse Southam-Marsh is missing.

GRAVE concerns are held by friends and family of Jesse Southam-Marsh

Latest deals and offers

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep