Model blasts the PM

TWEED model Samantha Harris fears skinny models are set to become fashion victims if Kevin Rudd goes through with a proposed crackdown on the industry.

The Federal Government has threatened to put corset-like restrictions on the fashion industry in a bid to battle youth's growing obsession with body image.

In recent years, surveys conducted by the government have suggested that body image is a high concern for Australian teens, fuelled by the use of super skinny models by fashion magazines and designers.

The Federal Office for Youth will examine the idea of a code of conduct for the fashion industry which could place tighter restrictions on fashion magazines, forcing them to use more "normal-sized" models, disclose digital enhancement of images and limit advertising for diet products and cosmetic surgery.

But for someone with worldwide experience modelling major designer labels such as Alex Perry and Wayne Cooper, Banora Point beauty Ms Harris said the planned code of conduct would unnecessarily punish thin models.

"I'm a naturally thin person and so are most of the girls I know in the industry. We shouldn't all be punished because nature made us this way," the 17-year-old said.

"We're all conscious about being in an industry where we have to look good. I eat well and exercise regularly to keep myself in shape.

"The same would go for a plumber and his equipment."

Federal Youth Minister Kate Ellis said the Office of Youth would table its report to the government next year.

"We've got reports from hospitals of children as young as six being admitted with anorexia. It's pretty clear that there's a substantial issue out there and it's a complex one that the government must address," Ms Ellis said.

It is believed the government is considering making it a voluntary code.

"We are only in initial stages at this point," Ms Ellis said.

"It's for the good of the health of Australian children."

Ms Harris said she anticipated many magazines would not support the code.

"If the picture is beautiful it doesn't matter how it got that way," Ms Harris said.

"I don't know about my pictures being digitally enhanced; I cannot see a big difference."

Ms Harris said the problem lies with clothing designers who were making clothing too small.

"Maybe Mr Rudd should talk to the designers instead of models and the magazines, because if the clothes are too small they can't use a bigger variety of models.

"This is probably just Mr Rudd's way of protecting the young people of Australia."



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