A contestant on the upcoming season of Australia’s Next Top Model has come forward and said that just one week into filming, she was asked to lose weight. Alison Boxer is 16 years old, 120 pounds, and would be considered “underweight” according to the internationally recognized Body Mass Index.
The advice apparently came from an unnamed guest mentor on the show. Boxer said the request was a shock to her system.
“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’s a pretty bold move for a show that last year awarded the prize to the equivalent of a U.S. size 6 — so bold that one can’t help but wonder if this an incredibly low way to garner publicity. A spokesperson for the show even willingly admitted that Boxer had been told to lose weight, though was careful to clarify that the request was to lose a centimeter around her waist. Boxer maintains that it was her hips and thighs that were the problem.
A more damning statement came from a scout for the show, who said they strive to “have a range of body shapes, faces and personalities” but that “at the end of the day, you have to be tall and skinny to be a model.”
The saddest thing about this whole story might be Boxer’s reaction. “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.”