25 April 2009

'I'm not malnourished': model speaks out

"I think that it’s horrible... they don’t know me, and they don’t know what I eat every morning or for lunch or dinner." Stephanie Naumoska

A Sydney model strongly denies claims she's malnourished, after competing in the Australian finals of the Miss Universe competition.

19-year-old Stephanie Naumoska is 180 centimetres tall, and weighs just 49 kilograms.

Miss Naumoska's statistics give her a Body Mass Index of just 15.1. Any BMI rating under 18 is considered malnourished.

But Stephanie has told Channel Nine there's nothing wrong with her body shape, or her health.

“I think that it’s horrible... they don’t know me, and they don’t know what I eat every morning or for lunch or dinner,” Stephanie said.

“They probably think that I don’t eat anything, but I do.”

Nutritionists say she's a bad role model for younger models, and have slammed the Miss Universe competition's decision to handpick Miss Naumoska from over 7,000 applicants.

"The World Health Authority rates people with a BMI of less than 18 as malnourished,'' Dietician Melanie McGrice told the Daily Telegraph.

"She would be categorised as underweight and I would certainly want to be doing an assessment of her diet to make sure she doesn't have some type of eating disorder.”

Stephanie says it’s unfair her body shape has come under so much criticism.

“I’m very hurt and upset by what they’ve been saying and I think that it’s very unfair.

“I also think that it’s very unfair just to all the other girls out there who have the same body as myself.”

NSW Acting Premier Carmel Tebbutt has also spoken out saying it's disappointing to see someone so thin you can see her ribs.

“What we just need to work on is making sure that in the media we have a broad representation of women of different ages, different body types,” she said.

“And we encourage girls – and young women – to aspire to be healthy, rather than look toward fitting one particular body image.”